Opening the Tap

Frankie Carabetta, the virile bar magnate who has sown taps and shots all over Uptown (there's even a bar on McKinney Avenue, Frankie's, named after him that he has absolutely nothing to do with), is busy pumping out more progeny. At this time next week, Knox Street Pub & Grill will have been christened right next to Abacus and across the street from Chez Gerard on McKinney, flinging pizza, burgers, wings and gobs of boob-tube sports. Daniel Wallis, formerly of the McKinney Avenue Tavern (The MAT), the bar Carabetta launched with Ed and Michael Ruibal of Landscape Systems of Texas before he divested himself of the project, will run the place. Carabetta has had a busy year siring watering holes. In late January he opened Manhattan, a slick sports-heavy bar in the former Routh Street Café (most recently it was Enigma) location. In late May, he opened the Sapphire Room, which he calls a bar you go to when you don't want to be seen, next to The Grapevine on Maple Avenue. "I have one more left in me before the end of the year, and then that's it for a while," says Carabetta. That last effort will be a pizza parlor/bar somewhere in Uptown with pictures of Sinatra on the walls and Tony Bennett plugging up the sound pipes. No name yet for this one.

Kenneth Weis, formerly of Samba Room and Mignon, has been installed as the new executive chef at Nikita, the quasi Cold War kitsch restaurant and lounge serving dishes with beets and more icy vodka than was usually kept on hand in Soviet nuclear missile silos. One of Weis' new menu installations at Nikita (which has shut down its sluggish afternoon service) is braised Kobe beef short ribs. One wonders when Dallas will get its first taste of Kobe headcheese... Perry's Restaurant, the steak and seafood house specializing in prime beef, will begin lunch service next week from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for the first time since it opened in late 2001. Chef/owner Travis Henderson has developed a separate menu that departs significantly from dinner fare, including, among other things, prime beef hamburgers. But it will also break from the restaurant's prime beef purity, subbing prime cuts with Black Angus beef during daytime hours. "People were asking for it," says Henderson of their lunch plunge. "All the time [people would say] 'We're tired of eating at Capital Grille. We're tired of eating over here. We want to try something different.'...We have a very good following over here."


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