Fishbowl Bellies Up

Fishbowl, the Pan-Asian restaurant on Knox Street developed by Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, was shut down suddenly this past Tuesday night. Sources say retailer Pottery Barn, just two doors down the street, will sweep into the space or install a new retail concept where sushi and sake once trod, though neither Carlson nor San Francisco-based William Sonoma Inc., Pottery Barn's parent, would confirm the move. Fishbowl was opened in AquaKnox's lounge in an attempt to spark an adrenaline rush in the sagging upscale "global water cuisine" restaurant that Carlson snagged in 1998 from Star Canyon founders Stephan Pyles and Michael Cox. But Fishbowl's retro 1960s lunge at hipness did little to revive Aqua's fortunes, and AquaKnox morphed into zen den--under the Fishbowl umbrella--a concept that Emerging Brands creator Royce Ring secured the rights to and took with him when he exited Carlson. At least three Dallas-area restaurant operators made a play for Fishbowl after Carlson decided to dump its Emerging Brands division--which in addition to Fishbowl included Star Canyon, Timpano Italian Chop House, Mignon and Samba Room, among others--but were unable to reach terms. Sources say Carlson is actively negotiating with various other operators in an anxious effort to toss off Star Canyon, though the company says it is not yet close to a deal.

Planet Zolon, a Dallas-based restaurant concept development firm founded last September, is slapping a pair of new restaurants around the Dallas area: Zolon, a bistro; and Zo, "an elevated Italian experience," which means high-energy in Planet Zolon parlance. Zolon is slated to open in Sundance Square sometime in May while Zoë should hit the same Fort Worth stretch sometime this summer. A second Zolon will land in Dallas' Knox-Henderson strip this fall. Planet Zolon is the creation of Zolon Wilkins III, a former chef at the Rainbow Room in New York City and one-time CEO of Lexington Services, the largest hotel reservations provider in North America...Gina Puente-Brancato, founder of La Bodega Winery, has been tapped to be president of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. Founded in 1995 and located in Terminal A-gate 15 at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, La Bodega is billed as the world's first and only winery smack dab in the middle of a major airport...Eden Blocker, former general manager and pastry chef of Fort Worth's Bistro Louise as well as pastry chef at Colorado's Broadmoor resort, has slipped into the executive chef spot at The Café at Daired's, parked in a corner of Daired's Salon and Spa Pangéa in Arlington. Daired's is billed as the only full-service day spa of its kind in the Southwest.


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