Hattie's Helped Build Bishop Arts, and 10 Years Later People Are Still Coming

Dallas' most vibrant dining scene may owe it all to one restaurant.

When I talked to Spence, I described the scene I encountered during my first visit to Hattie's: people on their feet for longer than the trip from the valet to the door, young kids and families walking — walking! — the streets. "That is the marker of this still being a local neighborhood hangout," Spence told me. That's a central element to the appeal of the Bishop Arts District. Through all this expansion and improvement, the neighborhood never abandoned its roots.

Standbys like the mac-and-cheese-crusted filet keep Hattie's dining room packed -- and keep suburbanites coming back to Oak Cliff.
Sara Kerens
Standbys like the mac-and-cheese-crusted filet keep Hattie's dining room packed -- and keep suburbanites coming back to Oak Cliff.
Sara Kerens

Location Info

Map

Hattie's

418 N. Bishop Ave.
Dallas, TX 75208

Category: Restaurant > Soul Food

Region: Oak Cliff & South Dallas

Details

Fried Green Tomatoes $7.95
Bacon Fried Oysters $8.75
Roast Chicken $18.95
Lamb Chops $32.95
Fried Pie $6.95

Hattie's hasn't abandoned its heritage either. Despite its consistent success, the restaurant remains a singular entity. "We thought about putting a second location in Highland Park," Dantzler said when asked about expansion, "but didn't want to cannibalize from what we have here." Which makes sense. Why drive to them when, for almost a decade now, they've proved they're more willing to drive to you?

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8 comments
guest
guest

Hatties did not help build Bishop Arts. There were many people there that started out and helped the area to build. Hatties has a very snooty reputation. They would not donate to fundraisers and chose to be the outsider of the BAD. I have never, will never and don't spend money at this excuse of a "neighborhood" restaurant.

P>S> I live in the hood and have for 20 years.

Heykaren2
Heykaren2

I recently moved to Austin from Dallas for a better job. I still drive back to Dallas monthly to eat at Hattie's. Don't let Austin fool you. They have NOTHING that compares to Hattie's.

Rob
Rob

@MonicaD - great idea, except Jim Lake, Sr passed away. You could certainly talk with Jim Lake, Jr, and he'd tell you much of the same that Spence said. Spence and Lake work together closely to cultivate the amazing atmosphere that you find in Bishop Arts. And both would probably admit that the great shop and restaurant owners (both present and past) are really the ones that deserve the credit. It is their blood, sweat, tears and cash that attract the crowds.

Hellonheels1189
Hellonheels1189

Hattie's is absolutely amazing. The food and.service is consistantly superb. Being able to survive a decade in a city like Dallas says a lot. I agree, who wants to be a John Tesar and start over every 6 months. Keep up the great work Hattie's!!!!

Antoinetty
Antoinetty

FACT CHECK: It was Tillman's Corner back then and Genie's Bishop Grill served up some of the best home cooking in the city, long before Hattie's arrived on the scene.

John Neely Bryan
John Neely Bryan

I think you have "comfortable" & "stale" confused. Hattie's has a great mix of food, location, service, & price; would you rather they go all John Tesar and start over every 6 months or so?

MonicaD
MonicaD

A good source to speak with would have been Jim Lake, who, before David Spence, bought buildings in the Bishop Arts District in 1984, helped rezone it, and brought in Tillman's, Hattie's, Oddfellows, The Soda Gallery, etc. They still own and manage all of those buildings today and help preserve it as a pedestrian neighborhood.

Beda
Beda

I was eating at Gennie's Bishop Grill in 1971 until it closed just a few years ago (I believe they opened in 1970). Gennie's was the pioneer of what is now Bishop's Arts District. Your source is wrong when he states that El Jordan was the only place to eat, and that nobody went to Oak Cliff. The lines every day at Gennie's would prove that statement wrong. Although it was only open for lunch, the place was packed five days of week.

 
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