A First Look Inside Rogers Roundhouse's Railroad-Inspired Space

Rogers Roundhouse

Rogers Roundhouse, the upcoming casual eatery on 1616 Rogers Road behind University Park Village, is coming together quickly. If all goes well, owners Tommy Koons and Bourke Harvey of Curly's Frozen Custard on Camp Bowie Boulevard are shooting for a March 26 opening. 

Harvey owns the office building next door, which will add to the overflow parking on nights and weekends. He, along with investment partner Robert Dozier, purchased the former Grant Air Conditioning building when it moved operations to Roberts Cut Off Road last year. They decided to breathe new life into the warehouse, located directly across the street from MOPAC Event Center. 

Renovation of the space began by demolishing one building near the street to make way for parking. With restored concrete flooring and an indoor/outdoor space clad with reclaimed wood, brick and a bar along the back wall, featuring accents of corrugated tin, the space has a rustic patina.

Named after a roundhouse, which is where train engines pull in when they need to be turned around or rerouted, the nearby Davidson Railyard is a key feature of the space — the restaurant features windows installed at one end of the porch, so customers could check out all the action.

"When it's your original concept, you get to do things your way," Harvey says. "I just want to fly under the radar and do some cool, local things like this."

There are several televisions scattered around, but Harvey is quick to point out that this is not a "sports bar."

A garage door will remain open when weather is agreeable and flows out to the large, covered porch space and the patio beyond, which will have a crushed granite surface. It’s flanked by two rail cars, reinforcing the theme.

Expect seating to include bar stools, along with high- and low-top options. Including the patio space, the restaurant will have seating for 225 people.

The menu is in its final stages but will include a signature Roadhouse Burger, made with American Waygu beef supplied by Midland Meat Co., ground fresh in house daily. It’s topped with Rogers Sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, crunchy iceberg lettuce and pico de gallo. Customers can build their own burger as well.

Signature Bakery of Dallas will supply the potato buns for the burgers, as well as the Mexican-style tortas that will come filled with freshly pulled chicken. The restaurant will also offer salads as well as desserts featuring Curly's Frozen Custard. Rogers Roundhouse plans to have at least one adult beverage with Curly's and will serve ice cream sandwiches made with local Black Rooster Bakery cookies.

The drink menu will feature margaritas and eventually a frozen mule and frozé (frozen rosé wine). Rogers Roundhouse will have about 30 taps, mostly by local brewers. The space also has a walk-in freezer dedicated to the frosting of glasses and mugs.

"We should never run out of frosty mugs," Harvey says.

Photos by Courtney Dabney