Gift this article
Share this article paywall-free.
When Joe Hager moved back to Lincoln three years ago, he had a plan to bring his love for Texas barbecue to the masses.
Hager said he and his brother weren't in a position to open a restaurant at that point, so they played around with the idea of a food trailer.
That became a reality at the beginning of 2022 with the debut of Canyon Joe's Barbecue.
And now, after a successful year-plus of providing Texas-style barbecue in a mobile setting, Canyon Joe's will soon be moving into a permanent location at 18th and N streets.
Hager said he hopes to be open by June in the space formerly occupied by the Panic Bar and The Filling Station coffee shop.
He said he feels really good about the location.
"It's downtown, which is where we want to be," Hager said.
It's also near the Telegraph District, which is growing and adding both residents and employers.
He said the business will start slow, operating largely like the food truck and only serving lunch Thursday-Saturday and staying open until he runs out of food.
But he hopes to eventually expand and offer more days and hours.
The location has a basement, which will be used as an event space by a company Hager is partnering with, but he said he didn't feel comfortable sharing those plans yet.
Canyon Joe's is one of several local restaurants and chains that are planning to either expand or relocate over the coming months. Here's a few of them:
TKK Fried Chicken, a Taiwan-based chicken chain, is planning a location at 2755 Jamie Lane, which is near 27th Street and Yankee Hill Road. The restaurant will be co-located with Kung Fu Tea, which already has a Lincoln location near 27th and Superior streets.
* Panda Express has filed a building permit for a location at 3920 N. 26th St., which is just west of 27th Street between Superior Street and Cornhusker Highway. It would be the Asian fast-food chain's fourth Lincoln location.
* Risky's Bar & Grill closed its location at 48th Street and Leighton Avenue this past weekend and opened a new restaurant called Lil' Risky Sports Bar & Grill near 33rd and Superior streets.
* Local Mexican fast-food chain Taco Inn is planning its fifth Lincoln location, according to a building permit. The restaurant will be built at 8520 Bowman Road, which is near 84th Street and Nebraska Parkway.
Lincoln's most requested restaurants
Jamba Juice serves on-the-go freshly blended fruit and vegetable smoothies, made-to-order bowls, fresh-squeezed juices and shots, boosts and bites.
Jamba Juice Facebook page
Einstein Bros. Bagels
Einstein Bros. Bagels serves breakfast and lunch. The chain boasts that bakers begin work at 2 a.m. and make bagels every four hours to ensure they are fresh.
Einstein Bros. Bagels Facebook page
Church's Texas Chicken
Church's Chicken is known for its fried chicken and biscuits. The chain began in 1952 across the street from the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.
Church's Facebook page
Jason's Deli says its food is free from high-fructose corn syrup, artificial trans fats and flavors, processed MSG and dyes. There are 250 deli locations in 28 U.S. states.
Jason's Deli Facebook page
Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe is known for burgers, beer and cocktails and an atmosphere immersed in rock music and memorabilia. The chain has locations in major cities worldwide.
Hard Rock Cafe Facebook page
Peets Coffee began in 1966 and boasts hand-roasted and ethically sourced coffee beans. There are more than 300 Peets coffee bars, mostly in major U.S. cities.
Peets Coffee Facebook page
Dave & Busters
Dave & Busters is an American restaurant that serves entrees from wings to steaks as well as beer, wine and cocktails. The restaurant is known as an entertainment destination for its arcade games.
Dave & Busters Facebook page
Shake Shack sprouted from a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in Manhattan, the company says. The restaurant serves burgers, chicken, hot dogs, frozen custard, beer, wine and more.
Shake Shack Facebook page
Bob Evans serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner all day, every day. "
A family restaurant dedicated to treating strangers like friends and friends like family," its Facebook page says. The chain has restaurants in 18 states.
Bob Evans Facebook page
Potbelly Sandwich Works
"A first-class dive with toasty sandwiches, extra-good salads, hand-dipped shakes, cookies baked daily and lots of good vibes," is how Potbelly Sandwich Works describes itself. Potbelly began in 1996 in Chicago and now has more than 250 shops.
Potbelly Sandwich Works Facebook page
Cafe Rio is largely located in western states, with dozens of locations in California, Arizona and Utah. However, there are 10 locations near Washington, D.C. The restaurant bills itself as "h
ome of the original sweet pork barbacoa."
Cafe Rio Facebook page
Portillo's is a Midwestern chain with 50 locations serving
Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef, burgers, salads and chocolate cake.
Portillo's Facebook page
While it may be coming to Omaha soon, Journal Star readers repeatedly asked for Giordano's Chicago-style pizza to be offered in Lincoln as well.
P.F. Chang's China Bistro
P.F. Chang's brings an Asian fusion approach to Americanized Chinese food, serving dumplings, entrees, crab rangoons and things of that nature. Readers repeatedly asked about the restaurant coming to the Capitol City.
Uno Pizzeria and Grill
After opening a location in Boston in 1978, Chicago-style pizza staple Uno Pizzeria has been seen in places far outside the Windy City. The chain has more than 140 locations in 24 states, as well as 160 Uno Express locations and fast-casual eateries, serving thick-crust pizza, sandwiches, salads and more. Many Lincolnites are waiting when they'll be able to get a taste of Chicago a little closer to home.
Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits
Boasting more than 600 restaurants, Bojangles is a key purveyor of fried chicken, biscuits and southern sides. However, the chain is only in 11 states, mostly in the Deep South, with a few international locations. That hasn't stopped Lincoln readers, however, from craving the company's chicken, signature seasoned fries and Bo Sauce.
AP File Photo
Joe's Crab Shack
Lincoln diners want more seafood options and Joe's Crab Shack might be just the solution with a menu filled with variations on crab and other New England favorites.
Jack in the Box
Famous for a diverse menu including an all-day breakfast, Lincoln diners would love to see a Jack in the Box come to town.
Despite the restaurant filing for bankruptcy in 2008, Lincolnites still would like to see a Bennigan's in the capitol city. Unfortunately, this one might not be in the cards.
Big Mama's and Papa's Pizzeria
You can't buy better publicity than Big Mama's and Papa's Pizzeria received for free. When the restaurant delivered pizza to the Oscar's in 2014, they became a viral phenomenon and the owners have expressed a desire to expand. It looks like some Lincoln diners are interested in trying the pizza that was once served to the stars.
Similar to fast-casual Mexican food like Qdoba and Chipotle, Taco Cabana focuses on freshness and hand-made dishes that have been pleasing fans for years.
As well known for their often controversial commercials as their burgers, Hardees, or Carl's Jr. in some regions, was a frequently requested restaurant by local diners. Their Frisco Melt, as pictured above, just might be one reason why.
California Pizza Kitchen
The supposed originator of the now ubiquitous barbecue chicken pizza, California Pizza Kitchen has steadily become a recognized brand far beyond the west coast. While some of the company's products can be found in the grocery store freezer aisle, Lincoln diners are still clamoring for one of the company's restaurants to open locally.
A classic-diner themed burger joint famous for its root beer, A&W has expanded steadily in the last few years. If a location can open in Germany, as pictured above, where's the Lincoln location?
HERMANN J. KNIPPERTZ
A burger place with a true cult following, White Castle's iconic sliders are some of the most recognizable sandwiches on the market today. Inspiring movies, pop culture and much more, many readers want to see White Castle set up shop locally.
While the iconic restaurant may have closed its doors in Lincoln in 2014, many of our readers want to get another taste of Tastee Inn.
Journal Star file photo
What In-N-Out is to the west-coast, Whataburger is to Texas. It's fans are obsessive and Whataburger pays attention to them. Here, Whataguy serves cake to Whataburger super fans Karl and Carol Hoepfner, who have been trying to visit every one of the restaurant's locations.
A west-coast burger phenomenon, In-N-Out has gained national attention online for its not-so-secret secret menu and commitment to freshness. Even former California Governor and occasional action-star Arnold Schwarzenegger is a fan.
There are 1,500 Waffle Houses spread across 25 states, as far west as Arizona and as far north as Illinois, but the chain is still rooted deeply in the South and retains a distinctively down-home, blue-collar aura. Our readers think Waffle House would be right at home in Lincoln as well.
The Cheesecake Factory
By far, the restaurant that was most requested, The Cheesecake Factory is mostly known for a massive dessert menu and a large, varied list of entrees. While locations mostly are in larger areas, the exclusivity hasn't stopped Lincolnites from wanting the restaurant to come to their hometown.
Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.
The business news you need
Get the latest local business news delivered FREE to your inbox weekly.