|Brian Mays, owner of Sam’s Bar-B-Que in East Austin, Texas|
A Black family-owned barbecue restaurant in East Austin, Texas has been getting a lot of million-dollar offers from developers who want to buy the land where they have long been established. The most recent offer amounts to $5 million but Brian Mays, the owner, says it’s not about the money anymore.
Last June, Mays turned down a $3.5 million offer to leave his family’s business, Sam’s Bar-B-Que. The local community then started showing more support, and more people began eating at the restaurant.
“We’re getting a whole lot more people that’s showing us the love now,” Mays told local news station KVUE.
Just recently, Mays received another offer. This time, it was from an Oregon-based developer who said they can beat the last offer. Yes, indeed, it was $1.5 million more than before. Mays said he hasn’t agreed yet, but with a $5 million offer, he admits that there’s a lot to think about.
“I know the world loves me and I love the world, but $5 million is hard to turn down,” said Mays. “I ain’t ever had no five million in my life.”
The developers have been eyeing land in the area to build new apartment complex or condos which has been going on in East Austin for some time now.
DeLea Becker, an agent with Beck-Reit Commercial Real Estate, said homes and businesses in the area are “being picked over every single day” and gets offers from developers mainly because of its proximity to downtown and the city’s developments.
“We are getting high rents and houses and land, if you will, is selling astronomically high,” said Becker.
Mays, on the other hand, is not giving up just yet on this tough decision. As one of the last few Black-owned businesses, Mays believes it not all about the money.
“You just can’t lay down no more. If we all start doing so, many weekends, you know, every holiday or so, we’re all alright,” said Mays.