Two new dining options will be coming to Brownwood next month, opening stores next to each other in the Shoppes at Pecan Bayou development on Commerce Street. McAlister's Deli will be completed first and is scheduled to open its doors on Halloween, while Cotton Patch Cafe plans on a November debut. A second Donut Palace location, at the intersection of Highway 377 and Avenue B, will also open its doors on Oct. 5.
Guy Andrews is the Executive Director of the new Brownwood Municipal Development District. He said the restaurants would be a welcome addition to Brownwood's expanding list of dining options.
“We're excited to have them,” he said. “It gives us other opportunities as part of our quality of life that we experience here.”
Andrews said his organization helps recruit businesses like these to Brownwood. He said there would be more restaurants coming to Brownwood in the near future.
“There are more kind of waiting in the wings that are in progress now,” he said. “After they finish the McAlister's and the Cotton Patch, there's a 16,000 square foot strip center that's also part of that complex that they'll start on.”
Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ray Tipton said it was gratifying to see new businesses enter the community after years of recruitment work.
“Lots of construction going on, and a lot of that is the direct result of retail recruitment that the city, the economic development corporation and the chamber have been doing since 2010,” he said. “We've been actively recruiting large retail. United opened last year as a result of that initiative, and then the … development with McAlister's and Cotton Patch is also a direct result of that.”
Tipton said the two businesses have joined the Chamber of Commerce. He said the chamber could assist them with anything from their grand opening to networking opportunities.
“The first thing we usually do for businesses like that is we offer them help on the grand opening side with the ribbon cutting,” he said. “We help them kind of get the word out that they're open and ready for business and things.”
According to its website, Cotton Patch Cafe is a “community restaurant” with 45 locations in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Created in Nacogdoches in 1989, Cotton Patch has been expanding rapidly and its Brownwood location is one of four new stores currently under construction.
McAlister's Deli was also founded in 1989. Its website describes it as a “fast casual restaurant chain” known for sandwiches, baked potatoes, soups, salads and its sweet tea. There are over 350 McAlister's locations in 26 states.
Both locations are currently hiring.

[UPDATE]: This story has been updated to reflect the new estimated opening day for Cotton Patch Cafe. It was originally scheduled to open in mid-October.