Billy Bob's Texas ownership battle heads to court

Image 1 of 2

A courtroom showdown over the future of a Fort Worth institution is pitting father against son.

The two have very different visions for what should happen to Billy Bob's Texas.

It’s the kind of drama that would make for a good country music song. And on Friday, attorneys laid out the first verse with their opening arguments.

The cowboys who own pieces of Billy Bob's all headed into a courtroom for a bar fight, albeit a civilized one with only verbal punches thrown.

“We have the Stockyard's family feud,” said Fort Worth Star-Telegram Columnist Bud Kennedy.

At stake is a Fort Worth legend billed as the world's largest honky-tonk.

Concho Minick, the current manager, wants the court to appoint a receivership which could end with Billy Bob's on the auction block.

Kennedy explains the disagreement:  Should Billy Bob's morph into the future or remain a part of the past?

“They started disagreeing over this $150 million shopping development around the former packing houses around Billy Bob's,” he explained. “That's where things really went downhill."

The feud has pitted business partner against business partner and even father against son.

“Is it going to be the Hickman's view of the Stockyards and Majestic Development, or Concho and Murrin's view of more limited historical, respectful Stockyards?” Kennedy said.

The company has an odd provision that requires all the owners unanimously agree on any changes. Kennedy hopes the iconic honky-tonk doesn't become a casualty of the bickering.

“Here in the Stockyard's, no one agrees with anyone. Their favorite sport is rodeo, but their second favorite sport is feuding,” he said. “Everyone around the world knows where the biggest honky-tonk on the planet is. It’s Billy Bob's in Fort Worth."

There is also a touch of celebrity with the court battle. On Monday, Donnie Nelson is set to testify. In addition to being the Maverick's general manager, he is one of the owners of Billy Bob's.