By AMANDA KIMBLE
ERATH COUNTY (November 17, 2016) – Earth is moving along U.S. Highway 377 Business. About 100 feet from Stephenville city limits, expansion is apparent at the sprawling City Limits, Texas complex owned and operated by V.W. and Cynthia Stephens.
It all started in 1994 as a nightclub, dance hall and small lunchtime eatery, where V.W. said KSTV’s Classic Café also got its start. Fast forward more than two decades and the complex has grown to include a 41,000 square foot facility that houses City Limits nightclub and dance hall, The Agave Bar and Cabo Bar & Grill, City Hall at City Limits, The Grape & Bean package store and areas for intimate gatherings.
In addition to dining during lunch and dinners hours, adult libations (for on and off premise consumption) and space for community events and private gatherings, the business recently began offering free delivery on orders of $10 or more in Stephenville.
V.W. has made a personal mantra of reinventing himself and his businesses every six months, and this year is no exception. He recently acquired a neighboring 12 acres, making the City Limits footprint a little less than 20 acres.
“V.W. is never static, this place reflects that,” Cynthia said. “It’s always changing.”
Passersby can see the Stephens have big plans for the added space, where a sign announces the newest addition to the family, The Purple Goat.
“We’ve been playing around with the idea for about a year and a half,” V.W. said.
“Maybe longer,” Cynthia added.
The Purple Goat will offer something V.W. said they’ve been unable to capture in the existing facility, a sports bar atmosphere. He said The Agave and Cabo welcome an array of diners, but the facility is well-established as a family restaurant where all the highchairs are oftentimes full.
“We are definitely a restaurant that serves alcohol and not a bar with food,” V.W. said. “Something that might surprise a lot of people is the fact that we sell more food each month than we do alcohol.”
The couple takes a lot of pride in the family atmosphere, which now includes a kids zone every Friday night. Kids eat free and stay entertained with a bounce house, games and a basketball goal managed by seven-year-old V.W. Stephens IV, known as “V.”
The new addition, which is expected to open up a new atmosphere in the spring of 2017, will finally allow the Stephens to offer something for everyone, newborn to 99.
“Over here, we can’t run high volumes on the TVs or run ball games because this is a restaurant where families come to enjoy dinner,” V.W. said, adding The Purple Goat will offer that and so much more. “It’s going to be an establishment like nothing else this side of Dallas.”
The plans include an open-air facility that measures 7,500 square feet with an expansive covered patio. Diners will have the option dining indoors or outside. Fire pits and large television screens will be placed across the property. A new stage adjacent to the patio will replace the old outdoor setting that already hosts number of concerts throughout the year.
“It’s going to be a fun place, where people can be loud and enjoy themselves without worrying about offending anyone,” V.W. said. “It will have a new, great menu and new wait staff.”
As far as the name is concerned, V.W. said the complex needed a mascot, and a purple goat seemed fitting.
“We’ve already purchased the goat,” V.W. said, referring to the live mascot, aptly named “The Goat,” which will make parade appearances and frequent Tarleton State University tailgate gatherings.
While retirement almost lured V.W. and Cynthia away from the City Limits family – almost 60 employees the couple considers to be their own children – about three years ago, they ultimately tore up the contract.
“We realized we didn’t want to leave the kids or our customers,” V.W. said. “And, I realized I didn’t want to hang out with a bunch of 70-year-olds for the rest of my life. This is our golf game, it’s our fishing. We’re not working. When it becomes work, I will quit.”
As long as the dreams continue and the potential exists, there will always be a new project in the future for Stephenville and the Stephens family.
“V.W. has always believed in Stephenville, the potential and the people,” Cynthia said.
Once The Purple Goat is complete, the next stage will include paved RV (recreational vehicle) spaces, welcoming travelers coming through on U.S. Highway 281, something V.W. calls a “tremendous asset” offering a lot of potential.
The City Limits, Texas family of companies is located at 1907 E. Washington Street in Stephenville. They invite folks to come check them out.