Mike Hoque, president of American Limos & Transportation and the construction firm Tuscany Choice Development LLC is busy reeling them in. Via his restaurant group Fresh Catch LLC, headlined by Go Fish restaurant in Addison, Hoque is blitzing the Dallas orbit with a faster Go Fish: Fish Express, shilling mostly fish wraps and fish tacos. The first of five Fish Expresses will hatch at Preston Road and Forest Lane in October with the remainder fanning out to Allen, Rowlett, Irving and Southlake. Hoque is also furiously scouring Dallas for a second Go Fish location. "A lease is sitting in front of me," Hoque admits. "But I haven't signed it yet. I don't want to tarnish my name by putting it in the wrong location."
Chef Tom Fleming (Lombardi Mare, Lobster Ranch, Pappas Bros., etc.) is readying for a September launch of Central 214, the new regional American restaurant lodged in Kimpton Hotels' boutique Hotel Palomar on Mockingbird Lane and Central Expressway. To help with the heavy lifting, Fleming has brought in sous chef Carl Strelecki, a former principal in chef Tim Byres' ever rumored-to-be-closing Standard. Fleming slips into 214 following a two-and-a-half year duty tour as executive chef of the Old HickorySteakhouse in the Gaylord Texan, a post former Ciudad founding chef Joanne Bondy will fill after she was lured to the Gaylord in May as executive conference center chef. Meanwhile, down the street, the 52-room boutique Hotel Lumen throbs in the remains of the old rundown Ramada Limited at Hillcrest Road near Mockingbird with its restaurant Social headed by former Crescent Court chef Jon Schwarzenberger. The project, originally headed by Trece founder Robert Colombo and dubbed the Hillcrest Hotel, is owned by Headington Oil Co. LP, a small Dallas-based oil and natural gas drilling firm. Headington is also the developer of the seemingly moribund $40 million (it was supposed to open earlier this year but has been pushed to 2007) Joule Urban Resort downtown on Main Street...It's been a brutal couple of weeks for Dallas chef Marc Haines. Haines, current sales manager for Sysco Food Services of Dallas, former chef for Sipango, Cuba Libre and Larry North's North-South, and avid comic book creator, returned from Arizona recently where he delivered a eulogy for his 20-year-old sister Virginia Nicole "Niki" Hall. Hall was stabbed to death July 11 in her apartment in Tempe, Arizona. Police arrested and charged Jody Lee Cline, also 20, with first-degree murder. Cline, who was a friend of Hall's and had been staying with her in her apartment, claimed a "voice" told him to attack Hall.