Moving On

Funny how what is gritty urban charm for some is a fly in the foie gras for others. Just take Deep Ellum's critically acclaimed Standard 2706 restaurant on Elm Street, which chef/owner Tim Byres shut down on Father's Day. "We always tried to give our customers exactly what they wanted," Byres says. "And one of the biggest things that they wanted was for us to move." Byres claims much of his clientele was growing leery of making the trip to the crime-plagued neighborhood, and his revenues were beginning to suffer as a result. So he decided to pack it in, surrender his space to The Thin Room bar nearby and scout for locations in the Park Cities. Byres says he hopes to have Standard relocated and open this fall with the same menu and furnishings. And he escaped not a moment too soon. Just a block away on the day Standard closed its doors, a street shooting left two men injured, one of them critically.

Michael Costa, president of Bluewater Restaurant Group, complains that the Dallas Observer's reporting of the unraveling of his lawsuit-beset restaurant Vino & Basso didn't portray his side of the story. And he's right, though it's hard to capture that side if phone numbers are either disconnected or go unanswered, the restaurant's publicity representatives can't produce viable contact information, and lawsuits aren't responded to. Costa explains his lawsuit reticence thusly: "I didn't think there was any validity to them. It made no sense to throw money after attorneys...If my landlord didn't do what he was supposed to do and my investor didn't do what he was supposed to do, it made no sense." Costa says he was caught in a "squeeze play," with various parties attempting to wrest control of the McKinney Avenue space and the restaurant, which he claims was underfunded out of the chute. He won't cite specific allegations for the record against those he says wronged him, but he does say his investor, former high-tech mogul Mark Floyd, and landlord Monticello West Ltd. didn't live up to their promises. "As far as the landlord and the investor, I don't mind saying they're both in breach of contract," he insists. "And I don't mind saying it's a very sticky situation." John Broude, an attorney for Monticello West, says his client acted as it was entitled to under the terms of the Vino & Basso lease... Roma's Pizza and Restaurant has quietly slipped into the space formerly occupied by Wahoo Grill & Cantina on Greenville Avenue near Walnut Hill Lane. Owner Jimmy Rrukiqi owns two other Roma's in The Colony and Little Elm, and he says he plans to expand deeper into Dallas.


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