Big Beat Dallas's live music was a smaller-ticket entertainment offering next to The Music Factory's big Pavilion. courtesy of vendor

Opening and Closings

Toyota Music Factory’s Big Beat Dallas Is Closing

The music venue and restaurant complex in Irving opened about two months ago.

Everybody has to take back those headlines comparing Irving to Deep Ellum. Big Beat Dallas, billed as a key part of the suburb’s plans to cop some of the Dallas neighborhood’s reputation as a live music hotspot, is closing. The complex, five bars and restaurants surrounding an outdoor stage and plaza packaged as part of the larger Toyota Music Factory development, had been open for barely two months.

An explanation of sorts comes from a since-deleted Facebook post that should prove frustrating to anybody looking to understand why Big Beat Dallas is closing, and to the Big Beat Dallas employees now out of a job. The post is signed by Big Beat Dallas owner Billy Bob Barnett, founder of Fort Worth honky tonk Billy Bob’s.

It’s otherwise business as usual at the Toyota Music Factory, anchored by the Live Nation-operated Pavilion and rounded out by other restaurants and venues, including an Alamo Drafthouse outpost. I’ve left messages with Big Beat Dallas, the Toyota Music Factory, and Restaurants Unlimited, a Seattle-based outfit that had a hand in Big Beat Dallas. I’ll update here if I hear back.

Update: I did get through to Noah Lazes, president of the ARK group, the Music Factory’s developer and landlord. He says he was as “shocked as anyone” about Barnett’s announcement that Big Beat Dallas was closing. “On the surface it looked like Billy’s concept was doing well,” Lazes says.

The 4,200 parking spaces provided by the complex should be plenty of parking for visitors, and Lazes says he’s not sure what Barnett meant by citing “landlord interference” as a reason for the closure. The Music Factory itself apparently had more than 30,000 visitors over Memorial Day weekend, and Live Nation’s Pavilion at the development has been busy with high-profile concerts since its opening last year.

Lazes says he expects that Restaurants Unlimited, the Seattle-based restaurant operator that went in on Big Beat Dallas with Barnett and acted as the guarantor, will “reactivate” the five closed restaurants included in the complex. If not, Lazes says he’s already fielded calls today from interested renters. Lazes also expects the plaza’s stage to be back in action soon enough. “The stage we envisioned as a common stage,” Lazes says. “We didn’t envision as many shows as (Barnett) was trying to do out there. That may have been one of his struggles.” Big Beat Dallas’ crowded concert calendar is now defunct.


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  • Dana Shuster

    I’ve met Mr Barnett roaming big beat along with Irving mayor on several occasions. This goes back the last 4 – 5wks. They didn’t seem proud or happy. Don’t know why. We were asked our opinions and we gave them. Parking was not a prob for us. We enjoy ourselves we told them. Prices too high and outside bar not always functional when open. But we can walk a few feet and buy another cocktail, hear great music and eat huge varieties of food.

    • Steven Gonzales

      My wife and I really enjoyed going to this new concept bar with it all being tied together. Met Billy Bob a couple of tunes and his sister Wynona. Great people! On the flip side I always thought the prices were much too high for it to sustain. You cannot charge the high prices at these venues and expect to have repeat business. If you guys are reading this. Look me up and I will give you honest feedback about being a Las Colinas resident and what the general public enjoys doing and pricing to keep us coming back often. Sincerely Steven Gonzales

  • Alice Nemec

    As an Irving resident, I am very disappointed. We have been out there several times and got to see some great shows. First we lose the Texas Musicians Museum-now this.

  • Ren Randy

    Good. Now can we get some quality businesses at the Factory? All these two-bit gimmicky businesses need to leave!

  • JustMeInBigD

    I wondered what was going on when I was there yesterday. I showed up for lunch and was turned away by two restaurants and told that ALL the restaurants in the venue were closing “after” lunch. At least now I know why.

    Big Beats was clearly yet another playground for the affluent in the area, and will likely remain so when its restaurant concepts are replaced with others.I’ll be curious to read more about shenanigans and tantrums by the landlord or owner or both.

  • Don O.

    I was there A LOT over the past 2 months. When there was a big event in The Pavilion parking was a serious problem. They even blocked off all access from Los Colinas Blvd. Why they couldn’t open the convention center parking next door as overflow still makes me wonder. Start times for shows on the plaza seemed to change at the drop of a hat with no way to find out. I suspect at times The Pavilion ordered the changes so there was no sound bleed-over to their event.

    There was a lot of great music going on in that complex but they seemed to have a difficult time telling people about it. 40 people for Ruthie Foster, who could fill the Granada or Kessler easily, was pretty eye opening. Maybe if they had used their big electronic billboards to tell people what music was coming instead of selling Camrys, Whataburgers, Lottery tickets, or channel 5’s weather team, there might have been more music patrons.

    Sad to lose such a vital music venue in the middle of the Metro Mess.

    • alexander troup

      Sad there is a waiting process now to make things work…so after the Summer is passed lets see if its a temporary lapse of common sense for good timing.

  • Kyle Reese

    You guys could avoid traffic and bike to this place.

  • alexander troup

    Poor Timing and again, make the Inner City a place to go not another out in the middle of nowhere event location,

    Meanwhile common sense..;..When Malls die so do the outer rings of Saturn….