A new restaurant comes to the county
By Michael Brooks
In November, Jackson County will be getting a new steak house. Owners Raeanna Grizzle, Lewis Leach and Larry Leach are working hard to get Wildcatter’s Restaurant ready to go.
The restaurant will be oil and gas themed, and will also house a bar and a patio area, along with a private section, separated by a partition.
Grizzle has been working to get the bar ready to go but she ran into a snag.
“Back in January, when I started my application for the TABC to get my mixed beverage license, I was working with the court house almost every day,” Grizzle explained. “I found out they have never passed mixed beverages in all of precinct 1. That means I have to do a petition, and it has to be qualified people.”
The people qualified to sign the petition are Jackson County residents who voted in the 2020 general election. “Out of the 2,951 people who qualify, I have to get 1,032 signatures on the petition.”
Getting the required amount of signatures is only one step.
“Once I get the signatures, it goes before the commissioners and judge and they have to vote on it,” Grizzle explained. “I really hope they do because, for it to fall apart and not happen, would be just horrible. I have to have three out of four Commissioner as well as Judge Jill Sklar.”
If she is not able to sell mixed drinks, Grizzle is concerned it will hurt her business.
“I do not want to open serving only malt and beer,” she continued. “If someone comes in and they want a jack and coke and they get shut down, they probably won’t be back.”
Aside from the mixed alcohol snag, things are moving along for the project.
The bar is located at the front of the building, with plenty of seats and plenty of room for people to mingle. Moving through, the dining room is massive, and seats and tables are being added on top of a new tile floor. In the back corner, the private area is nearing completion.
“The entire kitchen is new,” she added. “The bar will have four bar taps.”
Although the menu is currently incomplete, Grizzle already has many idea for both appetizers and main course, but she is always welcome to suggestions for even more.
“I love input,” she explained. “I love people’s opinion because this is not about me, it is about what people want. Right now we will offer three different types of steak; a filet, a bison filet, and a cowboy rib eye. The sides are signature sides and premium sides like baked mac and cheese, brocoli casserole and lots of main basic sides. It is Americana.”
Grizzle explained a couple of her appetizers will be bone-in wings and stuffed mushrooms, with their own sauces and dressings, which she makes on her own.
She has experience as both a cook at a few restaurants and bar management experience, which will assist her in getting things running the way she wants.
Outside, there is a massive patio where Grizzle plans to have music in the future, with both live music and karaoke. She also plans to install a second bar on the patio.
“As a family, we have always wanted to do this,” Grizzle explained. “We’re all about making a nice experience for people. We need something like this around here instead of the same old Mexican food and donut places. We have the property, the means, and we just started on it. Why wouldn’t someone want to go somewhere that has awesome food, awesome service and is consistent?”
Located at Twin Lakes RV Park, on CR 234, right between El Toro and Vanderbilt, the business is a bit out of the way, but Grizzle says that won’t be an issue.
“We’ve talked to the State about putting us on those big blue signs on Hwy 59, this and the RV park,” Grizzle explained. “We have the sign people coming out and they will be putting up a huge oil derrick with Wildcatter’s Restaurant on it. And we have a website. The word will get out.”
Scheduled to open in November, Wildcatter’s will be something unique to the area. Grizzle is working hard to get all the name on the petitions she needs, as well as gladly taking any suggestion that will help make her business better.
“Anyone who wants to sign the petition can stop by the RV park,” she explained. “I also want some opinions, because I am thinking about doing some things like using QR codes.”
Between the food, music, and atmosphere, Grizzle is excited about seeing the business opened.
“Getting the signatures is a task, but I am going to get it done,” she concluded. “I wholeheartedly believe in this. I think once people taste the food they will want to come here three times a week. And we will be open every day. It is exciting and fun. My main focus is to make sure people have an enjoyable experience.”