It was more than just Waxahachie native Bill Kelley’s secret sauce that prompted him to open the Kelley’s Lonestar Restaurant and Banquet Facility on the square in downtown Waxahachie.

“I was inspired by people like my Dad, Jack Kelley, L.T. Felty, my uncle Ticky, and my brother Steve to open this restaurant,” Kelley said.

“My brother Steve, who died in an auto accident 10 years ago, always wanted me to open a barbecue restaurant business,” Kelley said.

Kelley, who also owns a landscape tree service and has catered for 10 years, foresees his restaurant becoming an integral part of the downtown scene.

“We’re starting out now opening Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.,” Kelley said, saying that, with a seating capacity of 120 in the main dining area and a buffet area that can accommodate smaller banquets and group meetings, his goals are to rent his facility for parties and receptions.

“This was all offices with low ceilings when we started ripping out the ceilings, walls and laying down new hardwood floors,” Kelley said, noting that at one time the building housed Main Street Optical and Raney’s Furniture and was occupied by a Baptist church for a year.

“We also have a very nice sound system and giant screen with projection TV, which we use to show different scenery every day when we’re open. But if people want to rent the building for family reunions, they can use the screen,” Kelley said, noting the business offers complimentary wireless Internet service for people who want to bring their laptops in and work while they eat.

Kelley said another goal he has for the future is to offer gourmet coffees, pastries and breakfast items.

“In about 18 months, when they start to work on the county facilities downtown, probably  new county employees will move down here,” Kelley said, saying his plans are to be open more than Wednesday through Saturday.

His wife, Leanne, teaches computer classes at Waxahachie High School. They have two children: Clay, 17, a student at Waxahachie High School and Cassi, a fifth-grader at Northside Elementary School.

“There is such a great view of the square and the courthouse, which is lighted in the evenings,” Kelley said. “It really makes for a beautiful setting.”

For information, contact Bill Kelley at 972-923-0998 or 106 W. Main St., Waxahachie.

E-mail Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com