By Amanda Rogers
COVID-19 delayed the opening of Flix Brewhouse in Mansfield, but it couldn’t stop it. Despite all the odds, the combination movie theater/craft brewery/restaurant is set to open Sept. 28 in Mansfield’s Shops at Broad.
“It was originally scheduled to open in the summer of 2020,” said Chance Robertson, Flix CEO. “We actually did walk away in the middle of COVID. We were down to three employees (for the entire nine-theater chain). We started to reopen in 2021.
“This project was not really on the owners’ radar,” Robertson said. “The property came under new ownership and we renegotiated the lease.”
The two-story theater at 416 US 287 sat 60 percent complete for three years, Robertson said. Construction resumed in April, and now opening day is almost here.
The nine auditoriums will seat between 45 and 204 people, each seat with a sliding table and soft, cushy recliner. The largest theater boasts a 55-foot screen and there’s also a 3D screen. All nine auditoriums have Dolby sound.
Theater-goers can order from their seats using QR codes or push a button next to their seat to have food and drinks delivered during the film. Options range from popcorn and wings to burgers, scratch-made pizza with sourdough bread, cheese curds, all-day breakfast and milkshakes.
People who don’t want to see a movie can hang out in the 70-seat community room with tables, booths, a full bar and craft beers made inside the building. A 20-person meeting room can be used for parties, meetings or watching games – and has free pinball machines.
Every location of Flix Brewhouse has its own head brewer who brews Flix’s signature craft beers and creates local brews. Matt Bullen , Mansfield’s head brewer, has created two Mansfield brews – a hoppy pale ale and a blonde – to go along with Flix’s main beers, which include a Scottish ale, Nebulous (a hazy IPA), Lucha Libre (a Mexican lager) and Luna Rosa (an American wheat ale with 84 pounds of raspberries and red wheat).
“We’ll primarily sell Texas-brewed beers on draft,” explained David Meillier, vice president of operations. “We’ll have national brands in the can.
“The community room will feel like a tap room or restaurant,” Meillier said. “And four robots will deliver your food.”
The robots were brought in as part of the post-pandemic workforce when the regular workforce didn’t rebound. In addition to delivering food, the robots can sing, dance and advertise upcoming films, including wearing Michael Myers mask while playing the theme from “Halloween.”
The first film that will be shown at the new Mansfield Flix will be “The Creator,” paying tribute (or freaking out theater-goers) with the robots rolling around the restaurant. In addition to new releases, the theater chain shows classics like “The Goonies,” “Three Amigos” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
Flix, which has theaters in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa, began in Round Rock. The chain is embracing Mansfield, its 10th theater, with special touches around the building, including a mural of Spiderman leaping off the Mansfield water tower and a giant Mansfield sign over the restaurant.
“It’s obvious that Mansfield is going to grow,” Robertson said. “We looked at up-and-coming markets and markets that did not have a dining concept (theater). You can get food at another movie theater, but you’re not going to get scratch-made pizza served at your seat and beer made in-house.”
The restaurant will open one hour before the first movie starts and stay open as long as the movies are running, Meillier said.. For more information, go to www.flixbrewhouse.com.
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.