Four Companies, Three Restaurants, Two Owners, One Passion
Brazos Valley, Meet the Beckman Family
Article by Hannah Holbrook | Photos + Answers by Mary Beckman
People in the Brazos Valley like good food, there’s no doubt about it. With so many options, customers have a wide variety of flavors to choose from at meal time. Over the years Mary and Wade Beckman have proved themselves to residents of the Brazos Valley: not just with quality flavor, but with excellent service. This power couple owns four food businesses in our region: Shipwreck Grill, Amico Nave Ristorante, 3rd on Main, and Admiral Catering. Each one is a unique manifestation of the couple’s heart and passion for food.
Both Aggies, Mary and Wade fell in love with the Brazos Valley early on. I got to sit down with Mary and discuss her and Wade’s decision to plant their roots in the Brazos Valley. “We just really believe in this community. You can make a difference here. That’s one of the big reasons we came here. It’s a place where you can not only give back to the community, but you can see the result of it, and see that it helps people and does good. This community lives for community. I’ve never seen it anywhere else. It’s just unbelievable to me. And of course, any time you give back, you get back way more than you gave. We just believe in making that difference,” Mary explained.
Their heart, restaurant experience, passion for good food, and commitment to our community has allowed them to create three very different, but very successful restaurants. Let’s take a look into each one:
If you’ve ever driven down Villa Maria Road, you’ve no doubt seen the giant boat like structure doubling as a seafood restaurant. What’s Shipwreck Grill’s claim to fame? Honestly, they just have really good seafood. Fresh oysters, crawfish, and shrimp, delicious fried comfort food, all served up in a fast, fun environment, what’s not to love? Their bar is a local happy hour hot spot. “Our bar at Shipwreck is probably the coolest thing. It’s almost 360 degrees, there’s just one little part that doesn’t have seats. People know that if they’re by themselves, or if they’re single that night, they can come up and they’ll know somebody at the bar and everyone can talk because they’re facing other people. The bartender is in the middle so she can interact with you. It’s kind of a really neat dynamic and people really love it. We have regulars that come in five days a week and hang out and just chat with each other. We get a lot of people that if they don’t somewhere to go, they’ll come to Shipwreck, hang out, and know somebody by the end of the evening,” explained Mary.
Hot&Dirty Shrimp, Crawfish Poboy, and Boiled Shrimp
Wade’s step-father, Tony Bellagio, came from an Italian family that immigrated to Bryan, Texas from Sicily in 1926. Many of the sauces at Amico Nave are his grandmother’s recipes. “Sicilian Italian has been a passion of Wade’s because of his stepdad, and it’s been a passion of mine because I just absolutely love Italian food. Kind of in honor of Tony we created this restaurant and paired his grandmother’s sauces and meatballs with modern dishes and created this cool Italian place,” explained Mary.
Amico Nave is a place where the old world meets the new world, right in the heart of Bryan. From the menu to the decor, every aspect of the refined atmosphere causes you to feel like you’ve teleported to Italy. “We like to say that it’s the best Italian in the heart of Bryan. It’s right here in the middle, it’s old world meets new world. Even with our décor you get a hint of the old world, but it’s still a really updated look, and we have upscale cocktails, it’s really a mesh of the old and new,” explained Mary.
Norwegian Salmon, Admiral’s Crabcake, and Chipotle Pizza
The Beckman family opened their newest restaurant in the heart of Downtown Bryan in November of 2018. The food is Americana with a twist. “We just really got to have fun with this one. We got to play with the design and the menu and serve things that we really like to eat. We love to eat gourmet burgers and we love to eat cornbread, so we kind of got to put all of those things together, and we came out with this cool menu that’s just sort of its own thing,” said Mary. While some people don’t like seafood, and others don’t like Italian, here in Texas, everyone likes Americana. Stepping into 3rd on Main, you’ll find a delicious mixture of comforting, down-home style cooking: think cheese, pork, gourmet burgers, queso, french fries, cornbread, chili dogs, fried chicken & waffles, and breakfast tacos. Their fast paced counter service, rustic-industrial design, and explosion of flavor have all contributed to create the perfect hot spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Downtown Bryan.
The Main Event, Chicken & Waffles, and Bacon Jam Burger
“Our signature entrée, in the morning it’s called the Morning After, and in the afternoon it’s called the Main Event. They’re very similar. It’s Wade’s homemade cornbread savory pancakes, pulled pork, and white queso, and then in the morning we do a fried egg on top. In the evening the fried egg comes of and we do a homemade pineapple salsa. Our burgers are amazing too. Our Bacon Jam Burger, we take 15 pounds of bacon, we sauté it with onions and maple syrup, we cook it down until it’s a gelatinous jelly, and we’ll put that on a burger with a fried egg on top. And it has a sweet sourdough bun. We have five or six burgers and they’re all great. We serve cornbread with all of our signature house specialties, its savory and kind of sweet and kind of spicy. It’s addictive.” -Mary Beckman