By Karen Welch — Senior Content Producer
As BL Bistro winds down, co-owner and chef Brian Mason is putting his energy into his new venture, Prime Chophouse & Lounge.
Mason hopes for a mid-July opening for the new restaurant in Suite 1311 at 9181 Time Square Blvd., the heart of Town Square Village.
"We're really pretty close," Mason said of construction. "I'm going to have faith."
Prime Chophouse will be a contemporary restaurant with steak and seafood offerings at a wide range of pricepoints, he said.
"I hope we have something for everyone," Mason said. "We're gonig to focus on good happy hour, good steak prices.
"We'll be focusing on a lot of chop cuts. Our intent is to do bone-in strips for two, cut tableside, Caesar salad done table side."
Mason designed the steakhouse interior to "look like an old warehouse, with a more modern feel." Dark wood and contemporary lighting will complement the decor, he said.
Prime Chophouse will contain spaces available for meetings and semi-private dining, he said.
The June 30 closing of BL Bistro means that Mason will have an opportunity to bring bistro staff along with him to Town Square — something that is important as competition for qualified restaurant staff gets more fierce in the city.
"Good managers, good cooks, good servers — everything — they're just hard to find," Mason said. "There are not enough quality people to go around."
Mason opened BL Bistro 18 years ago with his then-wife, Lizzie Mason. The couple divorced, but remained business partners in the restaurant.
"It was a tough decision, but for us just to stay and grow the way we want to, we need a whole new concept," Brian said. "I think it's time."
BL Bistro will operate through June 30, "with lots of delicious food and drink specials," the announcement said.
Support for Biz Here at Panhandle PBS is provided by Amarillo National Bank.
Karen Welch is a senior content producer for Panhandle PBS. She can be contacted at Karen.Welch@actx.edu, at @KWelch806 on Twitter and on Facebook. Subscribe to the Panhandle PBS BizHere podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud to hear more business news and interviews.