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PHOTOS BY KAIT BRADFORD BELLMON

An 80-year-old Canyon landmark recently was reborn as one of the area’s largest entertainment venues.

The Lumberyard, located just north of Canyon as drivers enter the city from Amarillo, is the brainchild of Canyon business owners Danny and Rachel Byrd.

“Danny is the one who opened up Feldman’s [Wrong Way Diner] and he is a visionary, he sees big,” Joe Marion, a current Feldman’s manager, says. “This opportunity came up, and he said this would be a great opportunity for us to do this.”

Boasting a permanent outdoor stage on its south end with plans to add a banquet facility and more, the venue already can accommodate about 10,000, with room for food trucks to enjoy during the show.

“This is a large, large space—for the people from Canyon, for the people driving through Canyon,” Marion says. “Canyon is a tourist attraction … and hopefully this draws in a lot of people to the city of Canyon. Not just our restaurant, but all the restaurants in Canyon.”

The Lumberyard’s concert space officially opened May 18 with Texas country stars The Josh Abbott Band and openers Chad Miller & The Good Fortune, an on-the-rise Amarillo band.

“We were the first band to play that stage,” says Miller, as he was packing up for a weekend jaunt to Gruene Hall, where his band would open for Amarillo favorites Cooder Graw. “Hopefully, that venue has a long history, and for us to be able to say we were the first band to kick things off for them is pretty awesome.”

The venue itself already has a long history, dating back at least to 1940, when the main building was constructed. It operated, naturally, as a lumberyard before becoming a grocery distribution center.

“It’s been multiple things throughout the years,” Marion says. He believes the property once extended east to the railroad tracks, and in the 1940s, crossed the current location of Interstate 27. “There were houses over there for people who worked at the lumberyard,” he says. The facility closed in the 1970s.

Today, a 3,800-square-foot banquet facility is under construction, designed for groups of up to 250 for parties, weddings and smaller concerts. Plans are in the works to host a shopping expo in September, as well as crafting classes.

By August, the owners plan to have transformed the Quonset hut that’s connected to the banquet facility into a 250-seat restaurant with one special innovation: a self-pour beer wall with 40 taps.

“So you get a wristband, and then you go over there and pour your own beer,” Marion says. “We will have one inside and one outside [on the patio]. This will be a private club. It’s a free membership—you sign up when you come in—and that’s it. If you’re not a member, you can’t drink.”

Marion says the menu will be “completely different” from Feldman’s, describing it as “bar food, fast casual.” The restaurant also will offer outdoor dining and a smaller stage for more intimate shows.

The new Lumberyard also boasts a nearly 30,000-square-foot patio accessible from the restaurant that can fit about 700 people. Coming soon are “tables, swings, games, cornhole, ring toss, all sorts of things out here,” Marion says.

While the restaurant is expected to be open year-round, the Lumberyard’s First United Bank Stage will host concerts about eight months a year. Already announced for the summer are Texas country icon Pat Green on July 19, Red Dirt star Stoney LaRue on Aug. 9 and on July 3, in partnership with the Canyon Chamber of Commerce, Texas country star Mike Ryan for the annual Kickin’ It in Canyon concert as part of Canyon’s Independence Day festivities. Future concerts are expected to feature rock, Tejano and other genres.

Canyon officials are already pleased with the venue’s success.

“The Lumberyard concerts are poised to be a transformative asset for Canyon, enhancing not only our economic development and quality of life, but also serving as a premier venue for both our community and visitors to enjoy,” says Stephanie Tucker, executive director of the Canyon Economic Development Corp. “This initiative is expected to bolster local businesses, attract tourists and provide a vibrant cultural hub for residents, fostering a stronger, more connected community.”

Plus, it’s just fun, says Tucker, who attended both the Josh Abbott and Casey Donahew concerts. “It was amazing,” Tucker continues. “The atmosphere was great; the community was out in force as well as visitors from all over the area. The location is perfect to highlight Canyon. From the Texas flag, West Texas A&M University, the Tex Randall statue, and the train, you saw what makes Canyon the charming place we know and want others to see.” 

Authors

  • Chip Chandler

    Chip is the senior communications specialist at West Texas A&M University. A Canadian High School graduate and award-winning journalist, he has covered arts and entertainment in Amarillo since 1998 and is a member of the Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council arts committee. He is a 2020 Golden Nail Award winner and a 2017 National Philanthropy Day award winner. He is a member of the national GALECA critics group, has seen every Best Picture Oscar winner and watches way too much television.

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  • Michele McAffrey