Jon Calabrese and Joe Hickey, the pair who spawned the twin venue Legal Grounds coffee bar (by day) and Savory restaurant (by night), are gestating triplets. In September, Calabrese and Hickey will launch Taste restaurant and State & Allen bar coupled with an urban market anchored by a common kitchen at State and Allen near the State-Thomas Historic District. Taste flavors will be similar to Savory's (albeit with a wood-burning oven) while State & Allen will be a casual lounge similar to a Chicago neighborhood bar, says Calabrese. The market will feature house-made pastramis and corned beef plus imported meats, fresh flowers and newspapers from around the country.
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Mark Hoegh, marketing director for YamaBeef in Mabank, says that the East Texas Kobe beef purveyor has idled plans to install an über-pricey Kobe beef steak house in Dallas after lease negotiations collapsed on the former Mediterraneo site at Preston and Frankfort, which at last glance was Samurai Sushi. Instead, he says, the company may scout locations in Tyler and elsewhere before reconsidering a Dallas plunge...Former Liberty operating partner Chad Boyle has left his general manager post at Nikita restaurant and bar to assume the role of general manager at Steel... Cork Wine and Cheese Bar, one of the precious few Dallas wine bars that were purchased by Avanti owners Jack Ekhtiar and A. Malek last fall, has been sold. The McKinney Avenue location is now poised to become a pizza joint: L.A. Gourmet Pizza, a tiny Lexington, Kentucky-based chain that may slowly be sprinkled over Dallas-Fort Worth. The restaurant should open within the next couple of weeks... Al Biernat of Al Biernat's restaurant has scored the "outstanding restaurateur of the year" award dispensed by the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association for promoting "proper business ethics" and "displaying leadership skills...to help build a positive overall industry image." But on that note, we would strongly urge the GDRA to consider Al Heidari, owner of The Old Warsaw, for a special award: the "maybe you can't fight city hall, but you can still blow smoke in its face" medal of honor. The latest D magazine features an Old Warsaw ad with the headline "Dining Elegance Since 1948," under which a group of chefs smirk while they light up and puff away for the camera in The Old Warsaw's kitchen. "It was taken back in 1956," Heidari says. But is there a sly, tongue-in-cheek protest message here? "It's supposed to say on the picture that the picture was taken in 1956, but it doesn't say it, so..." We get the picture.