An hour after Jacob and David Proffitt started taking reservations on Facebook early Thursday afternoon, all the tables but one were reserved for opening night Thursday for The Uptown Fox, 1202 Main St.
The new upscale lounge and restaurant at 13th and Main streets opened Thursday and will be open Friday and Saturday evenings. It will be open again next Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings also. Eventually, the brothers will open for both lunch and dinner all week long.
“We want to get our feet under us first,” said Jacob Proffitt, giving a tour Thursday afternoon of the newly renovated venue. Renovated in what he described as an Audrey Hepburn-type classic movie decor, the new spot has plush, velvety seating, shiny aluminum tile in the bar area, movie posters and old photographs of the building’s previous life, when it opened in 1950 as the Fox Theater, Hays’ favorite movie theater.
By taking reservations for opening weekend, the two Hays businessmen hope to avoid the crush of people they witnessed when they opened their Tiger Burger restaurant in 2017.
“We’re opening light,” said David Proffitt. “We had a line around the block with Tiger Burger and we couldn’t possibly handle that here. We want controlled chaos.”
Thursday afternoon, David was unpacking cigars in the cigar room. Will there be any Cuban cigars? “No,” he explained, “that would be illegal, since 1962. But we will have Cuban seed cigars, those are legal.” The Fox’s cheapest cigar runs about $6, while the most expensive is $100, he said.
Jacob on Thursday helped unbox golf putters. Guests can shoot a few putts on the indoor golfing green, or there’s corn hole for those who prefer that.
Thursday’s customers were set to start arriving around 5 p.m.
“We’ll have a very select menu, the first two weekends we start,” said David. Serving certified USDA prime beef filets, salmon, shrimp and chicken, the restaurant’s featured items are borrowed with permission from popular well-known spots around the country, such as the St. Elmo’s spicy lobster bisque from Nick and Sam’s Steakhouse in Dallas, lump crab from Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Houston, Philly cheesesteak sandwich from Pat’s King of Steaks, Philadelphia, crab rangoon pizza from Fong’s Pizza, of Des Moines, Iowa, and drinks such as the Cable Car cocktail from the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
“They were all really good about sharing with us,” David said. “We went and visited them and they taught our chefs how to make the recipes.”
Even Hofbrauhaus in Munich has shared its pork knuckle rib recipe.
“They said we could use their recipe but they wanted us to serve their beer with it,” said David. “So Eighth Street Liquor was able to get it in for us.”
Dress code is business casual, but there’s food on the menu for every budget, say the brothers.
“You’ll be able to get a sandwich here for 12 bucks,” said Jacob. “We want everyone to come.”
With 20 tables, the restaurant can seat 112 for dinner, said David. Walk-ins are welcome, but there’s no guarantee there will be seating. Folks who want to stop by for a drink will find limited seating at the bar, but the brothers say everyone is welcome.
“We’ll do our best to accommodate people,” said Jacob. “But we strongly recommend they make reservations.”