Allen Ridge Lifestyle Village celebrated its official grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Saturday after three years of development.
Allen Ridge is a shopping center venue for vendors including Phoenix Pho, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Abilene Nail Bar and more.
Several ACU faculty members and alumni contributed to Allen Ridge. These include: ACU alum Tony Chron (‘76), the developer of the complex, Dodd Roberts, director of the Halbert Center for missions and global service and the owner of Bahama Bucks and Juan Nuñez, head men’s tennis coach, alum and the owner of Summer Moon Oak Roasted Coffee.
“When ACU developed [Allen Ridge] and we saw the development and the plans for it, we knew it was going to be a really nice site,” Roberts said, “We thought this would be a great place to come and put our shop because it’s beautiful and there is nothing like it in Abilene.”
Roberts said he loves to see students enter Bahama Bucks on first dates and believes Allen Ridge is a fun option for kids and families.
“Man, when we have a full drive through and a full dining room, it just makes me excited to know that people like the brand, like the product and hopefully more importantly, like how they are treated here,” Roberts said.
With a close proximity to campus, students have easy access to Allen Ridge. Delayne Fierro, junior kinesiology major from Mansfield and a Summer Moon employee, expects students to frequent the stores, restaurants and outdoor spaces.
“I think [Allen Ridge] gives [students] a safe place to hang out that’s not on campus, somewhere where they know that they can go and relax and unwind away from campus without having to go somewhere crazy,” Fierro said.
The current, completed complex is only the first step in a multi-phase plan for the area.
To Fierro, Allen Ridge is one small part of creating spaces that remind students of home in Abilene.
“It brings another tiny sense of the city to our small town,” Fierro said. “There is a lot of people from bigger cities who are used to Summer Moon and used to the environment of Summer Moon and not having that here was hard for them. By working there, I have learned that there is a lot of people that rely on Summer Moon to bring them a little piece of home.”