McKinney hospitality group expands its downtown investments with two acquisitions

Restaurateur Rick Wells likes to name McKinney “one of the crucial business-friendly locations within the nation.” So the proprietor of Rick’s Chophouse is doubling down on the town’s picturesque downtown.

His hospitality firm, the Wells Group, has acquired two buildings on the sq., the 121-year-old Masonic Lodge and the Grand Lodge, the place his steak restaurant has attracted diners since 2007. Wells considers the vendor, Don Day, a longtime mentor.

The Masonic Lodge constructing will turn out to be the brand new residence of Wells Group’s Harvest Seasonal Kitchen restaurant. The transfer will permit the restaurant to develop to 10,400 sq. ft throughout the constructing’s three flooring.

The primary flooring will seat 80 friends and resemble the restaurant’s present 6,500-square-foot location at 112 E. Louisiana St. The second flooring will characteristic a tasting room, Harvest’s signature open kitchen and personal eating house for 52 friends, whereas the third flooring will turn out to be residence to The Masonic bar, that includes dwell music and views of McKinney’s cultural district.

The third floor of the historic Masonic Lodge in downtown McKinney will be turned into a bar with live music.
The third flooring of the historic Masonic Lodge in downtown McKinney might be changed into a bar with dwell music.(Jason Janik / Particular Contributor)

Wells stated he hopes to triple his present variety of workers, finally rising the Harvest crew to greater than 90.

The Masonic Lodge renovation, scheduled for completion in fall 2022, goals to protect the constructing’s historical past whereas incorporating Harvest’s signature sustainable design. The restaurant emphasizes its connection to native farmers and artists, with nearly all elements sourced inside a 250-mile radius. Harvest was acknowledged for its dedication to conservation in 2019 and 2020 as a TxN 20 honoree by Texan by Nature, a nonprofit linking enterprise and conservation based by former first girl Laura Bush.

Wells first started seeking to increase Harvest over three years in the past. He stated as soon as he walked into the Masonic Lodge constructing, he knew it was the proper spot.

Regardless of the difficulties the hospitality business has confronted throughout the pandemic, Wells stated the chance was too good to cross up. “When alternative strikes, you seize it,” he stated.

The Wells Group purchased the Grand Lodge in June and has begun an intensive transform to replace lots of the boutique resort’s facilities whereas preserving its historic character. Every of the resort’s 44 rooms will present a novel expertise, Wells stated.

“We really feel like we’re in a position, as a smaller resort, to actually create a really curated expertise that’s type of hand-picked,” Wells stated.

The Grand Hotel in downtown McKinney.
The Grand Lodge in downtown McKinney.(Jason Janik / Particular Contributor)

He’s choosing up a lot of the resort’s furnishings and artwork himself from Texas vintage sellers and artists. That focus to element will assist elevate occasions hosted on the accommodations, notably weddings, he stated.

The resort renovation is on monitor to be accomplished by the spring.

Wells stated he’s optimistic concerning the energy of his investments in McKinney.

“I consider that we dwell in probably the greatest, most business-friendly locations in the US, and I feel that individuals proceed to wish to transfer to North Texas,” Wells stated. “I felt like that the final 10 or 15 years have been loopy development, however I don’t assume it’s something like what we’re about to see.”

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