Texas Roadhouse, with a popular restaurant just east of East Towne Mall since October 2006, will open a West Side location as early as next fall.
The project, which will sit in front of the Walmart off Watts Road, has been in the works since before the pandemic and put on hold because of it, said Sammy Nixon, who, with his wife, Julie Nixon, owns Texas Roadhouse franchises in Janesville, Sheboygan and Appleton.
Nixon also helped open the Madison restaurant, which is owned by the Louisville, Kentucky-based corporation.
“Madison, and Wisconsin as a whole, is just a great market for Texas Roadhouse,” Nixon said. “It’s definitely a two-store, or a two-location, market, an east and west kind of deal.”
Nixon’s wife, Julie Nixon, does bookkeeping at the East Side restaurant and will relocate to the West Side once that restaurant opens.
“Basically, Madison has two of everything, one on the East Side, one on the West Side,” Julie said. “So, we just feel like maybe we’re losing some people who don’t like coming over to the East Side. We just feel like it would be a good fit over there.”
As of September 2021, the company and its franchisees operated 654 restaurants in 49 states and 10 countries, including 616 Texas Roadhouse restaurants, 35 Bubba’s 33 restaurants, and three Jaggers restaurants.
“We’re opening corporate locations stateside, pretty much on a weekly basis,” Nixon said.
He has been planning the West Madison restaurant for about four years, but it has been “‘cooking on the back burner for quite some time,” Nixon said. “And COVID is responsible for us pushing it or postponing it. But we’re moving full steam ahead now.”
His goal is to break ground in June, and open by late fall, he said.
Texas Roadhouse is known for its reasonably priced steaks, cut in-house, its ribs, and also for the freshly baked, puffy rolls with honey cinnamon butter that the host or hostess leaves on the table while seating customers.
The restaurants used to also give a bucket of peanuts to each table and allowed customers to leave the shells on the floor, but that practice has been interrupted by COVID-19, Nixon said.
“There may be a day when we go back to putting them on the table, if the health department allows or suggests that it’s not a problem,” he said.
Customers can face a considerable wait for a table at the East Side restaurant, but Nixon touts its call-ahead seating program, which lets customers to put their name on the waitlist before entering the building.
“That way you don’t have to wait inside if COVID is still a concern,” he said.
39 Madison-area restaurant, bar and coffee shop openings in 2021, including more on the way
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