Austin barbecue brothers face backlash over planned wedding venue

Update, Jan. 12, 3:15 p.m.: In an email statement, Mark Black said residents in the area where the wedding venue is planned have “by and large have been very welcoming and informative with us about what is important to them and their concerns.” The team behind the venue has made “changes that were positive for all involved” following meetings with residents, Black said. He also called criticism from opponents of the venue a “smear campaign about us and the project.”

Earlier: Dripping Springs was named the official “wedding capital of Texas” last year, but it sounds like the town has already tired of the designation. 

According to KVUE, one of the big names in Texas barbecue has proposed a new wedding venue on Crystal Hill Drive, at an Austin address in the Dripping Springs area -- much to the dismay of those who live on the rural road.

Brothers Michael and Mark Black of Austin’s Terry Black’s Barbecue (whose “great-grandfather founded Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart in 1932”), recently purchased 64 acres of land near the road to build Black Ranch, a wedding venue featuring two separate event spaces with a capacity of 300 people each.

However, nearby homeowners are concerned that the venue will produce more traffic than the road can handle. Other concerns include water supply, bright lights and loud music. 

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According to KVUE, “neighbors feel the brothers haven’t listened to their concerns,” but the venue still requires several permit approvals and hasn’t yet begun construction.

READ: Neighbors sue Terry Black’s over barbecue smoke

“Every concern is being addressed of some sort and, don't get me wrong, there's going to be some changes, but it's not going to be anything to the effect that they've made it out to be," Mark Black told KVUE.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the capacity of Black Ranch as 600 people. The venue contains two separate event spaces with a capacity of 300 people each. This story also incorrectly referred to Crystal Hill Drive as Crystal Hills Drive.

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