Eats Beat

‘I’d have thought you were crazy’: Marketing exec adds a gig, opens BBQ in Arlington

It only took marketing executive Brandon Hurtado a few months to take a second gig and open Hurtado Barbecue.

“if you had asked me a year and a half ago if I’d open a restaurant, I’d have thought you were crazy,” Hurtado said this week, as Arlington’s Urban Union district announced his new restaurant, opening by winter at 205 E. Front St.

Hurtado’s pop-ups at nearby breweries brought craft barbecue to Arlington. Along with Lockhart Smokehouse and Zavala’s in Grand Prairie, it’s the closest to Central Texas barbecue between Dallas and Fort Worth.

“We just started doing brisket tacos, but people want the whole craft barbecue experience,” Hurtado said.

He’s moving from a truck to a vacant bar on Front Street with a giant beer garden.

Hurtado Barbecue will serve lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday and also breakfast Sundays, he said.

“I want it to be a place on Sundays where people can just relax and have a lazy breakfast,” he said.

Hurtado Barbecue will expand from a truck into a Front Street restaurant. Courtesy photo

His business had outgrown the truck, partly because of Hurtado’s brisket and beef ribs from Central Texas-based 44 Farms but also because he makes his own brisket and pork sausage with poblanos and queso.

Hurtado also does some specials like smoked quail that aren’t as common. And burnt ends.

Hurtado is the newest addition to an Urban Union district only a mile south of AT&T Stadium. The area also includes a coming Cane Rosso pizzeria, the already booming Tipsy Oak patio bar-and-grill and an expanded menu at Sugar Bee Bakery.

The East Front Street building is listed as dating to 1900, but only shows up in directories since the 1950s.

For four years in the 1960s when Six Flags Over Texas opened, it was a busy Arlington city bus station that offered Texas Motor Coaches intercity tickets to downtown Dallas and Fort Worth.

Since then, it’s been a bar and beer garden named Lonesome Dove Saloon, Rascals, Jim’s Bar, Our Place and D&J’s Saloon.

For now, Hurtado will continue serving Friday nights and Saturdays at 506 E. Main St., Arlington; 682-401-7888,

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.