Sunday, September 5, 2021

Good Bull BBQ

You can see the remnants of where an awning once hung, last seen in the "Cocina" days. (Picture by author, 8/21)

When I did the post on the late Southgate Subway that closed after nearly 30 years, you could see the doors to Good Bull BBQ to the right of it. Unlike Subway, this spot (326 George Bush Drive, née 326 Jersey) has been a revolving door of restaurants over the years, but going back further hasn't always been restaurants.

The oldest record I can find is 1969 with the location being the Southside Barber Shop "under new management", with a legacy of hair cutting continuing into the early 1980s.

In 1978, it was the Mop Shop, and mentioned in the paper because someone had stolen their barber pole. It was here until the very early 1980s.

"How About Lurl's" was here in 1982-1983 according to tax records (a second location of a hair styling shop in Bryan). This is the last known hair cutting place at the spot before it transitioned to restaurant space.

In the spring of 1984, a new pizzeria called DoubleDave's Pizzaworks opened. A second location on Northgate soon followed. By the time DoubleDave's closed this particular location around 2000 (presumably relocating to Rock Prairie Road), DoubleDave's wasn't quite a small one-location operation anymore. DoubleDave's long stay at this storefront was the longest time that any single restaurant operated here and survived the 1990s name change to George Bush Drive.

Mi Cocina Restaurant (also known as Mi Cocina II, as their first restaurant was located in Bryan) opened in 2000 and was very popular for a time; by 2006 it had opened two additional locations in College Station. Unfortunately, at some point, it was sued by a similarly-named restaurant (which had no locations in College Station) and the restaurants became Polly's Cocina (except the original Bryan location, which went to different ownership). After the spring 2011 semester, the now-named Polly's Cocina Restaurant closed.

Coco Loco, which opened in summer 2011, I never actually went to, but I do remember my dad bringing home some leftover breakfast items including bacon and tortillas due to some work-related early morning meetings there, but in 2013 beef contaminated with the rare E. coli strain O157:H7 was undercooked and sent two young boys to the hospital. The restaurant was shut down by the health department for investigation and clean-up (and of course, the local news media followed it closely). During this saga, a health department official ate a taco at a televised press conference to demonstrate that the restaurant was safe to eat at, but that put off friends and families of the victims (especially as the family in question was facing a huge financial burden in hospital bills), and was forced to apologize. It would not have made much of a difference; the idea was to not throw Coco Loco under the bus, but it ended up closing in 2014.

La Botana moved in after Coco Loco's demise. This second location of a Bryan-based restaurant (still in operation as of this writing) opened in early 2015 but closed in 2017.

Good Bull BBQ opened in fall 2017 and closed in May 2021. Both TexAgs and Yelp attribute management issues to its closure. However, as of this writing, new management has reopened the restaurant.

Brazos CAD groups it with the same lot where Subway is, and therefore, like that building, I'll put that this building was built in the 1940s until new proof shows otherwise.

UPDATE 11-09-2021: The Good Bull BBQ revival ended up lasting just less than two months. Not too long after Good Bull BBQ reopened, their walk-in cooler failed, and the new owner did not fix it (allegedly believing it was the landlord's duty), leaving town soon after. Have the days of restaurants at 326 George Bush come to an end?
UPDATE 02-10-2024: In 2022 it became part of "FNL Nutrition", which didn't long and occupied the address of the former Subway next door.