Last night, Diane and Justin Fourton threw a party at the new Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum. They welcomed a crowd of over 100 guests which included members of the local media and close friends. The gig took place just four days after they closed their space in Shed 2 at the Dallas Farmers Market. The guest list included Brian and Courtney Luscher, Jay Jerrier and daughter Emma, Amy and James St. Peter, Tiffany Derry, and Chad and Kristen Houser. Chef Marcus Samuelsson stopped by with David Hale Smith. Folks from Johnson & Sekin were there (responsible for wonderful new PL website!), Scott Rohrman, Benton Payne, and Will Harris from 42 Real Estate. Zach Petty, Greg Lefwich, and George Esquivel from Four Corners. The restaurant opens to the public on May 23 with live music from The Texas Gentleman beginning at 7:00 p.m.
The old space at the Dallas Farmers Market was just 1,400 square feet. Now customers have a spacious 4,850-square-foot restaurant and to roam. Instead of standing, customers can take a chair in the 70-seat dining room or order a beer of a glass of wine and sit on the landscaped patio and listen to live music.
Justin now has a 1,000-square-foot screened-in smokehouse large enough to hold up to four smokers which will eventually include Lurelene (named after Diane’s great uncle’s ex-wife because he used to say ‘She ain’t much to look at but she sure can cook,’” Virgil, (named after Justin’s father), and Rick (named after Diane’s father). With all smokers working, Justin can triple barbecue production. Pecan Lodge is now a full-service restaurant that serves lunch five days a week and dinner on Friday and Saturdays.
Friends and media were treated to beef ribs, brisket, sausage, jalapeno mac and cheese sprinkled with bacon, and Boss Lady Rustic Red, a new beer brewed by Four Corners Brewery named after Diane whose nickname is Boss Lady. “When Diane and Justin came to us and proposed this idea and concept, we were flattered that they wanted to do it with us, and so we immediately went to work on doing a collaboration beer, ” Greg Leftwich from Four Corners Brewery says. “The name of the beer is Boss Lady! (crowd yells boss lady and cheers). There are only two places you can get this beer, our place and their place. This is dry hop, it’s our Red Roja recipe but it’s been dry hopped. ” The brew is a hop rubbed, medium bodied American amber with hints of fresh peach and citrus on the nose balanced by a peppery kick on the palate which compliments the barbecue. Matthew Thompson, from The Wine Poste, curated the wine list.
The Fourtons, staff, and friends have been working almost 24 hours a day to get the restaurant ready. “Tiffany Derry was here until late last night helping me set up chairs and hanging photographs, ” Diane says. “I couldn’t have done it without her. This feels like my wedding or something!”
Once the Fourtons took the microphone, they thanked new landlord Scott Rhorman of 42 Real Estate. “We started conversations with Scott about this time last year. It took about nine months, probably a little longer than that, to do this,”Justin says. “Scott is patient, and he has a vision for this neighborhood that is incredible. What you see here tonight is the tip of the iceberg of the revitalization of Deep Ellum and everything we have grown to love about this neighborhood. I just really want to thank him for sticking with us as we bounced all over the neighborhood trying to find a place to call home.”
Margaux Anbouba attended the event and contributed to this report.