The creators of “Yellowstone,” one of the most popular dramas on television, began setting up on Monday at Farina’s Winery & Café in Granbury, where it will be used as one of the sets for its new prequel series, “1883.”
“They initially made contact with my wife and said they were interested in the building, but that’s the extent of what we knew,” said Gary Farina, the owner of Farina’s Winery & Café. “We didn’t know anything about the show or anything like that, so then when they came out and looked at our building and saw our bar, they felt that it would be in keeping with the ‘Yellowstone’ spinoff, ‘1883.’ The bar that we have in our building is from the late 1800s; it’s an American bar. It was made by the Brunswick Corporation — the company that makes bowling alleys and pool tables. They were like the premier bar builders in America.”
In keeping with the late 1800s time period, the film crew, King Street Productions, had to redesign and restructure Farina’s. The name of the restaurant was changed to “Calhoun Hotel, Restaurant & Saloon” for the filming.
“They've taken everything — all of the conduit, light fixtures, everything was taken out except for the bar itself,” Farina said. “We have a mezzanine in that first room — they covered that up with a wall. We have granite top on our antique bar — they covered that with wood. They’ve done some really cool things.”
Filming began at Farina’s on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., with several streets near the square closed for the production.
Farina said the more he found out about the prequel series, the more excited he got.
“We’ve always been very proud of that building,” he said. “We completely restored that building when we bought it 13 years ago, so we brought it back to its original condition. It’s kind of cool that now that we’ve restored it, it gets to be used in the time frame that it was built; it’s a neat metamorphosis coming full circle.”
"Yellowstone” first aired in 2018 on Paramount Network starring Kevin Costner as John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. The ranch is constantly under attack by those it borders — land developers, an Indian reservation and America’s first National Park, according to imdb.com.
The official synopsis of “1883” states, “’1883’ follows the Dutton family as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of untamed America. It is a stark retelling of Western expansion, and an intense study of one family fleeing poverty to seek a better future in America’s promised land — Montana.”
The prequel series stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as James and Margaret Dutton, along with western-genre veteran Sam Elliott as Shea Brennan, a cowboy who guides the Duttons from Texas to Montana, according to Town & Country magazine.
“Since the show is set in the 1800s, we have the challenge of recreating a believable world for that period,” stated the key assistant location manager for the series, Mitchell Jarrett, in the filming notification flyer. “When the characters walk out the door, we want the camera to see streets and alleys that look like the year 1883. It’s a tough challenge, but one we are hoping to have a lot of fun with and one we feel confident we’re up to with the help of the community.”
Kristen Gibson, the assistant director for Visit Granbury, said she began working with the film crew in June, searching for locations that were tailored to what they were looking for.
“They were looking for properties built before 1883,” Gibson said. “They were looking for specific types of properties that went along with their storyline. I know that they're filming throughout North Texas. We just feel really excited that we were chosen to be one of the locations.”
She said she hopes that this project will allow Granbury to expand and work with other film companies in the future.
“This will be a great tourism opportunity for Granbury when it airs,” Gibson added. “People will get to see Farina’s in a new way, and hopefully that'll bring them downtown and help them explore historic properties to bring attention to our ‘Best Historic Small Town in America’.”
The new prequel series is set to air Dec. 19, on Paramount+.