BBQ on the Brazos to open in west Fort Worth

State-ranked BBQ on the Brazos is moving from Hood County to a former pub on the Benbrook Traffic Circle.

Co-owner John Sanford, who has hunted for months for a new location for the Texas Monthly top-50 restaurant, wrote on Twitter late Wednesday: “By the way, bbqonthebrazos is coming home to Cowtown.”

He didn’t make a formal announcement. But the Royal Falcon Pub, 3803 Southwest Blvd., posted on Facebook June 25 that it will close Saturday to make way for a new tenant.

The traffic circle location near Edelweiss German Restaurant matches Sanford’s description of the next location for BBQ on the Brazos, which opened in 2013 in a Cresson gas station-convenience store.

The restaurant moved last year to a hilltop location at 9012 Performance Court, about a half-mile behind the original restaurant.

But the current BBQ on the Brazos is out of sight off the highway on the Motorsports Ranch.

With more than 10 new craft barbecue restaurants opening in Fort Worth this year and popular Heim Barbecue opening a second location, Sanford has said wants back into the city: “I’ve been away 15 years.”

He owned a Saginaw barbecue restaurant before cooking in Granbury.

In the latest Texas Monthly Top 50 ranking of barbecue restaurants, in 2017, BBQ on the Brazos tied for third overall in Dallas-Fort Worth, behind state-ranked Cattleack BBQ in Farmers Branch and Hutchins BBQ in McKinney.

Texas Monthly first listed it in the “New & Improved” barbecue standings, along with Billy’s Oak Acres BBQ and Heim Barbecue in Fort Worth and Meat U Anywhere BBQ in Grapevine and Trophy Club.

The magazine’s most recent list of “The Top 25 New Barbecue Joints in Texas” included Panther City BBQ in the South Main Village nightlife district south of downtown.

Sanford and co-owner Kathryn Warren are taking over an anchor location in a historic shopping center that opened in the mid-1950s.

For 15 years into the 1950s and ‘60s, the location was a drug store with a grill and soda fountain. It operated briefly as a Holloway’s Fried Chicken and Steaks, then as a Jamie’s Hamburgers and as the Apple nightclub until a 1977 conversion to a Tex-Mex restaurant.

In 1977, Casa de Guillermo began a 20-year run of Tex-Mex restaurants including La Fiesta, Miranda’s Mexican Food (now in Burleson) and Casa Hernandez.

Giovanni’s Italian was the last tenant before the Royal Falcon, a British pub.

The current Performance Court location of BBQ on the Brazos opens for lunch at 10 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

(The original location in the Texaco Plaza has been leased to Rooster’s Bar-B-Q, operated by former Nashville pitmaster Rooster Beane., featured on an episode of “Man v. Food.”)

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.