J2 Steakhouse at the Lewisville Feed Mill has much to do construction-wise, pushing its former projected opening date from March 2017 to later this year towards the end of December or the beginning of January.
Owner Jim Murray said the Old Town steakhouse spot-to-be on Main Street is still in its structural stages.
“We’ve got about everything to do,” he said. “Because it’s not like you’re building a building from the ground up. You’re doing a lot of stuff custom, repurposing and that type of thing.”
J2 will have a 2,400-square-foot kitchen, which Murray will be adding on to the property. There will be an outdoor bar and dog-friendly patio.
The Feed Mill’s silos are being deconstructed and will be repurposed. Four of the silos will become gazebos underneath the pecan tree. One silo will be halved and used as an entrance into the restaurant.
The silo that has Lewisville Feed Mill painted on it will be put on the roof and used as signage. The rest of the silos will be put in storage.
“My problem is I don’t want to get rid of anything,” Murray said.
Murray originally wanted to keep the pillar that currently sits between the remaining silos and hang lights from it, but because the base of it is rusted out and the attached silos were supporting it, it will be pushed down next week to keep patrons of the steakhouse safe.
Murray said much of the antiques he can’t use fill his garage, his carport, the stage at his Prairie House Restaurant and various other places.
Contractor Rick Moore joked that if he were able to bulldoze the relics down, they would be done constructing by now.
“Having to be salvaged, it’s a lot of work,” Moore said. Moore has constructed businesses such as Denton’s Sweetwater Tavern and Grill, now Agua Dulce Mexican Kitchen, and Wildwood Inn.
When it closed, the Feed Mill was Lewisville’s longest operated business, lasting 124 years.
After the Feed Mill was purchased from James Polser in November 2015, the City Council approved an economic development agreement worth $254,000 in rebates and reimbursements to give Murray for some of the $1.3 million being spent on building renovations.
Originally the spot was going to have two eateries —a steakhouse and a burger joint — sharing one kitchen, but for now Murray is focusing namely on the steakhouse. It will still serve barbecue and even have vegetarian options when it opens, Murray said.
Dismantling the silos has taken about a day for every two of them.
A few of the items that will be worked on next are the parking lot, a new sewer tap, the entrances and a grease trap. The sewer tap requires digging a 24-foot hole 9-feet deep in order to bore into the sewer beneath Main Street.
Once those are done, Murray said they will start getting the 24-by-60-foot mural painted. Artist duo Melanie Little Gomez and Des Smith will be painting the work on J2’s stucco wall. The two have done various murals for businesses in Denton, such as barbecue joint The Juicy Pig and LSA Burger Co.
Murray said Lewisville Texans can look forward to a historical experience because the Feed Mill is such an iconic piece of Lewisville history. Murray has his own anticipations.
“Serving steaks,” he said laughing. “Getting open. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”