Pete Patel, Louie Alaniz, Adrian Thomas and Darryl Martin wanted a place to hang out with family and friends with good food, indoors or outdoors now known as The Stone Creek Grill.
“We feel there’s definitely a need here in Beeville,” Patel said. “We have a good choice of restaurants here in town, but I think there needs to be a place that caters to families.
“I think there needs to be a bit more American food here in the community also, so we decided to do that.”
Thomas added, “When we all started talking about this, we wanted to offer some items that you can’t get in Beeville.
“We’re going to do what we do better than anyone in Beeville.”
Steak, seafood, pasta, salads and, of course, chicken fried steak are just some items locals can find on their ever-expanding menu, along with desserts and dressings – all made in-house.
Thomas mentioned, “There’s light dishes; there’s heavy dishes, and there’s healthy options.”
Patel said, “For lunch, there’s a lot more salads, and we do soups. A few things that you typically want for lunch to get in and out.”
But their menu is likely to morph and change as the restaurant opens its doors and the crowds come pouring in.
“That’s the beauty of not being tied to a franchise,” Martin said of the menu options.
“Basically, the four of us working and being able to respond to whatever the market’s demanding. If we need to change the menu, then it’s going to get changed.”
The four men do have other business ventures in and around town and are constantly visible throughout the community.
“We all go out there and listen to different people tell us what they think and what they would like to see, and all the areas that we hit on were all areas that we heard,” Patel said.
“We’re trying to please everyone, but we can’t label ourselves an Italian or seafood restaurant when we’re going to make changes to the menu.
“We’re not scared to change things. There’s not a bureaucracy we have to go through to do what’s best for the community as a whole.”
Also, unlike the last restaurant that held the spot, you can get your grub and drink on with a full menu and bar.
And while they aren’t trying to impress anyone with their beer selection, their mixed drinks are another story.
Thomas said, “We’re going to do a lot of specialty margaritas. Our bar manager has come up with more than I could have possibly imagined.
“You can have any kind of cocktails that you want. If you can dream it, we can make it.
“We have healthy bar drinks that we’re kicking around because of the health craze in Beeville.”
But that’s not the only thing that’s changed. The interior of the Stone Creek Grill has also been modified.
To say the least.
“The only thing original in here is the floor.” Patel said, “We really had a blank canvas to work with, because there was absolutely nothing left in here.”
“Everybody knows what this was before. And whatever we could do, without tearing the building down, is what we did.”
New lighting fixtures, tables, bar stools and indoor stone carved walls occupy the revamped indoor space.
“We’re not plastering the place with Budweiser neon signs. It’s going to be a nice, low-key, classy feel, where they know they can get a drink or a nice glass of wine.”
Outdoors, a large awning covers more seating with a winding concrete path lined with new shrubbery and flowers leading to shaded seating under an enormous oak tree.
“The biggest asset when we bought this place was the back yard.” Patel said. “Kids can run around, and their parents can still eat.”
Martin added, “We can appeal to a double market, where we can have peace and quiet on the inside, and for people that want to hang out and have a few drinks, there’s the outside.”
Off in the distance, overlooking the outdoor patio, sitting alone behind a large wooden fence, unused and forgotten is something that was a huge selling point for the four businessmen.
A completely wired, fully functional stage.
“We’re almost a venue here,” Patel said. “We can call ourselves a venue once that stage gets going.
“It’s endless what we can do. We want to make sure everything in-house works, then we’ll start worrying about outside and start bringing in some different things.”
But some noise ordinance issues still need to get ironed out before any amps are plugged in.
There are neighborhoods and an apartment complex in close vicinity of the restaurant.
Patel added, “We need the community to support the fact that we are a venue where you can eat, drink and watch a show.”
Martin said, “We’re definitely trying to appease the masses. We’re not trying to have our neighbors upset with us by any means.
“If we have to start at seven rather than eight to get done a little earlier, that’s fine. Whatever’s reasonable, we’ll do to make sure everybody’s comfortable.”
So far, the reception is warm as news trickles out that the restaurant is nearing its July 5 opening day.
Patel said, “We’re going to have some bumps, just like any new place that opens in Beeville.”
Alaniz added, “Anything we can do to keep it in town I’m all for. Shop local first.
“We all have businesses in town, and it helps to give us a shot first.”
“We are Beeville,” Thomas said. “We all live here. Our kids go to school here. We have a lot of family and friends here.”
Martin said, “We’re all in the community on a daily basis, so if there’s anything that needs to be fixed, we won’t only hear about it here, but out in the community, too.
Thomas said, “I want people to talk about us not only in Beeville, but in George West, Kenedy, Karnes City, Corpus Christi.
The Stone Creek Grill opens Thursday, July 5, at 11 a.m.
Paul Gonzales is the entertainment writer at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 116, or at thescene@mySouTex.com.