The Waxahachie City Council unanimously approved a lease agreement for a steakhouse and concert venue during its regular meeting Monday evening.

Resident John Bailey plans to open the steak-focused restaurant in the former police station on College Street in downtown Waxahachie. It will also serve as a live music venue that can seat upward of 400 people.

“There hasn’t been a true music venue in Waxahachie,” Bailey said. “It’s going to be a weekend-only operation.”

The city has already agreed to invest up to $100,000 to clear the inside of the former Waxahachie Police Station, as approved by the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone board, noted City Manager Michael Scott.

The lease is for five years and requires the tenant to pay $1,500 per month for rent for the first 12 months and $1,500 per month plus a 6 percent actual gross in sales that exceed $25,000 for the remainder of the contract, according to the lease.

If the monthly gross sales, for instance, are $100,000 then the rent would be $1,500 as a base rent with $4,500 in percentage rent which would bring the total to $6,000.

Council member Melissa Olson expressed concerns about the low base rent for the area, but Scott explained Bailey is assuming the risks of renovating the space. The city has little to no risk with the property, he noted.

“If things flounder and he says he can’t make it work, we’re really not out,” Scott said.

The lease takes effect Jan. 2, 2020, and is renewable after it ends in 2025.

Bailey explained the location will only be operational on the weekends as there are many other more convenient dining options closer to the suburbs for weekdays.

“Not that many people, at this point, are coming back into the downtown (area) during the week,” Bailey noted.

Bailey said the music will vary depending on bookings and he can change the setup of the venue based on the style of music. If a classic country artist is booked, he can create a dance floor, or he can have concert-style seating.

This location is not a first for Bailey. He owned Leon’s “Real Fine” Bar-B-Que from 2013-2014 on Monroe Street.

He said he plans on focusing specifically on steaks because other locations in the downtown area have a niche on other foods like burgers.

Bailey noted that many people have expressed their excitement to have a steakhouse in Waxahachie, and he has had a vision for a music venue for many years now.

“I better have good steaks,” he joked with the council.


Samantha Douty, @SamanthaDouty