Buzzard Billy's Going Away

3,468 Views | 35 Replies | Last: 29 days ago by KEBasketball
PartyBear
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This was mentioned in another thread in passing. But thought it deserved its own thread since it has been here for 30 years and was one of the original pioneers of revitalizing down town Waco when it opened in one of the old warehouses (now gone) on University Park across from what is now the Spice, Ninfa's etc warehouse center.

Anyway I was reminded of it this morning when I saw a KCEN online article about it. It is going to be rebranded as Brazos Landing and will be upscale. Over past 3 years Buzzard's had become more upscale and less Cajun with less of the old "fun" by the water vibe. They also had a great parking deal for football games back in the day at least during the Briles era after McLane opened. My personal view of this is that it is too bad.
CorsicanaBear
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We patronize BB lately and like it. The site was originally Brazos Landing, so it is a return to something older.

I think they will have, in fact do have, three sections. A fun times open air section with its own bar. Main Dining in the middle which is like the open air area, just indoors, and a third area with white table cloths and a more upscale vibe I think they call this the French Quarter. They also have an area downstairs, right on the river with its own bar that they are finishing out.

Should still be a good fun-times place with an upscale section. They have bar and wine selections to match the upscale.
MrGolfguy
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Did Jon Taffer have something to do with this?
Well, I ain't no camel!
BaylorHistory
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CorsicanaBear said:

We patronize BB lately and like it. The site was originally Brazos Landing, so it is a return to something older.


What's the history for that spot?

Brazos Landing ---> Docks --> Buzzard Billy's --> Brazos Landing?
la hambre a ninguno respecta

LitigiOSO
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maybe they'll add a Riverwalk water trolley during basketball season to and from the new pavillion starting January 2024.
LitigiOSO
B.A. '92, J.D. '95
CorsicanaBear
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Quote:

Did Jon Taffer have something to do with this?
Don't know.

Quote:

Brazos Landing ---> Docks --> Buzzard Billy's --> Brazos Landing?
Correct, that's the site history.
Robert Wilson
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They need to do something and make it a simple / consistent concept. Recently, they have been all over the place. Is it Cajun? Creole? BBQ? Casual? High end? what the heck is it?
CorsicanaBear
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I think when ownership turned over a couple of years ago they started experimenting to see what sold. The food prior to the change was absolutely awful and there has been a marked change. It's not "OMG the greatest I've ever had", but its markedly better.

They are starting to settle down on a concept with a "fun" side that's an uplift from something like Bubba's (akushi burgers with aoli and a local IPA), but still approachable, plus a nicer area for better dining. I would not call it fine dining (although they may eventually get there), but better dining. Big bar selection with plenty of premium Bourbons and Scots Whisky's and other premium liquors.

May work, may not. Works for me about every other week.
BaylorHistory
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CorsicanaBear said:

I think when ownership turned over a couple of years ago they started experimenting to see what sold. The food prior to the change was absolutely awful and there has been a marked change. It's not "OMG the greatest I've ever had", but its markedly better.

They are starting to settle down on a concept with a "fun" side that's an uplift from something like Bubba's (akushi burgers with aoli and a local IPA), but still approachable, plus a nicer area for better dining. I would not call it fine dining (although they may eventually get there), but better dining. Big bar selection with plenty of premium Bourbons and Scots Whisky's and other premium liquors.

May work, may not. Works for me about every other week.
Sounds good to me. I'm going to have to give it a shot again.
la hambre a ninguno respecta

Yogi
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In a related story, McLane Stadium will be reverting back to its original name of "Mickey's".

"Smarter than the Average Bear."
T-REX
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Yogi said:

In a related story, McLane Stadium will be reverting back to its original name of "Mickey's".


I prefer phillips 66 pre-explosion
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cowboycwr
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I haven't been in a while but the last time I went it was not what I remember. Not terrible food but just not very good.

I did the parking deal they had that was nice. Get two meals after the game. And this was before they did the river walk so it was walking through grass/mud and then up almost to MLK to even get into the parking lot

Honestly I am surprised they weren't sort of forced to shut down with the I35 expansion. You can't even see the building anymore from the road and I am surprised they have survived.
Weston Rogers
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PartyBear said:

This was mentioned in another thread in passing. But thought it deserved its own thread since it has been here for 30 years and was one of the original pioneers of revitalizing down town Waco when it opened in one of the old warehouses (now gone) on University Park across from what is now the Spice, Ninfa's etc warehouse center.

Anyway I was reminded of it this morning when I saw a KCEN online article about it. It is going to be rebranded as Brazos Landing and will be upscale. Over past 3 years Buzzard's had become more upscale and less Cajun with less of the old "fun" by the water vibe. They also had a great parking deal for football games back in the day at least during the Briles era after McLane opened. My personal view of this is that it is too bad.
Nothing about Buzzard Billy's is/has become upscale... Always been mediocre to bad food and mediocre to bad service.
Coke Bear
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MrGolfguy said:

Did Jon Taffer have something to do with this?
He might be the only person to fix that mess.
whitetrash
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BaylorHistory said:

CorsicanaBear said:

We patronize BB lately and like it. The site was originally Brazos Landing, so it is a return to something older.


What's the history for that spot?

Brazos Landing ---> Docks --> Buzzard Billy's --> Brazos Landing?
Drove past it Tuesday and the highway sign was already changed. And the change didn't even register with me. I guess I thought it was still 1982.

On a related note, the new sign reads "THE Brazos Landing". So I guess they are branding themselves like the Buckeyes.
PartyBear
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If something was to be revived. Someone should build a Leslie's Chicken Shack on 340&35 for interstate traffic. There is one in Corpus on 37. or at least there was one as recently as 17. Has the same neon sign and everything just more modern looking.
PTGHUNTER
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CorsicanaBear said:

Quote:

Did Jon Taffer have something to do with this?
Don't know.

Quote:

Brazos Landing ---> Docks --> Buzzard Billy's --> Brazos Landing?
Correct, that's the site history.


Wasn't this Riverfront Cafe at one point in it's life?
ABC BEAR
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LitigiOSO said:

maybe they'll add a Riverwalk water trolley during basketball season to and from the new pavillion starting January 2024.
I like that idea. I could stay at the Grant, walk to the Landing and boat to the game.
Eleven-League Grant
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PTGHUNTER said:

CorsicanaBe said:

Wasn't this Riverfront Cafe at one point in it's life?

In fact it was Dock's River Front.

When it was owned by Bill Stohler and had Big Barry Vaughn as its manager, it was one of the best running restaurants in town.

I believe Vaughn left to manage the Lone Star Cafe in Hillsboro, causing Stohler to have to spend more time there managing, and he decided to sell the place.

Whenever I used to shake Barry's hand I knew he could crush mine if he ever wanted to!
Yogi
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Bring back Pelican's.
"Smarter than the Average Bear."
Coke Bear
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Yogi said:

Bring back Pelican's.
Didn't Pelican's owner make his with the fire in the kitchen?
EvilTroyAndAbed
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Yogi said:

Bring back Pelican's.


Heck, bring back Water Works and Hickory Stick while we're at it.
MrGolfguy
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Well, I ain't no camel!
4th and Inches
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EvilTroyAndAbed said:

Yogi said:

Bring back Pelican's.


Heck, bring back Water Works and Hickory Stick while we're at it.
goodness, the Hickory Stick has been gone since the mid 90s right?
Life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.

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Coke Bear
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4th and Inches said:

EvilTroyAndAbed said:

Yogi said:

Bring back Pelican's.


Heck, bring back Water Works and Hickory Stick while we're at it.
goodness, the Hickory Stick has been gone since the mid 90s right?
The short-lived mid-90's run for the Hickory Stick was an attempt to recapture the magic of the restaurant original stint (70's? - 80's?)

My wife's family used to visit the original. My wife and I did visit the re-do, but it didn't last too long. Location was not ideal.
BCL79
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Speaking of Water Works. That building has a cool industrial, post apocalyptic look that is oh-so-trendy. I wonder why the money moving into the Waco market hasn't looked at that place? Maybe the building is too run down?

I have many great memories there .....
whitetrash
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BCL79 said:

Speaking of Water Works. That building has a cool industrial, post apocalyptic look that is oh-so-trendy. I wonder why the money moving into the Waco market hasn't looked at that place? Maybe the building is too run down?

I have many great memories there .....
Very rundown, unmotivated landowner, and would require lots of ADA modifications (and possibly asbestos remediation too).
Yogi
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The original Buzzard's was great.

Whatever happened to the police car?
"Smarter than the Average Bear."
PartyBear
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Coke Bear said:

4th and Inches said:

EvilTroyAndAbed said:

Yogi said:

Bring back Pelican's.


Heck, bring back Water Works and Hickory Stick while we're at it.
goodness, the Hickory Stick has been gone since the mid 90s right?
The short-lived mid-90's run for the Hickory Stick was an attempt to recapture the magic of the restaurant original stint (70's? - 80's?)

My wife's family used to visit the original. My wife and I did visit the re-do, but it didn't last too long. Location was not ideal.


I'm pretty sure the original's hey day was well before then (40s through 60s maybe?). It was still around until the mid 80s but past its prime by then.
ncbear
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3 for 1s at Brazos Landing anyone?

And the Leslie's Chicken Shack idea is spot on
WILLIS
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whitetrash said:

BCL79 said:

Speaking of Water Works. That building has a cool industrial, post apocalyptic look that is oh-so-trendy. I wonder why the money moving into the Waco market hasn't looked at that place? Maybe the building is too run down?

I have many great memories there .....
Very rundown, unmotivated landowner, and would require lots of ADA modifications (and possibly asbestos remediation too).

There were a couple night clubs there in the 2007-2010 era while I was at BU. Forgot the names but short lived ventures. Feel like I remember someone getting stabbed.
Eleven-League Grant
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Quote:

There were a couple night clubs there in the 2007-2010 era while I was at BU. Forgot the names but short lived ventures. Feel like I remember someone getting stabbed.
You have a good memory.

During that time local businessman Mel Thomas, Jr. opened 'Club Legacy', which was billed as a hip-hop bar and dance club.

He was able to attract fairly big crowds, too. Unfortunately, his parking lot also attracted some 'gentlemen' who weren't on the premises just to enjoy music and dance. I recall a shooting incident (maybe two) and then it seems the police were having to spend way too much time there.

As a result of the violence, I believe he may have lost his liquor license and it's pretty tough to make a buck in that business without alcohol revenue.

Too bad, really. I liked Mel and his wife, and had done business with his father for several years.

I thought more recently I had read that the widow of F.M. Young had sold that building to some 'investors' who had big plans to turn it into offices. Obviously, the only tenants these days are rats and mice, so who knows?

That building has a lot of character. It's certainly not a cookie-cutter modern restaurant.
WILLIS
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Found this. I remember the TABC task forces around Waco during that time.

Eleven-League Grant
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Quote:

In less than three years, that club had more than 220 police calls for incidents such as discharge of firearms, assault of police officers, riots with more than 100 participants and a stabbing.
So ... mostly peaceful?

Seriously speaking, though, I think the large riot was the final straw on that place. Good work digging up that Trib article.
Hob Howell
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Eleven-League Grant said:

Quote:

There were a couple night clubs there in the 2007-2010 era while I was at BU. Forgot the names but short lived ventures. Feel like I remember someone getting stabbed.
You have a good memory.

During that time local businessman Mel Thomas, Jr. opened 'Club Legacy', which was billed as a hip-hop bar and dance club.

He was able to attract fairly big crowds, too. Unfortunately, his parking lot also attracted some 'gentlemen' who weren't on the premises just to enjoy music and dance. I recall a shooting incident (maybe two) and then it seems the police were having to spend way too much time there.

As a result of the violence, I believe he may have lost his liquor license and it's pretty tough to make a buck in that business without alcohol revenue.

Too bad, really. I liked Mel and his wife, and had done business with his father for several years.

I thought more recently I had read that the widow of F.M. Young had sold that building to some 'investors' who had big plans to turn it into offices. Obviously, the only tenants these days are rats and mice, so who knows?

That building has a lot of character. It's certainly not a cookie-cutter modern restaurant.
This is correct.
Twitter: @hobhowell
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