By CHRIS AGEE
Founded 30 years ago by John "Shotgun" Vaughan, the barbecue restaurant that bears his nickname is still going strong as its owner plans a relocation to central Mineral Wells.
Shotgun's BBQ reopened in a building just west of town with Eric Nickerson at the helm in 2011. He said that location was a temporary home until he could find a suitable long-term building.
"Everybody was like, 'We love y'all but we want you back in town,'" he said. "It was sort of out of sight, out of mind out there."
After hearing the owner of Little China restaurant, on N.E. 27th Avenue adjacent to the Brazos Mall, was retiring, Nickerson said he was interested in moving his restaurant into the space.
"We sat down and came up with an agreement on everything and I bought it," he said, explaining that was when the real work began.
He called the remodeling project a "full swing Chinese restaurant tear down," noting, "We redid the kitchen, everything, painted the walls, ceiling, everything."
After painting the walls soothing colors and sprucing up the exterior of the building, Nickerson said his intent was to "give it a more 'good mood' feeling."
Much of the existing furnishings were able to be repurposed, he said, but the overall look of the restaurant will be completely different.
"We moved the buffet out of there and are going to put our salad bar there, and we'll have the fireplace lit, also," he said.
Additionally, a pool table set up in a rear dining room and mounted televisions will add to the ambiance.
"It's still a dining area," he said. "It's not a bar, but people like to come hang out and have fun."