Jaden's, the upscale restaurant and bar/lounge at the Knox Promenade Center off Central Expressway, was just pronounced dead. The restaurant went first, done in a couple of months ago by dining ennui. The owners kept the bar open, but everyone thought it was dead, too. So they killed it in honor of perception three weeks ago. The owners had $3.5 million sunk in Jaden's, so they're coming up with a new concept. "We've been doing demographic studies and everything else in the area trying to figure out what's needed so that we don't have the same catastrophe we had with Jaden's," says Dirk Kelcher, who along with his brother Mark operates Jaden's, Jack's Pub and the Top Rail Ballroom. Kelcher says the problem was the upscale food. Hard to disagree. So they're downscaling, most likely into sporty mode à la Cool River Café sans the pool tables. But this will mean sinking even more money into the place before reopening under a new name, maybe in August. "It's kind of a shame, because we spent so much to make it an upscale place, and then we have to spend money to bring it down." Our advice: Host a slew of Keystone Light wet midriff T-shirt contests all summer. You'll accomplish the same thing at a profit.
Sizzle fizzle: The Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House that was to take shape in the former Star Canyon space in the Centrum building flared out with the onset of the Fourth after Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon (Del Frisco's parent) officials failed to come to terms with the Centrum building's owners, Centrum GS Ltd... Marc Haines has now officially cleared his murky relations with Che restaurant and nightclub; he is "official consulting chef for Che." He has also officially hired the official Che chef: Alfredo Gonzales, whom Haines once hired as opening sous chef for Cuba Libre when he was unofficially an official consulting chef for Consilient Restaurants...Bar conquistador Frankie Carabetta will plant an upscale bar where Gino's Vino Wine Emporium once nested on Routh Street after Gino's, operated by former Lawry's the Prime Rib wine buyer Gino Catenacci, collapsed a few weeks ago. Carabetta also has a name for his new bar in the former David's Pub space in North Dallas: Industry...Drink this: With labels like Paraduxx and Decoy, the Duckhorn Wine Company continues its unrelenting march of duck-related labels (how long before we see a Liquid Quack debut?). But the 2003 Migration Anderson Valley Pinot Noir is superb, an earthy drink that shucks the typical hard-candy composure in favor of rich, velvety textures and bright but deep black cherry flavors framed in tobacco and spice. Get it for $28 at www.goldeneyewinery.com.
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