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Real Estate Is former Massey's building ready to fall?

Is former Massey’s building ready to fall?

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Has the former Massey’s restaurant served its last chicken fried steak? That’s up to the Dallas real estate investor who bought the 1805 Eighth Ave. property in Fort Worth’s hospital district. “I’m meeting with some folks there to help me decide,” said Don Williams, who purchased the property in December for about $650,000, according to Xceligent Inc., but planned to meet with developers the week of April 14 to help decide its fate. The 4,000-square-foot building has remained shuttered since closing in 2011. After Charles “Herb” Massey Sr. opened the eatery in 1947, it gained acclaim for its chicken fried steaks and down-home charm. But it closed in 1996, a decision made by Charles Herbert Massey Jr. and his wife Diane Massey.

It reopened the next year after Todd A. Scott and John Hamilton leased the site, reopening it under the same name. But it closed for good on Feb. 6, 2011, a day that left a bittersweet taste in the mouths of regulars more accustomed to the golden-crust filets that popularized the restaurant in Dan Jenkins’ novel, Baja Oklahoma. Only five months after snapping up the property – “I bought it as a trust for my son, Sebastian,” Williams said – the Dallas investor said he didn’t know whether a new restaurant or retailer will fill the space or if the building might be razed. Current zoning allows residential and commercial uses for the property. – A. Lee Graham

lgraham@bizpress.net  

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