Remember When Restaurant Impossible Tried To Save This Lufkin, Texas BBQ Joint?
Back in 2013 Lufkin had a brush with fame as the show Restaurant Impossible came to town to makeover a long-standing BBQ place. Bryan's Smokehouse had gone through some tough times and the Food Network show came with the mission to improve things.
The restaurant was located at 609 South Timberland Drive. That building has since been completely torn down, and Shipley's Donuts moved to that spot after 50 years of being about one hundred yards away further down Denman Avenue.
You might recognize the old Shipley's Donuts location at 502 East Denman Avenue as one of the places that had all their eight liners seized in a for-cash gambling location crackdown recently by the Lufkin Police Department.
The Location Was Once Home To The Panther Drive-In Movies
There were a couple of different BBQ joints on that same corner over the years. Before it was Bryan's Smokehouse, it might have been Wagon Wheel BBQ.
That corner in Lufkin has had some kind of food business on it since the 1950s. It is near where the Panther Drive-In movies were down the road from what used to be the Lufkin High School.
I remember it for the cow that used to be on a stand that spun on the top of the sign. During this makeover the cow was gone, but you could still see where it used to sit on the top of the sign.
This Restaurant Impossible Makeover In Lufkin, Texas Didn't Work
There could be many reasons why Food Network's Restaurant Impossible makeover didn't make this a thriving business for years to come. The main reason that it didn't work out is that this is just a TV show.
They come in and try to move mountains in 36 hours to undo years of local perception about a business with some new fixtures, menus, and paint. I am kind of glad that it didn't work out because now the former owner of the restaurant, Lynn Marie Bryan, has moved on to bigger and better things.
She has been doing a bang-up job with the Angelina County Famers Market for years hosting many great events. This weekend you can stop by and get some Mums and Pumpkins at their Pumpkin Fest.
Take a look at the video we found of just the trailer for the Restaurant Impossible episode featuring Lufkin. The quick view of Timberland Drive really shows how much the town has changed in the almost 10 years since they were here.