The Battle for Pecan Lodge: DF Market Holding Sends in Tanks, I Mean a Food Truck

The Katy Trail Ice House Texas BBQ truck invades Dallas Farmers Market. Only hot dogs were fired. (Photo courtesy of Chad Houser)

Café Momentum’s Chad Houser tweeted a picture of the Katy Trail Ice House food truck parked outside of Pecan Lodge on Saturday with the message: “Hey @RobertWilonsky and @NancyNichols, look what’s parked outside Pecan Lodge today. Pretty classless.” ‘Natch Big Bob was “@viva_chato Hunh. Good thing I was l already headed that way to check in with @PecanLodge.”

Wilonsky reported an update on the escalating battle between Pecan Lodge owners, Diane and Justin Fourton, and DF Market Holdings, the private group now calling the shots at the Dallas Farmers Market. Wilonsky types:

Under the new ownership, Pecan Lodge’s status as the anchor of the enclosed, air-conditioned Shed 2 is tenuous at best.

That was never more clear than on Saturday, when the new owners allowed Katy Trail Ice House to park its barbecue truck in front of Shed 2 — and Pecan Lodge. The truck only sold brats and hot dogs, per an agreement with the market’s owners. And it certainly didn’t impact Pecan Lodge’s business: Between college football kick-off and the holiday weekend, Fourton was sold out around noon, before the Katy truck had opened for business. Still, between that and the folks selling barbecue out of a smoker planted in front of Shed 3 Saturday, the Fourtons certainly felt like someone was sending them a smoke signal.

I love Pecan Lodge and the Dallas Farmers Market and I love PL at the DFM. Currently, the Fourton’s are unsure of  how their business will be affected once the construction starts on Shed 2. Until the Fourtons are confident their needs will be met, they are going to keep their decision-making to themselves. The Fourtons are smart people. Until they opened Pecan Lodge, they were successful management consultants. I don’t see anything wrong with DF Market Holdings allowing a food truck to sell hot dogs as an indication that they are showing disrespect for Pecan Lodge. Believe it or not, there are hungry people at the Farmers Market after Pecan Lodge sells out. DF Market Holdings is a private company and needs to make money. The Fourton’s will make the best deal for Pecan Lodge. And DF Market Holdings will do the same. We can only wait to see how it plays out.


  • Peter Kurilecz

    “Believe it or not, there are hungry people at the Farmers Market after Pecan Lodge sells out. DF Market Holdings is a private company and needs to make money.” agree. is there some unwritten law/regulation/rule that says Pecan Lodge shall have no competition?

  • Avid Reader

    Making the best deal for Pecan Lodge might be the best deal for Pecan Lodge, but what about everyone else. Why should Pecan Lodge have the ability to make a little more profit by moving at the expense of everyone who would lose out on them moving from Shed 2. That is currently Un-American.

  • mfbrodie

    Competition is a wonderful thing! It keeps businesses on their toes and helps them be more innovative. With that said – why can’t there be at least 2 sources of BBQ in Shed 2? There are a few of the same types of vendors in there now.

  • mrEmannE

    Pecan lodge draws people and business and attention to the Farmers Market, but frankly, it’s a lousy location for a BBQ joint. Now that they have a developed brand, it’s time for them to move to a more serviceable location, where they can take better care of their customers. The loss will be to the Farmers Market, but that the way the ‘que queues.

  • First time poster

    I live across the street from Pecan Lodge (I mean 300 ft). There are only so many times that I want to wait for 90 minutes (2x so far in the past few months – family was in-town and we could visit while waiting in line). I’m hoping that more venues will open to serve food in the future at FM. It’s ridiculous that a business that is so in demand is concerned about similar businesses being located nearby. This clearly is a game by the owners of Pecan Lodge to negotiate a deal with the new owners. Probably a mistake on their part since restaurant patrons are so fickle. Pecan Lodge will fade with the autumn winds like most restaurants.
    PS This article make it clear that the Fourtons have D in their fold. Good reporting D, maybe you’ll sell another subscription or two. Or perhaps a short wait and a free meal at Pecan Lodge.

  • InTheBiz

    First Time Poster–I don’t always agree with stuff on this blog but I don’t get where you are coming from. the report says what you are saying. both sides will make their own minds up. Read again. It says the trucks and market have the right to sell other food. haters gotta hate…go read Wilonsky’s blow job of PL.

  • Cobrafan

    The Pecan Lodge is an American success story — BBQ lovers who have a passion for making the finest BBQ. Shame on DF Market Holdings for playing hardball with small time restaurant owners. Showing a lack of good faith is not the way to negotiate a new lease or to indicate appreciation for the tenant. Losing the Pecan Lodge is a big loss for Shed 2, but a big gain for Deep Ellum. The new restaurant is much bigger, open many more hours, still as crowded.

    Congratulations Pecan Lodge.