JEFFERSON — Downtown Jefferson was rockin’ on as the Remy Reilly Band took the stage at the historic bayou city’s newest music venue and restaurant, 1852 on Austin, which celebrated its grand opening on Thursday.

The new upscale restaurant and music venue housed in an historic old bank built in 1852 will continue to celebrate its grand opening throughout this Labor Day weekend with an all star line up of live performers set to take the stage.

The new restaurant and music venue provides fine dining, as well as live bands, musicians and other performers for East Texans and visitors to enjoy in downtown Jefferson.

The house was packed on Thursday as the Remy Reilly Band took the stage and guests tried out a limited event menu, which will expand to a full menu once the restaurants remaining supplies and tables are delivered.

13 beers sat lined up along the historic bar on Thursday in honor of the 13 fallen U.S. military troops killed recently in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Set up at the historical bayou city’s first bank, the building, which was built in 1852, has been fully updated and renovated to provide a first class dining experience in the heart of Jefferson.

David Echols, a Marshall High School graduate, bought the building and began renovations in the spring. The restaurant and venue is managed by Echols’ business partners, husband and wife duo Mickey and Brenda Morrison.

Echols and the Morrisons were on hand Thursday to greet guests as the doors opened to the public for the first time.

“It’s been a great grand opening event,” Echols said Thursday. “We couldn’t ask for a better staff, we expect a full house tonight to see the Remy Reilly Band out of Nashville and we have had incredible support from the Jefferson community.”

Echols said the celebration at 1852 on Austin, has just begun as a Beatles tribute band, a blues performer and a Texas country star are all set to perform each night throughout the Labor Day weekend. Tickets for the concerts are available on the 1852 on Austin, website.

The building, which was formerly The Franchise, houses a fine dining restaurant at the front of the building, while the music venue is in the rear part of the building with a separate entrance for concerts and events. The state of the art kitchens sit in the center of the building so waitstaff can easily serve food to both the restaurant’s fine dining guests, as well as the music venue’s guests.

The building also features an upstairs apartment suite which has future plans to be available for weekend rentals.

“I grew up in the Caddo Lake area and we were originally looking at purchasing the Big Pines Lodge at Caddo Lake,” Echols said last week. “One day we decided to visit nearby Jefferson for lunch and we were walking up Walnut Street and I saw the ‘for sale’ sign here at The Franchise. I remembered the building from a visit I made to it about 25 years ago.”

One more visit was all it took to convince Echols the location was where he wanted to launch the new restaurant and music venue.

“We will offer a regular lunch menu from 11 to 2 p.m. and fine dining from 5 to 10 p.m., as well as a Sunday brunch,” Mickey Morrison said in describing the restaurant. “We will serve seafood and steak dishes and we will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.”

In addition to the steak and seafood fine dining menu, much of which the seafood is sourced from Alaska, Morrison said the restaurant will also offer a first class wine menu from a California winery.

Next up at the music venue, the Beatles tribute band, “Me & My Monkey,” take the stage at 8 p.m. today and world renowned blues and soul performer Chris Cain at 8 p.m. Saturday. Rounding out the grand opening Labor Day weekend lineup is Texas country star Kylie Frey who will perform at 8 p.m. on Sunday. Doors open each night at 6 p.m. and tickets are on sale now online at www.1852onaustin.com.

1852 on Austin is located at 124 East Austin Street in downtown Jefferson and can be reached by calling 903-601-4457. They can also be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/1852onAustin

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