For three decades and change, Farmer's Grill has served greasy-spoon, cozy-home grub featuring fresh produce from the nearby Farmers Market. No more. The place is going upscale. Two months ago, the disheveled Grill was taken over by Dr. Ira Murchison, a family practitioner, and Calvin Graham, a commercial and residential real estate dabbler, with ambitions to transform it into Backdoor Grill. Backdoor Grill will shuffle prime beef, burgers, fresh fish and baby back ribs starting in late July. According to Graham, they plan to capitalize on the upscale loft and condo real estate rash blooming around the Farmers Market. "There is nothing within four miles that will service them in the type of food that we're trying to present," Graham says. "I just feel it will fill a great void." More filler: big-screen TVs to serve up platters of sports.
Greg Kalina, former vice president of operations for Consilient Restaurants (Cuba Libra, Hibiscus, Sense, Fireside Pies, etc.) and one of the original generals when that company was just Cuba Libra, has decamped after more than six years. "I just wanted to slow a bit," he says. "I was looking for more harmony in my life." Now, after cashing out his equity interest in Consilient, Kalina is sniffing for new projects with the intent of eventually developing his own upscale casual restaurant concept either in Dallas or out of state... Edward Mendoza is out as executive chef of Kitchen 1924, Lakewood's ode to the generic kitchen. "Edward and I, for the last month or so, the relationship started to sour a little bit, and I was being told 'no' a whole bunch," says Kitchen 1924 founder Shawn Horne. "He wanted to do froufrou stuff. So we went ahead and parted ways." In the Mendoza wake, Horne hired former Aurora chef Brian La Grange to assume the 1924 executive chef post. In the meantime, Mendoza has joined forces with his former Lola kitchen colleague Scott Gottlich to open Bijoux, a French restaurant that will burrow into the former Cheeburger Cheeburger space on West Lovers Lane near Inwood. Well, it's not officially French, but it will pluck planetary influences and pester them with French technique. Which technically makes it a global fusion mongrel with a lot of kitchen cussing and humiliation. But hark, there will be sweetbreads... Glass Cactus, a 39,000-square-foot nightclub with live music and "a sassy selection of creative appetizers" and "club cuisine," is set to open August 11 on the shores of Lake Grapevine at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center. Glass Cactus will gush tequila and feature VIP-level exclusivity and a 13,000-square-foot multitiered outdoor deck.
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