Italian Cowboy, the cartoonish Tex-Ital marvel at Spring Valley Road and Central Expressway, has conked out, or maybe pooped out. It seems Italian Cowboy owners Francesco and Jane Secchi, who also own Ferrari's and Il Grano, noticed the premises was afflicted with the recurring odor of sewage since before the place opened. The stench was so acute that it rendered Italian Cowboy unsuitable for employees, driving one of the managers into physical illness--not a good thing for a restaurant. So the Cowboy's owners did what any reasonable operator in a septic pickle would do: They sued. Filed July 12 in Dallas County, the Secchis' lawsuit alleges the Prudential Insurance Co. and Prizm Partners (neither of which responded to the Dallas Observer's questions), the latter the Cowboy's landlords, failed to negotiate the lease in good faith by not disclosing these putrid little facts. The suit also says the property suffered a termite infestation and that on at least one occasion, raw sewage seeped in front of the Italian Cowboy's outdoor patio area during business hours. Which raises the question: Why pay a lawyer to do the work of a Roto-Rooter?
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Thomas Avenue Beverage Co. owner Joel Lebovitz says his new restaurant should open in roughly one month. He calls it 2900 Thomas Avenue. "We've been referring to it as 2900 for the last six months," he says. "So we're rolling with it." Chef for 2900 is TABC chef Mike Smith. Matt Tarantino, brother of front-of-the-house heavy Peter Tarantino and chef Patrick Tarantino of the defunct Tarantino's, will oversee TABC's kitchen under the tutelage of Smith. "He's the good one," says Lebovitz of the Tarantino's trio. Assembled in a circa 1940s building, 2900 will be a small, casual neighborhood restaurant serving upscale New American cuisine...In one of the weirdest restaurant promotions ever, Paul Vinyard, owner of Babe's Chicken Dinnerhouse and Bubba's, has constructed what he calls a R.A.V. (Roundup and Assault Vehicle) to destroy a "Mutken" infestation in Texas. A Mutken is a giant 7-foot-tall chicken. Mutkens hang around South Texas feeding on grain. When grain is scarce they feed on goats, sheep, cats, dogs and maybe short people. Amazingly, Mutken meat doesn't taste like chicken. So to fight off these things, Vinyard has deployed the R.A.V., an old International Harvester Fire Truck done up in zebra camouflage and armed with 50- and 90-millimeter shells (liver splitter, gizzard getter), bombs, blasting caps and chicken hooks. Yet it might have been more useful to convert a moped into a P.O.O.P. (Pigeon Onslaught and Overkill Piston-piddler) and deploy it downtown.