Cheesy Lulu

Maybe finding restaurant space in Dallas isn't as hard as it used to be. Or maybe things are worse than we think. After just a few short weeks of scouring, Texadelphia President Brian Mitts says he's found a new home for the original Philly steak sandwich shop he and his buddies brought to Dallas. They were kicked out of their original lodgings on Leonard Street on April 30 to make room for a boutique hotel. The new Texadelphia spot will open on McKinney Avenue in the location that once housed Lulu's Bait Shack, a place that hasn't seen a restaurant since Lulu was booted in mid-1999. The Dallas extension of the tiny Atlanta-based Lulu's seafood chain vacated the spot after three years when a stiff mix of neighborhood pressure and city parking regulations put the kibosh on Lulu's liquor-license renewal. "Our customers don't tend to puke and piss in other people's yards," says Mitts. "So that kind of helps us." The modest Mitts adds Texadelphia won't run afoul of city parking ordinances because the restaurant will only occupy the lower level of the building, a move that was perhaps taken to prevent patrons from reaching neighborhood yards when the beer pressure gets too great. The transplanted sandwich shop should open in late August or early September, just after the new Texadelphia units in Fort Worth and Las Colinas come on line.

Mangia e Bevi, Alberto Lombardi's neighborhood Italian restaurant on McKinney Avenue, has been put to bed with a shovel. Curiously, instead of a door sign, a freestanding metal sign with scrawlings in blue marker is planted in the walkway urging Mangia e Bevi fans to come to Le Paris Bistrot to "enjoy are [sic] fabulous patio and cousine [sic]," in effect making lemonade out of Lombardi's lemon. Representatives from Lombardi's Inc. didn't return phone calls, but the eatery's McKinney location has not been fortuitous for Lombardi. He transformed a Coco Pazzo into the quasi French bistro Bizú in 1999 before it ran out of gas and became the more casual (and cheaper) Mangia e Bevi along with a pizzeria in early 2000....Nana Grill will celebrate its three-month, $3.5 million renovation by popping corks of Veuve Clicquot Champagne at a dinner June 19 featuring Veuve Clicquot winemaker Fred Panaiotis. The $125 per person dinner (not including tax and gratuity) will even include a shot of 1990 La Grande Dame bubbles...Nation's Restaurant News and Tyson Foods Inc., that Arkansas-based chicken processor that once helped Hillary Clinton with her cattle concerns, named Samba Room one of the most innovative concepts in 2001 by presenting it with a Hot Concepts! Award.


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