By early May, people who want “steaks done right” will have to head a couple blocks farther south on South Locust Street.
Texas T-Bone, a longtime cornerstone of Fonner View Center, is moving to Fonner Court, which is across the street from Bosselman’s corporate headquarters.
Steak has been served in the Fonner View location since 1983, when the restaurant opened as Western Charloin. That business was run by Bonn Blair. The restaurant became Texas T-Bone in 1995.
Bennett Chamness has been involved in the business the whole time.
“It’s been a great location for us,” Chamness said.
But the new Texas T-Bone will be brand new.
“The problem with this location is it has worn out,” Chamness said. “I mean, the building is just wearing out. We’re having issues with the roof and things like that, and our lease is expired.”
The new home will require less maintenance “and that type of deal. So that was the big thing,” he said.
Fonner Court is owned by Staab Management Co. Executive Ken Staab likes to eat at Texas T-Bone.
“He has been a regular customer of the business,” Chamness said. “He just simply approached us (about) moving into his new place. So we worked out a great deal.”
Fonner Court will be glad to have Chamness.
“He’s obviously a known brand and runs a good concept in Grand Island,” said Mike Staab, one of Ken’s sons. “So we’re super excited to get him moved over. And obviously, I think it’s a plus for the South Locust Street area relative to what Bosselman’s did across the street and the redevelopment stuff that we’re doing there. It’s a positive for that part of town, and we’re excited to have him and get going on it.”
The move might take place by the end of April. Chamness hopes to close the current location one day and open the new place the next.
Much of the kitchen equipment and furnishings will come from the Lincoln Texas T-Bone, which closed earlier this year.
Chamness said the Staabs have “just been really good people to work with. So we’re excited to move down there and go the next 16 years with them.”
At Fonner Court, Texas T-Bone will occupy the four spaces between Pizza Hut and Nebraska Beds and More.
The seating capacity will be slightly smaller than the current location. There’ll be seating for 184, compared to 230 in the restaurant’s longtime home.
In moving to the new location, Chamness wants to set up the future nicely for general manager Rey Lopez, who also owns a share of Chamness’ corporation, Jarhead Inc. Lopez started working with Chamness when he was in high school. He is now 40.
In getting him into a new building, “his future will be solid,” said Chamness, 66.
Chamness licenses the name Texas T-Bone from Colorado resident Dave Crimmins, with whom Chamness has been associated for 35 years. There are three other Texas T-Bones — two in Colorado Springs, Colo., and one in Hutchinson, Kan.
Chamness, a former Marine, is an Illinois native. He has lived in Grand Island since 1995.
Texas T-Bone has done well in Grand Island, he said, because it has been around for a long time and has been involved in the community. The restaurant is a local business and it has developed a clientele.
One benefit of the new location is it’ll be easier for horse trailers to enter and exit the parking lot, Chamness said.