Barbecue restaurant coming to historic downtown property

A local family intends to start a barbecue restaurant in downtown Round Rock

A local family intends to start a barbecue restaurant in downtown Round Rock

The Mayfield Service Station was the original site of the Round Rock Domino Players. The Mayfield Service Station was the original site of the Round Rock Domino Players.[/caption]

A new restaurant called Under the Tower Barbecue will open in the fall in the former Mayfield Service Station location, according to landowner Archie Johnson.

Johnson said the site has been occupied by a fitness business as well as retail services for the past several years, but with the road widening happening on Mays Street the Johnsons wanted to open a family-friendly restaurant.

"We love the building and want to keep it in the family," Johnson said. "We've been trying to think of the best use for it, and with all the improvements the city is doing down here, our family decided we're going to open a barbecue restaurant downtown."

Johnson said his son Lee will manage the restaurant, and the family has identified a chef.

"Our family loves barbecue," he said. "I think we'll have a really superior product."

The building is noted for being the spot where the Round Rock Domino Players started. According to a local legends award presented to the players from the city, after the Mobil gas station on the northwest corner of Mays and Main began closing early each afternoon in response to the gas crisis on the early 1970s, Mercer Archer, Mr. Kelley, Moody Mayfield, C.J. Miller, L.P. “Doc” Parker, and Garland Walsh began a long tradition of playing dominoes in front of the mobile station.

Furthermore, Johnson said the building's location is part of the Sam Bass legend. He said the building Bass died in was approximately located at the back of the lot today.

"When we poured the slab to add onto our building over 20 years ago the city moved the monument from the back of our property to underneath the water tower," he said.

Johnson said the restaurant will commemorate the history of the location by hosting domino tournaments and they will finish the restaurant out with a rustic, western aesthetic with antique decorations "to connect that this is part of the Round Rock history."

Johnson said the road construction currently happening outside the business has been sometimes difficult to deal with, but ultimately he credits the city for communicating with him. He said he intends to open whether the roadways are complete or not.