Michna’s Bar-B-Que restaurant, 2803 Franklin Ave., reopened quietly Friday following a nearly four-month renovation that drastically changed the interior of the 30-year-old restaurant known for good grub, a lot of John Wayne photos and a large handgun-shaped barbecue pit on the front lawn.
The Waco-McLennan County Health District visited the establishment several times during the course of the transformation, making sure everything was carried out to specifications. Proprietor Greg Talasek received the thumbs up he needed to begin serving again about two weeks ago.
“There was still a little work to be done even after that final inspection,” said Talasek, adding the first major overhaul of the restaurant took longer than anyone thought.
“We needed to get some money flowing,” Talasek said.
He said he probably spent $25,000 on the job and received contributions of labor from friends and family.
The finished product features tables covered with red-and-white tablecloths, which is a new touch, and space for about 15 additional diners. Crews that mainly featured himself and his brother-in-law, Billy Michna, gutted the place and tore away material to expose the rafters and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning piping.
Customers may notice the menu has been downsized, Talasek said, “so they won’t have to spend 10 minutes reading it.”
The buffet is a thing of the past, replaced by daily specials “and something new to be had every day.”
Michna’s for years has served brisket, sausage, ribs, chicken, turkey, ham, chopped barbecue and a long list of sides.
“Something new is our Party Pack, which will feed up to eight people for $50,” Talasek said. “You get your choice of any three meats, 1 pound each, family sides, a homemade loaf of bread, sauce, pickles and onions.”
Talasek is the son-in-law of the late founder, Robert “Bob” Michna.
The decor has changed with the installation of bricks from downtown buildings leveled by the deadly 1953 tornado. Talasek also liberally applied barn wood, created a “Western corner” with photos of “The Duke,” John Wayne and Roy Rogers, and replaced several light fixtures in the kitchen.
Michna’s will open daily Tuesday through Sunday, with later hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday and serve until 2:30 p.m. Sundays.
Building permits have been issued for three additions to the restaurant scene:
• Chipotle Grill, 721 S. Fourth St., $187,500 for finish-out work for the chain’s second location in Waco.
• Panera Bread, South Eighth Street and Interstate 35, $1.35 million for the chain’s second area location, this one next to Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers.
• Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, 215 S. University Parks Drive, $160,000 for canopy, walkway and shell for the chain’s first Waco location.
A growing exercise chain called Orangetheory Fitness has chosen to expand into Waco, locating in Lake Air Court at 1428 Wooded Acres Drive.
“We feel Wacoans are ready for a premium, class-based fitness studio to help them efficiently achieve their fitness goals,” said Matt Moyer, co-owner of Orangetheory Fitness Waco. “We also hope they take advantage of the Founders’ rates we will be offering as part of our opening in late July.”
These rates give potential members an opportunity to sample the facilities before committing to membership.
Moyer, who saw first-hand the potential of Orangetheory Fitness by losing 110 pounds on the system between 2014 and 2015, is partnering with a franchisee in the Dallas area to open the Waco location. One of the franchising partners, Kim Mason, is the daughter of Waco businessman Paul Skretny and the late Margaret Skretny.
Orangetheory Fitness offers a personal training workout that includes segments devoted to endurance, strength and power. It is designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that increases metabolic rate and energy, according to publicity material released by Liz Anderson, with E.H. Andersen PR.
A pre-sale office is located at 1428 Wooded Acres Drive.
For more information, call 265-7222 or visit www.orangetheoryfitness.com.
Cracker Barrel, with a location locally at Industrial Boulevard and Interstate 35, has been voted the top family-dining restaurant in the United States, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.
The food-service publication recently released its annual “Consumer Picks” survey.
Cracker Barrel beat out such chains as First Watch and Shari’s Cafe & Pies, neither of which does business in Greater Waco.
Cracker Barrel has taken the top spot in the survey five of the last six years. But in 2015, First Watch, which calls itself “the daytime cafe,” snagged the top position. Cracker Barrel made a comeback, earning top scores in reputation, service, cleanliness and atmosphere.
Acme Brick turns 125
Acme Brick Co. is celebrating the company’s 125th year in business with a celebration that involves every plant and sales office, including Waco’s.
Now based in Fort Worth, Acme was founded on the banks of Rock Creek near the town of Millsap, about 30 miles west of Cowtown, in 1891, just 26 years after the end of the Civil War and the same year that James Naismith invented the game of basketball. Benjamin Harrison was president of the U.S. and Thomas Edison patented the radio.
The company has grown to become the largest brick company in the U.S., with a core market that includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansa, Louisiana, Alabama, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee and portions of Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Colorado and Mississippi.
It has produced brick for more than 2 million homes and for thousands of commercial, civic and educational buildings.
Acme operates 69 sales offices in 14 states and is the only brick maker that stamps its logo into residential brick products.
To celebrate its anniversary, Acme is producing a history book with rare photos.
The Acme office in Waco, where a plaque was unveiled Friday, is located at 1620 W. Loop 340, Suite E.