• Josh Hale

Where it all started!

Hey everyone, I have been contemplating starting this blog for a while now. (about two years now) Due to Covid-19 I guess I now have a little free time, just trying to be positive in this weird time.

People ask us all the time how we got started in the restaurant business or became the owners of Lone Star. It is a weird story so that's what I decided should be our first blog. I am a firm believer of you have to know where you came from to know where you're going.

Scott and I worked together at a restaurant, Zeb's Backyard Grill that closed in 2011. I was the general manager of the China Spring Location and Scott was the general manager of the Hewitt location. This is where I got my "big break." Zeb was the owner and has become one of my great friends, he gave me a chance as a restaurant manager at the young age of 18 that guided me to this career path. After it closed we both did various jobs like waiting tables, warehouse jobs, catering jobs, event planning, restaurant managing, etc. (I had a lot of jobs in a little over a year haha)

We got to the point where we both decided that we wanted to go into business for ourselves because we had too much energy to be working for someone else. We found a small space (750 sq ft) in downtown Waco that we leased and were in the process of trying to open a takeout and catering style restaurant, needless to say this did not happen for us. It was a pain in the neck for two guys who were broke as a joke and not the best credit. lol

We worked close with our great friend and one of our mentors Patti, who owned Patti's Kitchen. Scott was at an event helping her cater when she asked how everything was going with opening downtown restaurant and he was saying it wasn't working and telling her the struggles we were going through. By the grace of God someone over heard the conversation that they were having and he said "I may know of an established restaurant that may be coming up for sale if you're interested." I guess you could say, right place and right time.

We ended up being a "secret shopper" tried out Lone Star, did our google research, look for areas that we could improve the already historic steakhouse. Mid-August 2012 we met with the Uptmors who ended up being the answers to our prayers. When we met with them and said "yes" we assumed we would take over beginning of 2013, we were wrong! September of 2012 we were the new owners of Lone Star Tavern and Steakhouse. I was 24 and Scott was 29, we were determined, excited, SCARED, nervous, so ready, did I say SCARED?

I will never say it's been easy, there have been many sleepless nights, gray hairs, arguments, aggravation. But with these there have been way more laughs, excitement, good nights, good days, great friendships who are now family, customers who have become friends and family, great staff that we inherited and great staff that we hired.

With everything going on in the world right now, we sit here thinking how thankful we are for the opportunity the Uptmors gave two young guys who really had no idea what the heck they were doing and still don't some days. lol (especially the first weekend we owned it when we ripped the front porch off, but that's another story for another day)

Thankful for the staff that works hard with us everyday and our customers who we are missing like crazy right now. We can't wait until we can experience a full house at Lone Star Tavern and Steakhouse again! We always say we are able to do what we do because of you all that have become our friends and family but we are also able to do this because God granted us the opportunity to run and keep the tradition of Lone Star Steakhouse alive and live out our dream everyday.

Talk soon everyone and thank you for reading my first blog, maybe I'll write another!


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