Royce Ring. Remember him? As senior vice president of the e-brands division of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, he delivered to Dallas Samba Room, Timpano Chophouse, Taqueria Canonita and the yoked Fishbowl/ZenDen while he shepherded Stephan Pyles' AquaKnox and Star Canyon into the e-fold. As a partner in Triple R Group, he split triple T's with Tom Tom Noodle House and Nikita. In league with architect Mark Knauer of Knauer Inc., he coaxed La Duni Latin Kitchen & Baking Studio on Oak Lawn out of the womb. Recently Ring brewed a new concept development firm called Plan B Group with former Samba Room (Dallas) managing partner, Paris Vendome GM and Peru native Alexander Urrunaga. The pair is now in Hawaii kicking actor Jackie Chan's Jackie's Kitchen into shape. This is after Plan B developed Village Burger Bar in the West Village and Chocolate Secrets on Oak Lawn. Plan B is also crafting an oxymoron: an upscale counter-service taqueria in Mockingbird Station with SMU grad and Mexico City native Marcus Pineyro. Urban Taco is a svelte taco stand with high-end brews and margaritas, a "deep salsa program" and a highly produced lounge atmosphere, those contrivances being an endangered species in highly pedicured Dallas.
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Jamie Samford, who departed the kitchens of Lola the Restaurant for Central Market in a quest for more civilized working hours, has left the upscale grocer/meal-replacement emporium for a slot as corporate chef and product development manager for Winn Meat Company. No word on a meal-replacement chef replacement... Fresh from morphing Manhattan Bar into Central Park at Routh and Cedar Springs, tireless bar sire Frankie Carabetta is tackling the ramshackle Sapphire Room on Maple Avenue, which death-rattled earlier this year. He plans on turning it into Maple Avenue Tavern by late September to sluice the thirsty and satiate the famished with burgers, pizza and wings. "That whole area, that's the next place to really go crazy with all of the apartments and condos being built," Carabetta says. At his Tribeca Bar & Lounge on Routh just off McKinney, he's adding a spiral staircase terminating in a rooftop patio, tequila and spiral staircases being the new Dallas trial lawyer jackpot play. "We'll be the only bar in Uptown with a rooftop patio," he promises... Pam Wert, former maître d' at Chris Svalesen's long-ago hot spot Fish and one-time general manager of Snookie's on Oak Lawn has taken over Joe Willy's Market & Grill on Park Lane and Greenville Avenue as an equity-staked general manager. She will turn the circa-1983 bar, burger and bakery goods purveyor into Tilley's Grill with immediate plans to open a second Tilley's in Mesquite.