Frankie Carabetta, the robust bar and pizza maestro who linked with Ed and Michael Ruibal of Landscape Systems of Texas to compose Rocco's pizzeria (since sold), McKinney Avenue Tavern and Corner Bar on McKinney Avenue, has shucked his McKinney Avenue bonds and infiltrated the famous Routh Street Café space that most recently was the upscale dinner house Enigma. The space was also home to Enigma operator Bob Bablu, who inhabited the upper level of the restaurant. In place of both homes, Carabetta opened Manhattan, a two-level Big Apple-style sports bar with a short grub roster including pizza, which he'll shuttle throughout the neighborhood. Carabetta says he and his partners invested more than $300,000 to make the spot sports-worthy. "With the layout of the place I wanted you to be able to watch sports, but I wanted this to be more than just a one-dimensional bar--like a hangout place." Doesn't beer accomplish the same thing?
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Royce Ring, former head of Carlson's Emerging Brands Division (Timpano Italian Chop House, Samba Room, Star Canyon) and co-founder with Russell Hayward of Triple R Group, the firm that created Tom Tom Noodle House and Nikita, has taken his "R's" and gone home. "Basically Royce left," Hayward says. "Royce went on to pursue some other things." Hayward says Ring, who could not be reached for comment, is going to immerse himself in restaurant design, most likely not in Dallas. Hayward insists the split was amicable. "There was no kind of buyout or anything."...Sipango owner Ron Corcoran has partnered with Chris and Charley McGuinness of Dodie's to help resuscitate his bar Daxx on Lower Greenville Avenue. Only it isn't Daxx anymore. The new venue serving "Teriyaki-hula hula chicken" is now 2-one-4. "It's kind of like 8-0," Chris McGuinness says. "But we're going to call it 2-one-4, and I think it's a neat name." McGuinness says the place will be a Bahama Breeze-Margaritaville during the day, and a bump-and-grind club after Mr. Sun passes out...Vine Texas, the glossy four-color wine magazine launched by Link magazine founder Mike Whitaker and Paul Evans last year, never published beyond its inaugural July/August 2002 issue. But that doesn't mean it's dead. Richard Orozco, president of the wine brokerage firm The Winemasters and an investor in the rag, says he hopes to revive it. "I would love to have it back out," he says. "But it just needs a lot of capital to get it lifted off." Meanwhile, Orozco reveals he's scouting the Knox-Henderson area for a space to locate an upscale wine retail shop aimed squarely at Marty's, which should narrow his potential advertising base by at least one notch.