Allan Davis recognized that a stretch of Eighth Avenue south of Fort Worth's medical district had been a smoked brisket-deprived zone for far too long.
So starting today, his City Pig BBQ will be serving up what he calls old-school barbecue reminiscent of such landmark but sadly departed Fort Worth joints as Jimmy's, Skinner's and B-Black's.
Tuesday is the grand opening. But until Davis gets a liquor license, City Pig will be handing out a free beer with each purchase of an entree, he told us. Don't expect any fancy imports, though.
Unlike many barbecues in town, the restaurant will offer cabrito along with brisket, chicken, Carolina-style pulled pork and "bolo" -- slabs of smoked bologna with Davis' secret seasoning at 2001 Eighth Ave. at Arlington Street. And there's a solid list of sides.
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While this is a new venture for Davis, he's not new to Texas smoked meats. For years, he's sold his 'cue at football tailgate parties and special events.
Unlikely Super sponsor
The North Texas Super Bowl Committee is having some success in drawing sponsors at less than the $1 million "Founding Sponsor" level.
Fort Worth's Quicksilver Resources and sister company Quicksilver Gas Services have come in together as major sponsors under the host committee's concession to the recession last year -- offering sponsorships at increments such as $500,000 and $125,000, with benefits that flex with the sponsors' wants.
Quicksilver, a big natural gas producer that's active in the Barnett Shale, doesn't have the consumer profile that fits easily with Super Bowl exposure. But Vice President Rick Buterbaugh noted that the companies have 500 employees in North Texas, the bulk of their 600 total jobs. The big game also will showcase North Texas' quality of life and business amenities, and Quicksilver wants to be part of that, Buterbaugh said.
"It's important we give back to the community," Buterbaugh said.
The host committee's $30 million budget will go to defray expenses such as security, transportation and other event-related costs.
Quicksilver isn't saying how much it paid for its sponsorship. But it came in at less than $1 million because "there's only so much we can do," Buterbaugh said. "It's an allocation process."
Quicksilver will receive "some exposure" in the game programs, and it gets tickets it will use, in part, to reward employees, Buterbaugh said. But don't expect to see the Quicksilver name all over Cowboys Stadium on game day.
"We do not sell retail products," Buterbaugh said. "We produce natural gas, and we provide gas collection and processing services."
Award for TCU football
The TCU Horned Frogs football team finished its past season ranked No. 6 in the nation, and the city colored its river purple for all the nation to see.
That won TCU's football program the 2009 Dateline Award from the American Advertising Federation-Fort Worth.
TCU will be the 48th recipient of the award, which has honored individuals, groups and businesses that have brought positive publicity to Fort Worth and Tarrant County. The award was first presented in 1958.
"The impressive performance by the TCU Horned Frog football team this season has given Fort Worth national exposure and showed the nation the pride that Fort Worth has for our city," said Jason Parker, president of AAF-Fort Worth.
"We try to paint the town purple," said Chris Del Conte, TCU's athletic director. "The mayor of Fort Worth declared Fridays to be 'Purple Day,' and every city employee wears purple. Those are the sort of things that happen when you're the only team in town."
TCU has won the Dateline Award four other times: In 1959 to football coach Abe Martin, in 1972 to its sports information office, in 1984 to head football coach Jim Wacker and in 2005 to the Schieffer School of Journalism, named for TCU alumnus and CBS newsman Bob Schieffer.
The award will be presented at a March 25 luncheon at Joe T. Garcia's restaurant. Information about attending is available at www.adclubfw.org.
The Frogs had a 12-0 regular season, won the Mountain West Conference Championship and climbed to No. 4 in the BCS rankings. TCU earned a spot in the Fiesta Bowl, its first BCS bowl game, but it lost to Boise State.
Other Dateline Award winners have included American Airlines, the Armed Forces Bowl, chef Tim Love, Texas Motor Speedway, the Van Cliburn Competition, the Bass brothers and RadioShack. Former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright received the award in 1976 and 1986.
FW chamber goes social
The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce is on Facebook.
Lauren Turner, the chamber's interactive marketing manager, says it's one more way to reach members.
"Our new fan page will include live updates from our events, exclusive announcements, photos, discussions, polls, local news updates and much more," she said in a recent e-mail. "This is definitely a new endeavor for us all, and we are learning as we go."
Members can post comments, insights and observations about doing business in Fort Worth, as well as have conversations with other chamber members, she said.
Check it out at www.facebook.com/FTWChamber.
Metroplex retailers should "build on employment growth that materialized late last year" and lead the nation in new retail jobs this year, Marcus & Millichap, the major real estate investment services firm, said last week.
In its National Retail Report, Marcus & Millichap said it's "beginning to see cash-heavy buyers leave the sidelines to take advantage of better pricing" and look to make acquisitions this year.
Marcus & Millichap predicted that the Metroplex will create 66,000 retail jobs this year, compared with a loss of 49,600 in 2009.
Developers should add about 2.4 million square feet of retail space this year, compared with 4.1 million last year.
Vacancy, however, is expected to reach 13.2 percent, Marcus & Millichap said.
"With vacancy still rising, asking rents are expected to slip to $14.97 per square foot this year, while effective rents will retreat to $12.74 per square foot, declines of 1.8 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively," Marcus & Millichap said.
Top business schools
TCU's Neeley School of Business moved up four spots to No. 30 in Business Week's annual ranking of the top undergraduate business schools nationally.
Notre Dame took over the No. 1 spot from the University of Virginia in the ranking, based on nine measures of student satisfaction, postgraduate outcomes and academic quality. Neeley was fourth in a student survey that was part of the ranking, behind Notre Dame, Virginia and Cornell. The University of Texas was fifth in the student survey.
BWeek, in its mini-profile of Neeley, included a picture of three students in front of the school and, under the label "Students say," this quote: "It is a very personal and unique learning environment. You have the opportunity to meet and work with every one of your professors outside of class."
Other Texas schools in the rankings: University of Texas at Austin, which remained at No. 10; SMU, which stayed at No. 31; and Texas A&M, which dropped to 44 from 37.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727
Scott Nishimura, 817-390-7808
Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718