Jambo’s BBQ Shack is taking over the 84-year-old Arlington Steak House, the city’s oldest restaurant, and will update the storied West Division Street landmark, according to real estate brokers.
Jambo’s owners Ashton and Paul Lovato will take over the steak house Feb. 1 and gradually restore barbecue to the menu while keeping the restaurant’s theme and high-rolling history, according to a Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance DFW announcement.
It’s the second Arlington location for Jambo’s, founded in 2013 in Rendon by TV pitmaster Jamie Geer and bought in 2014 by the Lovatos. Texas Monthly has singled out the original Rendon location for its topped baked potato, the “Sadie,” and for the “Jambo Texan” combination sandwich.
The Lovatos had said last month they were negotiating for a then-unidentified Arlington location and would add Jambo’s barbecue to the current menu.
The Arlington Steak House, known for chicken-fried steak and fluffy yeast rolls, opened in 1931 as the Triangle Inn, a roadhouse bar and restaurant along what was then U.S. 80, the nation’s major transcontinental highway.
In its early days, the restaurant was a prominent stop for horserace bettors and fans going to the old Arlington Downs racetrack, near where today’s Globe Life Park stands. In the 1930s and ’40s, patrons on their way to or from the nearby Top O’ Hill Terrace gambling casino stopped to hear nationally known jazz bands and drink illicit whiskey over poker and roulette tables upstairs.
Current owners Dick and Lynn Brink bought the steakhouse in 2012.
The steakhouse, 1724 W. Division St., will remain open through the ownership change. Jambo’s Arlington location is at 2502 Little Road.