Joey Muckenthaler, General Manager of Deacon Baldy’s, talks about their unique concept for a pub and grill.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. TexasBusinessRadio.com is where you can see the entire thing. It’s beautiful, high definition video. (844) 814-8144 is our 24-hour call-in line, that means get your calls in 24 hours a day. Call in now, call in at 3:00 in the morning, I’m not sure I really have an opinion on it. We’re going to get the experts on here to get those questions answered.
We’re talking about the hospitality industry, a big industry. Everybody goes out to eat. Everybody goes out and has a beer. We have some very interesting guys in the studio to talk about that. One of the concepts that I want to get into now is a restaurant or a concept in Magnolia, Texas, that is kind of an open-air food truck bar, which is an absolutely fascinating place. I didn’t even know it was there. I’m going to be headed there this weekend, because it sounds like an incredible place to go visit.
I’m your host, Matt Register. Jay Curry’s the one sitting over there in the cohost seat. What do you think, Jay?
Jay Curry: I loved this. This is this whole hospitality. I mean that’s Texas. We love it, and we like to spread it and show it, and these guys have created what was meant to be a good concept for helping churches and other people and kids and stuff and turned it into a very remarkable business, so it’s going to be an interesting story.
Matt Register: Yeah. No doubt. Joe Muckenthaler is the general manager of Deacon Baldy’s in Magnolia, Texas. Joe, welcome to the show, sir.
Joey Muckenthaler: Thanks for having me, man.
Matt Register: Talk to me about Deacon Baldy’s. What are you, and who are you aimed at, right?
Joey Muckenthaler: We’re a bar and food truck park, so we’re an open-air pavilion. It’s open on three sides, we have a full bar, 40 craft beers, and then we have four food trucks that we have permanently, and we bring in more on the weekends and things like that. We don’t own the food trucks, so when you come to Baldy’s, you’re supporting five independent businesses instead of one.
Matt Register: Sure. Now, this is meant to be a family-friendly facility, correct?
Joey Muckenthaler: Absolutely. That was really important to us. Have a family-friendly atmosphere where kids can run around. You don’t have to jam them in a car seat and hope to God that they don’t destroy the table while you’re sitting there.
Matt Register: Sure.
Joey Muckenthaler: There’s a big area covered with wood chips that the kids run around in. There’s cornhole boards that can be used for cornhole, but mostly they’re used for climbing and throwing things at by the kids.
Matt Register: These are picnic table. I mean you could literally hose this thing out, right, and clean up and get so you’re not worried about if you have a pile of kids about them tearing up somebody’s restaurant, right?
Joey Muckenthaler: Not even a little bit. All of our tables are wooden picnic tables. It’s community seating, so there’s no hostess. You kind of come in, grab a spot next to some people that maybe you don’t know, hopefully you get to know, and it’s just a great time. Everyone from the community comes out. We get baby boomers. Our demographs are all over the place.
Matt Register: No, that’s interesting. Talk to me about kind of the founding of the company. We were talking during the break, and it’s an interesting story, because Deacon Baldy was a person, right? That-
Joey Muckenthaler: Yes, he was.
Matt Register: Tell me about Deacon Baldy, and why you decided to start this restaurant. What do you call it? Is it a bar or a grill or is it a restaurant? Is it a what-
Joey Muckenthaler: It changes every day. The bar, the park, the-
Jay Curry: All of the above, huh?
Joey Muckenthaler: Yeah. We just call it Baldy’s most of the time.
Matt Register: Okay.
Joey Muckenthaler: Deacon Baldy was Mike Mims, and he was my friend Kevin’s dad and very much a second father to me and all of my friends. He passed away a few years ago in a helicopter crash. When we started thinking about opening a business with this frontage road or this frontage property, the idea came up of, “Let’s open up a food truck park. Hey, let’s open a bar,” and it started growing, and we needed to figure out what do we want to do with it, so we started thinking about Mike and the things he used to do this fundraiser called Deacon Baldy’s Beer & BBQ. It was a fundraiser for the school, and a couple hundred people would come out. He’d make God knows how many racks of ribs and a bunch of beer. You’d buy a ticket; it was just a chance. A bunch of people coming out, hanging out with each other, meeting new people, kids running around destroying things, and it was great. Everyone loved it, and it was just a place where the community could come together and do something good. We figured, “Why can’t we just do that with a business?”
Jay Curry: Yeah. Support the schools, things like that.
Joey Muckenthaler: Absolutely.
Jay Curry: What a great story.
Joey Muckenthaler: We’re doing a Habitat for Humanity Fund thing right now, so all the Odell kegs that we’re selling right now, all that goes to Habitat for Humanity, and we try to do a lot of charity stuff to kind of keep with our …
Matt Register: Sure. No, it makes sense. Now, when you started this company, this is an interesting concept, because we were talking quickly during the break, a bar and grill, the margin is in the alcohol, right?
Joey Muckenthaler: Absolutely.
Matt Register: You own a restaurant, and you’re out of the food business. This is a fascinating concept. Talk to me about kind of some of the revenue drivers of your business, because it’s not your typical restaurant for sure.
Joey Muckenthaler: No, not at all. We talked about opening food trucks of our own, but none of us can cook, so we want people to like-
Matt Register: Want to cook? I don’t know. You just-
Joey Muckenthaler: We want people to live when they eat the food, and so, well, we outsourced to some local businesses, some great food trucks that we have, and it’s a symbiotic relationship, because people come for the beer, and they get food, and people come to the food, and they get beer. It helps both businesses to do very, very well. It kind of keeps us from having to deal with food costs and the labor costs of having a kitchen and things like that. We let the people that specialize in that kind of do what they do.
Matt Register: No, it makes a whole lot of sense. You also have some games and things like that. Talk to me about some of the other entertainment stuff you have around.
Joey Muckenthaler: Yeah. We have cornhole, giant Jenga, we have a whole host of different games people can play, board games and things like that. We have dominoes, we also have giant dominoes, which are way too big, but also really fun and just things like that, so if you can come out and spend … We have people come out, and they’ll spend all day just hanging out and playing games and cornhole, and they’ll start a game of Monopoly; it’ll go for four or five days.
Matt Register: Live music?
Joey Muckenthaler: Live music. We don’t do it in the winter just because it gets so cold; it’s kind of miserable for the artists to come out.
Matt Register: Sure.
Joey Muckenthaler: We start in March and go through until it gets cold again, so live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Matt Register: No, absolutely interesting concept.
Jay Curry: The interesting part about this though is that you cover like 40 different types of craft beer and things, and what’s this thing called craft beer? What’s that thing?
Joey Muckenthaler: Craft beer is something that it used to be micro-brewing, then it started with craft beer. Craft beer is just a small, independent brewery, and small is relative, because you can make up to I think it’s six and a half million barrels of beer a year. In Houston there’s 60, I want to say somewhere around 65 breweries right now in the Houston area, which is crazy.
Jay Curry: Sure.
Matt Register: We had a show and had most of them on.
Jay Curry: Yeah, we did.
Joey Muckenthaler: Oh, nice.
Matt Register: Yeah.
Joey Muckenthaler: It’s one of the fastest growing independent industries in the country, and so there’s four in Conroe, there’s one in Magnolia, and we want to be able to have people try everything they can.
Jay Curry: You’re not in the brewing business, but what you’re doing is bringing the local breweries into Baldy’s, right?
Joey Muckenthaler: Absolutely. We want to support as many local, small businesses as we can.
Jay Curry: That’s cool.
Joey Muckenthaler: The best way to do that is with brewing right now.
Jay Curry: A lot people love that, and this is the place where you can go try a whole bunch, right?
Joey Muckenthaler: Yeah, we have everything. If you like light beer, if you’re a Bud Light drinker, we have something that’s craft that you would enjoy.
Jay Curry: Really.
Joey Muckenthaler: If you’re looking for something that’s sour or really funky or just 15% the monsters have-
Matt Register: Forty taps-
Jay Curry: Forty.
Matt Register: … you got about all of it, right?
Joey Muckenthaler: Yeah, we try and do a little bit of everything.
Matt Register: No, interesting. Now, you guys are on 1488 or off of 1488?
Joey Muckenthaler: We’re on 1488.
Matt Register: Okay.
Joey Muckenthaler: We’re about a mile east of 2978 and about two miles or about five miles west of 45.
Matt Register: Interesting. What’s the website so people can learn some more?
Joey Muckenthaler: Www.DeaconBaldys.com.
Matt Register: DeaconBaldys.com, interesting. I’m going to come see you this weekend. Joe Muckenthaler, a general manager of Deacon Baldy’s out of Magnolia, Texas. Thank you very much for joining us.
Joey Muckenthaler: Thank you so much for having me.
Matt Register: Guys, we got to go pay a couple of our own bills. We’re running out of time; however, we got a whole lot more Texas Business Radio coming on right at the other side of the break. Don’t go anywhere. We’ll be right back.
Sponsored in part by:
In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.