Dallas-Fort Worth may not be Hollywood, but the region still reps its share of famous faces. After all, who needs a Walk of Fame when you could be immortalized within the walls of a proprietary bar, restaurant or music venue? Check out 18 stars who have done just that in North Texas.
Owning a drive-in movie theater was long a pipe dream for King of the Parrotheads, Jimmy Buffett, but in 2013 he made it a reality with the opening of Coyote Drive-In in Fort Worth. Buffett's an investor in that location and, in 2014, performed a memorable concert there that was broadcast to 90 drive-ins nationwide.
Three-pointers and pizza sauce are both in LeBron James' repertoire since 2012 when he invested in Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza chain, which aims to be "the Starbucks of fast-casual." D-FW's first location opened in May 2015 in Frisco and another recently opened in Arlington, but a couple more are on the way in Fort Worth and The Colony.
Gwyneth Paltrow first broke into the Dallas business scene with a pop-up clothing and housewares store in 2014, but apparently that was too short-lived. In February 2015, the actress opened Blo Blow Dry Bar on Knox Street in Uptown Dallas; it was the salon franchise's 47th location. Paltrow spent at least enough time in Dallas to pick out her 10 favorite hangouts.
It was big news when actor and skateboarding icon Jason Lee left the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles for a piece of property in Denton last year. And in addition to side projects, like producing a documentary about local band Midlake, Lee put his hands in the local food and drink scene. Barley and Board, which Lee and others backed, opened in August 2015 as the city's first brewpub.
The Rustic restaurant, bar and venue was built with country music in mind, which makes sense considering Pat Green is part-owner. Green has performed at the Rustic numerous times since its opening in 2013. The business has also consistently been one of the biggest booze-slingers in town, likely thanks to its location and wealth of Texas craft beers and spirits. In 2015, the Rustic sold upwards of $6.3 million in alcohol. Green also recently opened an art gallery in Fort Worth called Galleywinter Gallery.
Actress Reese Witherspoon opened her first Draper James clothing store in Nashville in 2015, and then quickly began eyeing Dallas. According to Witherspoon, a friend told her to lay roots in the ritzy Highland Park Village. "Long story short, three months later I was down here walking around and I said, 'This is where we have to have our next store,'" she said at the launch party in 2016.
In a twist of irony, legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman is opening an original bar and restaurant concept at Texas Live!, the new entertainment complex flanking the Texas Rangers baseball stadium. Troy's, as it's appropriately called, will serve gourmet burgers and healthy bowls, and have plenty of TVs for sports watching. It's expected to open in August.
Ian Kinsler and Jack White
Warstic is a custom baseball bat design and manufacturing company founded by Lake Highlands native Ben Jenkins, and he has some famous friends helping out. Los Angeles Angels second baseman and former Texas Rangers player Ian Kinsler, and musician Jack White are partners in the business. Warstic opened its first storefront in Deep Ellum in 2018, which includes a small showroom. The long term plan is to add a bar and restaurant.
Gas Monkey patriarch Richard Rawlings is a household name among gear heads worldwide, but the empire starts in Big D. It's here that Rawlings, a born and raised Dallasite, founded the now-iconic Gas Monkey Garage, which is featured weekly on Discovery Channel's Fast 'N Loud, as well as several subsidiaries, including restaurant Gas Monkey Bar and Grill and music venue Gas Monkey Live. He's also planning to add a fast-casual drive-in concept.
Big Al Mack
Kidd Kraddick in the Morning Show host Big Al used to own McKinney Avenue Tavern, one of the most popular sports bars in Dallas. After it closed in early 2018, he focused on a new joint in Waxahachie called Big Al's Down the Hatch, which is billed as a karaoke bar and restaurant. Big Al makes regular appearances, though we're not sure if other celebrities will. Jerry Springer used to commemorate Elvis Presley's birthday with karaoke at the MAT, so it's not out of the question.
Celebrity chef Paula Deen wanted to invite North Texans into her home with the opening of Paula Deen's Family Kitchen in Fairview. Opened in early 2018, the concept includes a retail store selling kitchen gadgets, cookbooks and trinkets, plus a restaurant with seating for 250. The food there is served family-style. Fitting.
Food Network TV host Guy Fieri is known for eating the biggest and the baddest grub in the country, so it only makes sense he'd want to open a proprietary restaurant in Dallas. After all -- say it with me -- everything is bigger in Texas. Guy's Burger Joint, which opened in May 2015, is located inside Gexa Energy Pavilion in Fair Park, so the only time you can get a taste is during a concert. He's about to debut another concept called Guy Fieri's Taco Joint, which is expected to open in August at Texas Live! near the ballpark.
Texas Live!, the new entertainment complex flanking the Texas Rangers' ballpark, enlisted many famous names, including former Rangers catcher and Hall of Famer Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez. He's opening a pizza joint with a family-friendly atmosphere called Pudge's Pizza. "Everybody loves pizza," he told press at the restaurant reveal. It's expected to open in August.
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of rock band KISS had been patronizing the D-FW suburbs recently, as they prepared to open a local location of their music-inspired restaurant Rock and Brews. The first one in Texas opened in 2016 in The Colony, nestled near the behemoth Nebraska Furniture Mart. Expect pizzas, sandwiches, beer and a whole lot of music iconography.
Aaron Kaufman, former Gas Monkey and Richard Rawlings' right hand man, left the auto body shop in 2017 to start his own: Arclight Fabrication. The Dallas shop focuses on fabricating parts for Ford F-series trucks made between 1957 and 1979. Kaufman has since starred in his own Discovery Channel show, Shifting Gears.
His name is Buddy Valastro, but you likely know him as the Cake Boss. The baker and TV personality expanded his famous Carlo's Bakery empire to Dallas in 2016 with a location in North Dallas -- to much fan fare, we should add -- before planting a second location in Frisco's Stonebriar Center.
Consider ChopShop Live the suburban version of the Rustic, complete with backing from a Texas country musician. Located in Roanoke, the restaurant, bar and live music venue opened in July, and co-owner Randy Rogers leveraged his expertise in building the venue. ChopShop Live can hold about 1,250 people for its biggest concerts.