One of the first things that was supposed to re-emerge from the FoodStar Restaurant Group's ashes was PoPoLos. Original owner Maury Jaffer, who had sold the restaurant to the group in late 1997 for $1.1 million, got it back last fall on undisclosed terms. He made plans to reopen by mid-December. It's still sealed shut. "I quite frankly didn't want the restaurant back," Jaffer says. "All I wanted to do is get paid." But when he did get it back, he says, he discovered that he couldn't just go in, buff it up, and start operating. The place was a complete mess. "I mean, I wouldn't put my name on it, that's for sure," he says. Jaffer says he's hoping to reopen the restaurant, which will remain PoPoLos, in February.
Lest you think McKinney Avenue was getting a little too chic with all of the French bistros and their various knock-offs replicating among the construction rubble, you must have forgotten about O'Dowd's Little Dublin Irish Ale House and Pub. We know we did. It was originally supposed to open in October. But its interior, crafted in Dublin from materials plucked from old Irish churches and schools, was floating somewhere on the Atlantic as that month drew to a close. Opening was then moved to December. But the year 2000 disaster point came and went, and there was still no caraway cabbage and boxty to compete with McKinney's escargot infestation. Apparently, those containers packed with bars, booths, tables, chairs, stairways, columns, tiles, and other assorted authentic Irish stuff didn't arrive until the holidays. The Mayflower could have shipped the stuff to Dallas faster. Anyway, look for the two-level pub to open in late January.
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Lo lo Lola
Nick Barclay says his efforts to sell his lauded restaurant Barclays nearly blew up in his face. "It's been a fascinating experience, negotiating," he says, refusing to divulge the details. "It got a bit dicey for a while. It did come down to the witching hour." But the deal was closed, and Van Roberts, of Point West Volvo and John Roberts BMW in Irving, will open "Lola" in its place in February. Roberts, who brought in Angeluna chef Jamie Samford, says he was able to retain Barclays' kitchen staff for his restaurant, which will serve upscale New American cuisine. "It all ended up nicely," says Barclay, who plans to leave for England mid-month to shop for a little hotel to operate there. "It's a big relief, to be honest with you."
— Mark Stuertz
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