BBQ joint that started in a trailer sets up shop in historic Sanger building

Published in The Denton Record-Chronicle on June 1, 2014

SANGER — Jay Coin always enjoyed cooking barbecue, but he spent seven years building up the nerve to open a restaurant.

His wife, Mindy, finally convinced him to open Texas Smoke BBQ Co. last July in a small travel trailer.

By January, he had moved into a building next door. And this week, less than a year after opening, the business will begin operating in a new spot, a historic building in downtown Sanger.

“She knew I wanted to do it and was 100 percent behind me and said, ‘Do it. You’ll never know what will happen unless you try,’” Jay Coin said. “That’s what I did.”

Coin said he is “big on downtown” and hopes the downtown Sanger community will continue to pick up. He said recently he couldn’t wait to reopen his restaurant on Sanger’s square to help downtown thrive.

“The downtown [Denton] area has exploded, and I love the old buildings and the feel of the old town,” he said. “Denton’s done a nice job of bringing the Square back to life, so hopefully that will happen here.”

He said other local businesses can help each other.

“Babe’s [Chicken Dinner House] is a big draw here, so hopefully with the out-of-town people going to eat at Babe’s, they’ll notice our place and say, ‘Maybe next time, we’ll come out and try this place,’” he said.

The previous location of Texas Smoke BBQ has been closed for more than a week, with a sign on the door directing people to the new location on the Sanger square at 205 Bolivar St. If all goes as planned, it’ll open Tuesday, Coin said.

“We were doing good enough to move out of the trailer, and now we’ve just outgrown the place we were in,” Coin said.

The Coins said they have always liked the Bolivar Street building, which is bigger and offers more room for seating.

“We always said if we ever happened to do a restaurant or a bar or something, we’d love to get this building because it’s a rustic, really neat old building,” Jay Coin said.

Mindy’s father and one of his employees at his construction company have done most of the work to help them cut costs. They’re upgrading to commercial equipment for the move, which should reduce production costs in the long run, he said.

The menu will largely remain the same, though Jay Coin is hoping to add chicken, turkey and ham, which had been offered as specials at the other locations.

To help with the new location, Coin has brought in Don Jost, who owned Wimpy’s Hamburgers when Coin was in high school. Jost will be working on the “day-to-day things” that will help Coin run the restaurant.

Coin said he prides himself on using fresh ingredients and never reheats his food. Texas Smoke BBQ Co. will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. or until they sell out — whatever comes first.

“I’m trying to set myself apart from other places and, what I can, I get local to help with freshness,” he said.

Mindy Coin ran a salon in the suite next to the restaurant but closed it to help her husband. Now she rents a booth at another salon in town, squeezing appointments in between her responsibilities at the restaurant.

“It’s something he’s always wanted to do and he can’t do it by himself,” she said. “It works out because I can schedule my appointments in the mornings or evenings and work around my kids’ schedules.”

The restaurant has been popular, with some regulars coming up from Denton to dine.

Glen McDaniel, who runs a gun store inside Sanger Hardware, has eaten at Texas Smoke daily since Coin started serving barbecue in a trailer. McDaniel said he can’t say enough about the restaurant’s cobblers or the meaty ribs.

The food and service were good and consistent, but the previous locations were too small, McDaniel said.

“I’m glad to see them get out of there,” he said. “They’re really crowded over there and were getting great clientele. I’ve walked over there before and had to come back over here and wait a while and go back because they were really full. All the seats were taken because they get a lot of business. But it’s always worth the wait.”

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