Drive down to The Truck Yard, The Colony, TX – A playground for big kids
THE COLONY, TX: Being told by family that we were going to dinner at the truck yard, we were not sure what to expect. While we are Harley bikers and have been to a lot of cool biker bars and honky-tonks, nothing could have prepared us for seeing The Truck Yard at The Colony, Texas. The Truck Yard is a franchise chain of funky adult playgrounds, friendly to dogs and families, outdoor beer gardens.
The first Truck Yard opened in Lower Greenville (Dallas area) in 2013 as a new business model. And it took off like a rocket! Yuppie foodies and beer lovers flocked to it like moths to a flame. The adult food and beverage playground then opened its second location in Houston in 2018 and opened its third location in The Colony in 2019.
A fourth Truck Yard will open in Forth Worth in the planned community of Alliance Town Center. This newest venue will cover 2 acres of indoor and outdoor space with more indoor space devoted than the first three Truck Yards.
The original location covers over 15,000 square feet of heavily shaded land in Lower Greenville.
Its onsite kitchen churns out signature Philly cheesesteaks, and food trucks are generally parked from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. offering a variety of other delectable items as weather permits. Outdoor picnic tables, trailer-park decor, a bar in an old Airstream, and a bar in a treehouse, instantly won over the Texas crowd.
Because so many of these venues involve outdoor dining, it is no wonder the first three have popped up in the State of Texas. There is some indoor dining but it is very limited compared to what is outside.
Each Truck Yard is adorned with trash and treasures collected from around its local area of location.
The Houston Truck Yard offers a painted replica of the Astrodome scoreboard to catch your eye. The Colony Truck Yard has a museum containing over 1,400 painted toilet seats collected by artist Barney Smith. The original Lower Greenville (Dallas) location offers a “bar treehouse”. The newest Fort Worth Truck Yard will offer a 38 foot tall Ferris wheel.
Walking into the venue are dozens of pickups, with tails planted in the ground and lights pointing straight up. There is surely more than one utterance of “I had one of those…”
We talked to a bouncer who was as big as Texas and as friendly as any Texan tells us Truck Yard is currently in the planning stage for the Las Vegas, Nevada, area. A new addition to our bucket list!
When they say Truck Yards are adult playgrounds, they are not kidding around.
The wife and I tried our hand at ax throwing to a bullseye target. While we did not do well, our Army veteran son, Jason, nailed just about all 10 of them!
While Truck Yard’s have staple food items of their own venues throughout the year it hosts rotating food trucks from 11 a.m.–11 p.m. daily. The signature meal of the Truck Yard is a Philly-style cheesesteak sandwich. Meat, cheese, and vegetable options are the starter sandwich. Foodies can go bigger before they go home with the “Monster Truck” or “Big Buddha” (2 and 3 meat) varieties, respectively.
For those who have never had one of these sandwiches or witnessed the spectacle of one being prepared, a glob of diced steak is cooked on a diner-style flattop grill right before you, flipping the meat on occasion as your Hoagie bun is toasting on the grill. Vegetables can be worked into the meat such as onions, mushrooms, peppers, and jalapenos into the mix with a choice of melted cheese added to the top when done.
This is the sandwich that was deemed to make the City of Philadelphia residents some of the fattest in the nation. Unfortunately, when that medical news story broke across the nation some 11 years ago, many of the rest of us were like, “Gee, that sounds good. I have to try one!”
Most folks opt to eat outdoors in Truck Yard’s funky backyards.
Those who grew up watching the television situation comedy of “Sanford and Son” feel right at home. Our table at The Colony was dead center of the yard and we were surrounded by hundreds of other patrons drinking draft, craft, and frozen cocktails, many at picnic tables set in the back of pickup truck boxes on the ground! Dogs sat at the feet of their owners awaiting table scraps or children passing by to pet them. We were told by employees the place is kid-friendly ’til 9:00 p.m. each night.
Well, there are many ‘well’ drinks available, a multitude of draft beers including local craft brews. Not finding anything I liked as samples, I settled on one of my old standard Shiner Bock from Shiner, Texas.
All the time food includes Nachos and Philly Steaks with the culinary variety being offered by food trucks. Luckily, the locations provide a list of which food trucks will be visiting daily. Offerings include options like Twin Stacks BBQ, King Kong Wings and Tacos and Southern Gourmet trucks.
It is worth noting that the mostly younger crowd who work at these Truck Yards are very polite and professional.
Good help is hard to find these days but the owner of the Truck Yard venues seems to consistently hit home runs in human resources.
Another thing worth noting is the revenue these places must generate for local fine artists and antique dealers. The eye candy at these venues is prolific and when you leave you have this guilty feeling you did not see it all so you must come back!
For example, our bouncer friend indicated the new Fort Worth Truck Yard being built will showcase more hand-painted murals, western-style décor, art installations, a gaming area for both adults and kids, and a dog patio to make it a favored destination. A huge west Texas-style pole barn will provide guests with more room for indoor dining when the weather gets inclement. That might be an idea that will be reverse engineered to other locations as so much of the first three are outdoors.
Truck Yards are open 364 days a year, every day but Christmas. They feature varying local food trucks daily, further diversifying the culinary experiences of the standard Truck Yard menu.
Owner and CEO Jason Boso of Brainstorm Shelter Restaurants has really hit on a unique idea for a home run in the business world.
About his newest creation in Fort Worth, he has been quoted as saying,
“This location will have a magnetic, Fort Worth honky-tonk beer hall ambiance, featuring the largest amount of interior space offered by any of our locations. Just in time for cooler weather, the West Texas Pole Barn will keep the fun going year-round.”
Boso earned his Bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and later a culinary arts certificate from The Art Institutes. Some in Texas have now dubbed him “The Casual Dining King.” Learn more about Boso and BrainStorm Shelter and here to find Truck Yard locations. Also worth noting is a number of visitors to these Truck Yard venues have posted their own videos to sites like YouTube to offer their experiences as they visited. Such as:
Stepson Jason did us a solid taking us to The Colony Truck Yard. These days you hear so much misinformation from the fake news media of how Americans are racists of skin color and bigots against immigration. It was refreshing seeing so many people from all over the world come together to enjoy good food and drink in such a delightful outdoor Texas setting as they listened to live music!
The Truck Yard at The Colony, TX
Sunday-Monday 11 am-Midnight
About the author:
Mark Schwendau is a conservative Christian patriot and retired technology professor (CAD-CAM and web development). He prides himself on his critical thinking ability. Schwendau has had a long sideline of newspaper editorial writing where he used the byline, “bringing little known facts to people who want to know the truth.”
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