Bandit BBQ team opens new Government Hill Big Animal restaurant and bar in former Hello Paradise spot near Pearl


Say goodbye to Thai food and tiki drinks. Hello burgers, hot dogs and sausages. The team behind Bandit BBQ have just signed on to take over the former Hello Paradise space on East Grayson Street near the Pearl with a concept dubbed Big Animal.

Partner and chef Mark Garcia said his teams aim to provide high-quality food at an accessible price and hope to open in April.

“We’re going to serve thoughtful burgers. Think of it as food to drive a muscle car with homemade sausages and hot dogs,” Garcia said. “We’re trying to reach the crowd that wants good food and drink but doesn’t necessarily want to pay Pearl prices.”

The team behind Bandit BBQ is opening a burger, sausage, and hot dog restaurant called Big Animal in the former home of Hello Paradise.

Paul Stephen/Staff File Photo

Bandit BBQ has earned a significant following and praise for its barbecue and burgers at its South Flores Street shop in the Lone Star Arts District, which opened in 2020. This location will remain open, and variations of its rented burgers , Garcia said, will be on the menu alongside the sausages and hot dogs he handcrafted at Bandit BBQ.

Garcia said the Bandit team also plans to display a Bandit BBQ food truck at Bruno’s Dive Bar in Southtown this summer. These plans depend on the availability of staff, which remains difficult to obtain for restaurateurs across the country.

Bandit BBQ previously operated a food truck in Floresville outside of Dean & Peeler Meatworks, which Bandit founder and pit boss Brandon Peterson has long sourced meat from. Bandit closed the Floresville operation last summer.

Property updates at 520 E. Grayson St. will take approximately 60 days. Work will include adding additional heating and cooling equipment to keep the largely outdoor space comfortable in winter and summer. There will also be a table ordering system to streamline kitchen and bar service.

The location was once home to Jason Dady’s Shuck Shack, then Hello Paradise, which Jeret Peña and his Boulvardier Group business partners opened in December 2020. Garcia said that team will remain with Big Animal as consultants to develop a program of cocktails adapted to the new restaurant. menu.

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