Guess Barbecue (copy)

Guess Family Barbecue owner Reid Guess recently signed a lease on the former Michna’s Bar-B-Que building at 2803 Franklin Ave., where he plans to open his first brick-and-mortar restaurant. He previously had planned to open at Sixth Street and Columbus Avenue.

Waco’s Guess Family Barbecue, whose food truck has become a fan favorite and a darling of Texas Monthly magazine, has shifted gears and signed a lease on the vacant former Michna’s Bar-B-Que building at 2803 Franklin Ave.

Tony Teal, of Dallas, had proposed opening a rib and soul food joint there, and even said in an interview he spent $200,000 remodeling the 7,300-square-foot space. But bad marks by the Waco-McLennan County Health District during a trial run shut him down, and he has not reopened. Crews were removing signs last week.

Reid Guess, meanwhile, previously announced his intention to open a permanent location at 600 Columbus Ave., across from the McLennan County Courthouse, where developer Marshall Stewman has transformed a former auto dealership last used as offices into space for WacoWork, a coworking destination for fledgling entrepreneurs, and a gaming venue called Nexus Esports.

“But we’ve put that space back on the market,” said local commercial real estate agent Gregg Glime, who works with Guess and Stewman. “(Reid) is excited because he found another property that will allow him to open a little quicker. It was a mutually agreeable and satisfactory situation.”

Guess said he indeed has signed a lease and hopes to open his brick-and-mortar location before summer. The “bones” of the 7,300-square-foot structure remain solid, though he plans cosmetic improvements to create the Guess Family color scheme and ambiance and likely will enlarge the barbecue smoking room, Guess said.

Glime said Teal improved the plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems during his time on the premises.

Guess said he will continue to operate a food truck at Magnolia Market at the Silos even after he opens his long-term location. He said it will cater to tourists, while the Franklin Avenue location should appeal to locals who grew accustomed to patronizing Michna’s for its daily buffets.

Back at 600 Columbus Ave., Glime continues to fill vacancies in the building that was renovated first and in a building next door where work is ongoing. He recently signed leases with Skinny’s Repair Shop, which offers fixes for phones, personal computers and laptops, and Body Hack Labs, a “boutique fitness” business that brought a Dallas couple to Waco. Glime said another 3,000 square feet remains available.

Disney Institute

The Disney Institute is bringing its professional development course, “Disney’s Approach to Employee Engagement,” to Waco, with a one-day event scheduled May 22 at the Cashion Academic Center at Baylor University, according to a press release.

The institute uses lessons learned and practices at Disney-themed parks and resorts worldwide to provide tips on improving customer experience and employee morale, according to the press release. Registration is $425 per person, and a table for six costs $2,400. Registration includes course materials, lunch and parking. After April 23, the cost increases to $475.

For more information, visit or contact Maegan Stowe at or 710-3816.

Governor’s Cup

Investors continue to plunk down money betting on Texas.

Site Selection magazine last week presented Gov. Greg Abbott with its Governor’s Cup Award for the seventh year in a row. This is the 15th overall win for Texas, more than any other state, according to a press release from the magazine. The award highlights top-performing states for job creation, capital investment and business innovation, according to the press release.

The magazine has awarded the Governor’s Cup annually since 1978.

Big Idea Challenge

Extraco Banks is holding a contest for would-be entrepreneurs, called the Extraco Banks 2019 Big Idea Challenge.

The bank is calling for individuals or teams to take a project from idea to pitch-ready in two months. The final pitch will be delivered April 25 at the newly opened Hustle co-working space at 605 Austin Ave., in the renovated Woolworth Suites building.

The top three finalists will meet at Hustle “to pitch their ideas to a panel of esteemed local leaders,” according to a press release.

First-and-second-place winners will receive $5,000 and $2,500, respectively. Winners also will receive free space at Hustle for six months.

Applications are due by March 22. For more information, visit

Waco Day in Austin

The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will lead a contingent to the state Capitol on April 10 to offer chances to bend the ear of state lawmakers on “Waco Day in Austin.”

Activities will include introductions in the House and Senate chambers and a briefing with legislators and agency heads. The day will conclude with a Legislative Reception on the Capitol grounds, providing those attending with an opportunity to network with staff and elected officials, according to a chamber press release.

For more information about attending, visit For information about sponsorship, call Jessica Attas, the chamber’s vice president for public policy, at 757-5631.

Scotty’s Brewhouse

Remember Scotty’s Brewhouse? It did not last long in Waco, less than a year, before its parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and listed the local location among a handful it would close to save money.

Scotty’s occupied the former Twin Peaks restaurant, scene of a horrific Sunday lunch shootout in May 2015 that left nine bikers dead. The legal firestorm it created continues today.

Against that backdrop, the Scotty’s space at Central Texas Marketplace again hit the market. The Turner Behringer Real Estate firm is listing the property, and Clay Fuller, director of real estate, said interest is growing.

He said the firm has received three serious offers. The owner of the building, an Arizona entity, would prefer to lease the building, but would entertain offers to sell the 7,000-square-foot space. It originally was built to resemble a hunting lodge, but underwent remodeling before Scotty’s opened.

Fuller, by the way, will oversee the daily grind at Turner Behringer, leaving more time for its namesake, developer Shane Turner, to devote time and energy to long-term projects. Fuller attended Baylor University and played wide receiver on Art Briles’ two Big 12 conference-winning football squads.

Load comments