Call it the barbecue gold rush.
Three experienced Austin pit hands are coming home to Arlington and will open a new Central Texas-style barbecue restaurant, Goldee’s.
It’s the 12th new local barbecue restaurant or expansion within a few months.
“It’s crazy — but it’ll draw more people to try them all,” said Dylan Taylor, one of three Arlington friends returning home to open Goldee’s, south of Kennedale in the 51-year-old former Kenneth’s True Pit Barbecue restaurant, 4645 Dick Price Road.
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“The more people realize that barbecue is the true Texas cuisine, the more people will come out,” Taylor said.
Taylor, Lane Milne and Jonny White have experience at Austin restaurants like La Barbecue, Terry Black’s and Micklethwait Craft Meats.
They were looking for a location in the Dallas area when a relative drove down a backroad past the old Kenneth’s, built in 1968.
It was operated in the 1980s and ‘90s by the late Kenneth Middleton, known for his custom-smoked turkeys, housemade sausage and chili.
“It definitely feels like someplace out in the country,” Taylor said.
“It’s got a great country vibe. We said, ‘This is perfect.’ “
Rendon pitbuilder Jamie Geer, founder of the original Jambo’s nearby, said the location has a good barbecue legacy.
“Mr. Middleton — I knew him forever,” Geer said. “He built his own pit and cooked over mesquite. And he was big on poker games, bless his heart.”
Geer said so many barbecue restaurants are opening that he’s close to taking back orders for new pits.
“Everybody’s trying to cash in,” he said.
Taylor said Goldee’s is expected to open in June.
More barbecue restaurants with new locations or expansions:
▪ 407BBQ moved to a larger location at 831 Farm Road 407 West near Argyle; 407bbq.com.