The famous Uncle Julio's Restaurant is set to help make this Christmas season in Lubbock extra special by opening a little sooner than anticipated.

The restaurant is planning to be open by the end of the year at the South Plains Mall, the South Plains Mall Management Office told us.

Construction is moving quickly following the razing of the old Firestone, and the building is really taking shape (see photo above). When I stopped by to catch up with the construction progress, there was a large crew working diligently.

Founded more than 30 years ago, the powerhouse Dallas-based restaurant has about 35 locations in 10 states, including 10 in Texas. Uncle Julio's is dedicated to freshness, hand-crafted recipes and Tex-Mex favorites. You can find more about their menu and story at their official website.