Just Where Did The Big Dinosaur At The Big Texan Come From?
A recent post on Reddit led several of us down a rabbit hole chasing after the true story of the big green dino that calls The Big Texan home. The big question was, where exactly did it come from?
The Story According To The Big Texan
When you visit The Big Texan, and you mosey on up to the boot wearing dino, you'll see a sign. That sign has the story of how The Big Texan came to be on I-40.
You'll also read about the great appreciation that the owners of The Big Texan have for Route 66. On the sign it states that "Big Tex Rex" is dedicated to the "spirit" of the Mother Road.
So, Why A Big Green Dinosaur
The big cow you see at The Big Texan makes total sense without having to read anything at all about the history of the iconic restaurant. Big steaks have to come from big bovines, right?
The dinosaur is a little more...nuanced let's say.
The sign states that, as children, a family road trip on Route 66 had a lasting impact on the Lee brothers. One of the sights along the Mother Road that stuck with them the most was that of several large dinosaur statues.
With that in mind, Big Tex Rex serves as a massive reminder about the wonder and magic of old Route 66.
Which Is Neat And All...But WHERE Did It Come From
This is where things got interesting. A user on Reddit claimed to remember this same dino from another spot in the Lone Star State, and then dropped a link to what they believe is an old photo of the whiskered dino.
This is where the plot twists and then heads down to Dallas.
West End Marketplace
It was an old warehouse that had several stores, entertainment venues, and at one point Planet Hollywood; according to this website. Out front of West End Marketplace sat a dinosaur that looks awfully familiar.
Same green dino, on what looks like chopsticks, wearing a bandana and cowboy boots. One big exception is the Dallas Cowboys helmet resting atop its head.
West End Marketplace would eventually close, and later became Factory Six-03. Instead of all the shops, bars, and restaurants it would house mainly contemporary work spaces. It was furnished with contemporary furniture and a coffee bar.
Is It Possible That Big Tex Rex Came From Dallas
That leads me to wonder...is the dino from The Big Texan, and the one from West End Marketplace, the same dinosaur? Or are these part of a series of root'n toot'n rowdy chopstick riding dinosaurs?
If they're the same, then hats off (or Dallas Cowboys helmet off) to whoever gave Big Tex Rex a facelift.
Here's a link to the article about West End Marketplace, the Tilt arcade, and the vintage photo of what could be a prehistoric Big Tex Rex.