What to Know
- The main showroom at Billy Bob's Texas is getting a revamp with two poles being removed and the ceiling heightened.
- Billy Bob’s Texas will not be closed during the renovation.
- Work is expected to take two-and-a-half weeks; concerts will still be held in other parts of the venue.
Renovations are underway at an iconic Fort Worth venue to amplify views and acoustics, according to venue officials.
Billy Bob’s Texas opened in 1981 but its building is far older, first built in 1910, according to Billy Bob’s Texas general manager Marty Travis. On Tuesday, renovation began in the main showroom of the Fort Worth staple.
Two poles are being removed, and the height of the ceiling by its main showroom stage will be increased. Travis said the decision was made after receiving feedback from online surveys sent to ticket holders.
“The overwhelming comments coming back to us are, ‘There’s a pole in our way. I couldn’t see because of the pole,’” he said. “They [poles] are load-bearing, so we went through a lot of structural engineering, a lot of blueprints and plans with the city to make sure that we were safe to pull this project off.”
Travis said the venue began working with the city of Fort Worth and a contractor about six months ago. Billy Bob’s Texas will not be closed during the renovation, which is expected to take two-and-a-half weeks. Concerts will still be held in other parts of the venue, Travis said.
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“No doubt about it. We’re not slowing down. We’re speeding up,” he said. “Today, we are changing our standards. We’re raising our standards up. It’s time to execute to that point.”
Eventually, he said guests will be able to see a 360-degree view of the venue prior to purchasing their tickets online.
“We’re not trying to be deceptive on how we sell tickets. We’re being very clear that if there’s a seat and there’s a pole, either don’t buy it or know what you’re buying before you buy it,” he said. “It’s the world’s largest honkytonk. You can’t limp through it, you know what I’m saying?”
Country artist Randy Rogers has performed at Billy Bob’s Texas more than 30 times in his career and helped with the official announcement Tuesday.
“My parents told me 'If you play at Billy Bob’s, that means you made it.' So, I guess I’ve made it,” Rogers said. “This place to me is a dream come true to play. I get my family, I get my friends, I get the people I grew up around and the people that love me the most come to see me at Billy Bob’s more than any other venue in the United States.”
For the next two weekends, all shows will be performed on the Honky Tonk stage. The first two shows back on the main stage will be July 22 and 23.