Chef Grady Spears is about to become quite a busy man. Along with his new Horseshoe Hill Café he is also taking over operation of a little known spot in the Stockyards called “The Bull Ring”. Currently set up as an Ice Cream Parlor, Spears vision for it will be a private dining and special events destination serving his signature “Cowboy Cuisine”. He also mentioned hosting tasting events and pairing dinners for local breweries and wineries. The current mix of vintage Texas art will be replaced with antique and vintage cowboy art and the counters and freezers removed to maximize seating. There is no kitchen in this space but the chef already has ideas to deal with that issue.
But the dinner space at street level is just for starters. The real gem here is what’s hidden below the ice cream shop. Accessed via a hidden stairway located just off E. Exchange Blvd is the old Bull Ring Gambling Hall which dates back to 1910. Rumored to be haunted, this space is a time capsule. The cowboy art currently on display is original and even the rules for the gambling hall are still scribbled on the weathering plastered walls. It’s a dark but very comfortable space with concrete beams and the original tin ceiling tiles.
The current plan for this space is to leave as much of the original space as possible and create a modern cowboy lounge with comfortable couches and chairs. It’s not set in stone but that is a very unique idea and would be a popular draw in an area that hasn’t seen much of anything new and different come in for many years.
Chef Spears has tossed around many ideas for the two spots and things could change several times before he settles in on which direction to go. Whatever becomes of these two rooms, you know it’s going to be a good draw just with his name attached.