Marsha Wells points to a stage in the bar seating area of Texas Music City Grill & Smokehouse-Tyler. 

"We're going to knock out a wall and open up this space to create more room," she said. 

She and her husband, Sam, longtime owners of the restaurant at 5424 Old Jacksonville Highway, Tyler, also plan to remodel the patio to make it more accommodating for musical acts and the people who are coming there to enjoy them.

Live music is now a big part of the identity of the restaurant previously known as Coyote Sam's.

The couple recently entered into a partnership with Bill Andreason, one of the owners of Texas Music City Grill & Smokehouse in Lindale. 

Sam Wells, who owns property near the restaurant in Lindale, asked Andreason if he knew anyone who might be interested in becoming a joint owner of Coyote Sam's and was surprised to learn that he was.

The couple wanted a partner who could help them grow the 12-year-old restaurant known for its Southwestern food and eventually take over when they retire, Sam Wells said.

They changed the restaurant's name and added music to be more like its sister restaurant, which presents musical acts on several nights.

Texas Music City Grill & Smokehouse-Tyler features the duo Second Childhood each Wednesday night and various country music acts on Friday and Saturday nights. 

There is no cover charge to hear the music, which is presented in a space separate from dining areas.

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Formerly Coyote Sam's , the Texas Music City, Grill and Steakhouse, on Old Jacksonville Highway in Tyler. Offers Live music and Great food, and is filled with Texas antiques and memorabilia. (Lang White/Correspondent)

"We want to bring in performers who don't play all the time in Tyler," Marsha Wells said. 

The atmosphere and the food selections remain the same.  

Sam Wells said he originally built the Texas-themed restaurant to pay homage to his family's heritage. He said his ancestors were in Texas when Texas was still an independent republic.

His extensive collection of yesteryear firearms and knives are on display in cases throughout the restaurant. 

After the new name appeared on the outdoor signs, some longtime patrons were relieved to find that not much had changed on the inside. 

"At first some people thought we were gone," Marsha Wells said. "They'd come in and say, 'What are you still doin' here?'"

Both remain part of the day-to-day operations at Texas Music City Grill & Smokehouse-Tyler and do not plan to retire any time soon.

"We're here to stay," Sam Wells added.  

Danny Mogle has covered news in East Texas for decades. He currently focuses on arts, entertainment and human interest stories and serves as the editor of Lifestyles Magazine.

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