Fletch is a corn dog company started by Jace Fletcher Christensen and Vickie Fletcher. They plan to open a restaurant in Dallas in summer 2019.

Fletch is a corn dog company started by Jace Fletcher Christensen and Vickie Fletcher. They plan to open a restaurant in Dallas in summer 2019.

Ben Torres/Special Contributor

Fans of funnel cakes and corn dogs will find a fast-casual menu of fried food when Fletch opens a new restaurant in Dallas.

Fletch is a new concessions and catering company that launched in late February 2019 in Dallas. Its prime business is selling food at events like Dallas Cowboys games and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The new restaurant, expected to open in summer 2019, will be Fletch's first foray into sit-down dining.

A Fletcher's family granddaughter is getting into the fried-food biz in Texas

Hang on. Why does that name, Fletch, sound familiar? The company comes from Jace Fletcher Christensen and her mom, Vickie Fletcher. Jace is the great-granddaughter of Neil Fletcher, who brought corny dogs to the State Fair of Texas in the 1940s. Vickie spent decades working for the Fletcher's business in Dallas until late 2018.

Fletch is Jace and Vickie's new company. It's so new that the company hasn't even had its launch party yet; that happens March 19 at the Rustic.

The Fletcher family is fractured over Jace and Vickie's decision to start their own company. "I'm not trying to be Fletcher's from the fair," Jace says. 

And Fletcher's Original State Fair Corny Dogs — a separate business, despite the shared last name — doesn't want them to be. A Facebook post on Fletcher's Facebook page is direct: "Please know 'Fletch' is not affiliated with our company, Fletcher's Original State Fair Corny Dogs, at the State Fair of Texas, and 'Fletch' does not sell our famous corny dogs."

Fletch's founders note that their corn dog batter recipe is not the Fletcher's original. We have a photo of Christensen and Fletcher kissing a family heirloom goodbye

The new Fletch restaurant will be located at 10220 Technology Boulevard East, in a crook of Loop 12 and Interstate 35E near Gas Monkey Live and a gaggle of restaurants and sports bars.

"That area is a gold mine for nightlife," Jace says. 

Vickie Fletcher (right) CEO and co-owner of Fletch, and her daughter Jace Fletcher Christensen, hold a pair of corn dogs during a preview of their new company Fletch. Jace Fletcher Christensen, CFO and co-owner, is the great-granddaughter of the man who brought corny dogs to the State Fair of Texas.

Vickie Fletcher (right) CEO and co-owner of Fletch, and her daughter Jace Fletcher Christensen, hold a pair of corn dogs during a preview of their new company Fletch. Jace Fletcher Christensen, CFO and co-owner, is the great-granddaughter of the man who brought corny dogs to the State Fair of Texas.

Ben Torres/Special Contributor

Fletch will be an order-at-the-counter restaurant with some of the same menu items they're selling at events: funnel cakes (with a "bar" where customers can add their own toppings); corn dogs; and sides like jalapeno poppers and fried pickles. They might also add a breakfast item, meant to interest late-night diners. Jace says she's inspired by the late-night business at Velvet Taco and CrushCraft Thai Eats.

For now, Fletch is expected to live at that location for as few as three months, via a short-term lease. 

"I want to make sure the market likes this corn dog," Jace says. "This is a smart, prudent way to test it."

The company will consider an expansion into other cities in Dallas-Fort Worth if the first restaurant is successful.

A look back in the archives shows that the Fletcher's family used to operate fast-food corny dog stands across Dallas-Fort Worth and stretching into Longview, Wichita Falls, Amarillo and more. The first opened in 1982, according to Dallas Morning News archives, and was a separate business venture from the State Fair of Texas corny dog stands. A News story notes that the company, Fletcher's Industries Inc., filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas in 1988. Fletcher's Industries Inc. is no longer in operation, according to records maintained by the Texas secretary of state.

Fletch's plan to operate fried food stands could be seen as similar to the 1980s-era Fletcher's stands. Jace disagrees. She says her new restaurant will have a different atmosphere, with TVs. And, sure, corn dogs.

"This is more of an experiential fast-casual [restaurant]," Jace says. "It's different; they are different industries and categories."

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