Carl’s Corner Not Ready for New Year’s Eve Party With Willie Nelson and Friends

Construction continues on Carl’s Corner Truck Stop on Interstate 35E just north of Hillsboro. Founder Carl Cornelius said it might be ready for a reopening party in May. He hopes to get pal Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard to perform at the bash.

Like Willie sings: Ain’t it funny how time slips away.

The new, improved Carl’s Corner Truck Stop, made famous when Willie Nelson began selling biodiesel fuel there in 2004, won’t be ready in time for the New Year’s Eve reopening bash its owners had hoped to throw.

In fact, it could be May before the 22-year-old landmark is ready for christening, founder Carl Cornelius said.

“Just can’t build it fast enough,” Cornelius said. “It all depends on people delivering stuff and getting things done.”

But construction is going well, he said. The old-fashioned saloon is coming together and the restaurant’s walls are going up. Other plans call for a TV lounge, Nelson-themed general store and a photo gallery.

The old wood-paneled building off Interstate 35E was demolished in August.

At the time, the owners said they hoped Nelson, Merle Haggard and others would headline the New Year’s Eve bash in the adjacent 800-seat auditorium. Cornelius said this week that they still hope to somehow celebrate its reopening.

“We’ll wait and see where everybody is,” he said. “Whenever it’s ready, it’s going to look really good.”

“Whenever it’s ready, it’s going to look really good.”

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