Some may frequent the Dosey Doe Big Barn for the coffee, while others stay for the live music performances. However, the multifaceted business offers more than home-cooked meals and great acoustics.
“When you come into Dosey Doe, it’s not just one more event during your week or your month,” owner Steve Said said. “It’s a memory-making event. It’s a place where you come in, and your mind just kind of loses all of its woes, and you get absorbed by the environment.”
A concept revolving around the perfect cup of coffee, Said began the big barn venture in 2006 with caffeine in mind. The business has since grown into a bucket list destination for musicians and spectators alike, a recording center for the local Real Life Real Music radio program and a hub for community members to enjoy the eatery's diverse menu, he said.
“The music is what really has been driving everything,” Said said. “Becoming known as one of the most near-perfect acoustic rooms in the country has elevated us to a level that I have never dreamed we would be at.”
As a former alternative rock ‘n’ roll and country music lyricist, Said said he knows what artists are looking for in a venue.
“When this idea began to come to fruition, one of the things that we wanted to make sure we did was make this a rest spot [for artists],” Said said. “We know what their musical issues normally are, and we’re going to get those taken care of and give them a great room to play in.”
The Big Barn’s foundation comes from a 175-year-old barn from Kentucky, and in 2016, when the venue expanded from 290 to 420 seats, pieces of a 100-year-old barn from Tomball was built into the structure, Said said.
“It wasn’t until after we started to raise the barn that I realized the acoustics in the room could be terrific,” Said said. “That’s when we [decided to] put a stage in. At that time, we thought it would be smaller artists and local artists, and [we would] just have a really good room for acoustics.”
As word spread and more artists found out about the Big Barn, Said began receiving phone calls from larger acts interested in booking a performance slot. Singer B.J. Thomas, who rose to fame in the ’60s and ’70s on the strength of hits like “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” was one of the first acts to call Said, instead of the other way around.
“Every artist that would come in would say how great the hospitality was, how wonderful the room was, and word began to spread,” Said said. “Now we have people like Clint Black and Wynonna Judd coming. I’m still not over that experience when they call and say some big star wants to play here.”
The Big Barn’s first live music performance in 2006 was Houston-based Motown gospel singer Cecil Shaw, Said said. One performer he would like to have at the Big Barn is Klein resident and country music legend Lyle Lovett.
In keeping with the varied acts, the chef at the Big Barn tailors the menu to match the genre of the performing musician, Said said.
“We can change the menu daily,” he said. “It’s very rare that it’s the same menu. If we have a country artist, it will be more of a Southern comfort [menu]. If we have a jazz artist, it will be a little bit more cosmopolitan.”
The Big Barn also sells bags of its house brand coffee, which is grown and processed in El Salvador, Said said. As a Golden Cup Certificate holder from the Specialty Coffee Association of America, Said visited farmers in El Salvador himself to create the coffee blends that are sold in the Big Barn today.
“Coffee is like grapes—every harvest is a little different,” Said said. “Their harvest has been very good to great, and this year probably is the best harvest they’ve ever had.”
In addition to music, food and coffee, Said makes sure the Dosey Doe name is associated with causes that benefit the community, such as the Wounded Warrior Foundation, foster care nonprofits and cancer nonprofits, he said.
“The whole community aspect of Dosey Doe is not just a business,” Said said. “It’s where we live, and it’s people we know. Hopefully, it just becomes a bigger and happier community.”