In a major Texas music development, the iconic Billy Bob's Texas could end up on the auction block thanks to a brewing legal battle. The Fort Worth venue known as "The World's Largest Honky Tonk" is a staple of not just the Stockyards area, but the country music landscape as a whole.
According to the Star-Telegram, the whole ordeal involves a fight over control of the venue. Two groups of investors -- majority owners and minority owners -- have differing plans for the venue. The majority owners include Brad Hickman and his family, who are major players in the Stockyards and its $175 million redevelopment. Billy Minick is also in the majority owners.
However, his son and current Billy Bob's Texas manager Concho Minick is in the minority owners. That group, which includes former Fort Worth councilman Steve Murrin, opposed the majority's plans for the venue. One of those plans? Firing Concho Minick as manager. A judge blocked that decision earlier this year.
The weirdest part is that most of these owners are longtime friends and family.
Concho Minick and the minority owners asked the court to intervene in the disagreement. His request included appointing a receiver to clear up operational differences. And, if they can't, he asked that the club go to auction.
However, majority owners want the judge himself to mediate. Ambiguities in the operating agreement apparently led to much of the disagreement.
If the venue went to auction, any qualified individual has a shot at purchasing it. And that makes a lot of people uneasy. Though new owners might love the venue, they might not, too. Billy Bob's is in a prime tourist location.
The venue opened about 35 years ago. Since then, it has hosted music most nights of the week. A brief hiatus closed the doors, but Billy Bob's has remained a huge fixture in Texas music since.
For now, the venue operates per usual. Upcoming events include the annual Fourth of July picnic, featuring Eli Young Band and more.