Outside of Florida, Ford’s Garage might not be well known as a restaurant. But that’s about to change. The burgers-and-beer restaurant chain is planning to expand nationally with the addition of 15 franchise locations by 2023. 7 to 10 of those locations will be developed in Texas. Other states include New York, Ohio and Kentucky, with owners hoping to add 10 to 15 new franchises per year after that.
West Plano will be the first city in the Lone Star State to receive a Ford’s Garage and a strong opening is anticipated. The official date will likely be sometime in late Q1 or early Q2 of 2022. It will be located at 3904 Dallas Pkwy., taking the place of a former Razzoo’s Cafe which closed in December 2019.
Ford’s Garage currently has 16 locations and only two of them are located outside of Florida – one in Michigan and one in Indiana.
Company president Steve Shlemon is counting on the popularity of the Ford name around the country to give them a bit of an edge with the new restaurant openings. “Everybody knows the name,” he said. “It’s a very broad market that we attract into Ford’s Garage … The food is fantastic all the way across the board. But you’ve got a very comfortable, inviting environment that’s unique to the casual dining space.”
And it’s not just the name that will draw people in. The chain also has a unique licensing agreement with Ford Motor Co., allowing them to use the iconic blue oval Ford logo and show off historical photographs, classic vehicles, and real Model Ts and Model As. Each restaurant is designed to look like a gas station from the 1920s with servers sporting blue mechanic shirts and blue shop cloths doubling as napkins.
Brian Judd, part of the Dallas franchising team, noted that Ford Motor Co.’s rich history as one of America’s most important manufacturing companies also translates to a pretty cool dining experience. “We’re excited to be bringing that experience to Dallas,” Judd said. “With its Ford-inspired design cues and first-rate service and food, Ford’s Garage will offer something for everyone.”
The menu includes a variety of burgers made fresh, never frozen, with 1/2 pound USDA Black Angus Beef and topped with cheeses and gourmet sauces on Ford logo branded buns. American comfort food like wings, meatloaf, mac n’ cheese, and onion rings are also featured. The restaurant also offers limited edition specialty items like Pumpkin Cheesecake and Bourbon Smash for the fall season.
Drinks include an expansive beer list with 150 different types, as well as wine, cocktails and shakes.
Another cool feature about Ford’s Garage is their pet-friendly outside patios that allows customers to enjoy food and drinks accompanied by their furry friends.
Judd, along with long-time friend and fellow restaurateur Jason Borders, is no stranger to the restaurant industry. Together, they have nearly 70 years of experience owning and operating restaurants ranging from fast casual to fine dining.
Plano will be the first of many Ford’s Garage locations in Texas. While leases have yet to be signed for the remaining restaurants, Judd and Borders are already scouting locations in North Dallas, the DFW Mid Cities, North Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
“Ford’s Garage puts fun back into casual dining!” Borders said in a statement. “Stepping into the 1920’s décor while enjoying a perfectly cooked prime burger and ice cold craft beer, doesn’t get better than that!”
“Ford’s Garage has proven itself a turnkey operation that will be a popular dining out choice in any neighborhood,” says Ford’s Garage Vice President of Business Development and Franchise Relations Scott Estes. “We’re thrilled to welcome Brian and Jason to the family, and look forward to serving up our burgers in Dallas with a side of automotive history.”