Who started the Big Texan?

Answered by John Hunt

The Big Texan, a renowned steakhouse, was founded by R. J. Lee in March 1960. Lee took over the old Underwood’s Bar-B-Q location on Route 66 and transformed it into the iconic establishment we know today. The restaurant quickly gained fame for its distinct western atmosphere and unique features.

One of the standout features of the Big Texan was its horseback mounted cowboy who warmly greeted guests as they arrived. This added an element of authenticity and charm to the dining experience. The towering 60-foot neon cowboy sign that adorned the exterior of the restaurant also became a widely recognized symbol of the Big Texan.

R. J. Lee’s vision for the Big Texan was to create a place that captured the spirit of the Wild West, offering not only delicious food but also an immersive and memorable dining experience. His attention to detail and commitment to providing a unique atmosphere set the Big Texan apart from other steakhouses.

As the founder, R. J. Lee played a pivotal role in shaping the Big Texan’s identity and establishing its reputation. His passion for the restaurant’s concept and his dedication to delivering exceptional service were instrumental in its success.

It is worth noting that the Big Texan’s fame extended beyond its local community. The restaurant gained national recognition through various media appearances and challenges, such as the famous 72-ounce steak challenge. This further solidified the Big Texan as a must-visit destination for steak lovers and those seeking a true Texan experience.

R. J. Lee, the founder of the Big Texan, brought his vision to life in March 1960 when he opened the restaurant in the old Underwood’s Bar-B-Q location on Route 66. Through his creative ideas and commitment to providing an authentic western atmosphere, Lee established the Big Texan as a beloved steakhouse that continues to attract visitors from near and far.