Owner Craig Collins oversaw the recent transformation of Red, Hot and Blue into RHBQ Beer Garden and BBQ, featuring authentic blues memorabilia on the walls and live music on the patio. The redo is part of a complete remake of the shopping center at Walnut Hill and Central Expressway – now called The Hill.
Collins, who spoke to members of the Lake Highlands Chamber of Commerce Thursday as part of an Entertainment District panel with reps of Alamo Drafthouse and Top Golf, also founded and owns Nazca Kitchen and is audacious enough to believe he can entice folks to cross to the east side of Central for dinner.
If you’ve been to Red, Hot and Blue, you haven’t been to RHBQ.
“You won’t recognize it,” says Collins. “Every two-by-four has been taken out and it was rebuilt from the ground up. The plumbing was replaced, the gas lines, the smokers – there’s nothing in there that’s not new.”
Key to the renovations is the patio, featuring seating for 165 and a 12-by-7 foot video screen, which Collins says will be perfect for sports-watching parties, class reunions and movie nights. The Cargo Bar, a converted shipping container graffiti-painted by local artists, will serve guests outside, and a patio stage will host live bands and performers.
“I’ve always been a proponent of live music, back to my days as a budding rock star. That didn’t work out the way I planned, but I have some great stories (the ones I can remember),” laughs Collins.
RHBQ bands will play the blues, but Collins keeps his definition pretty broad.
“Blues is the foundation of music itself. It’s a three-chord progression – Led Zeppelin is the blues, Elvis was King of the Blues. The name Red, Hot and Blue came from the Dewey Phillips radio show back in the 1950s, so we’ve expanded our interpretation of what blues is.”
There’ll also be plenty for the family to enjoy, including kids’ movies, karaoke night and Saturday morning barbecue yoga. He will have an outdoor smoker, and he has an outdoor cooking class planned (see Director of Operations Shawn Horne of WFAA give a cooking lesson here.)
Food, though, he says, is the focus.
“Red, Hot and Blue has drawn a complete diversity of cultures over the years because everybody in Texas likes Mexican food and barbecue – it’s pretty much the staple of any Texan diet.” You can check out RHBQ’s full menu here.
RHBQ is located at 9810 N. Central Expressway at Walnut Hill, behind the new TreeHouse store.