The Sweaty Hereafter

Weird how an entertainment complex centered on the afterlife is having such a hard time with the birthing part of the life cycle. But the on-again, delayed-again (mostly because of electrical transformer glitches) Purgatory on Main Street near Interstate 45 is cocked to shoot from the chute in the August/September time frame, at least according to restaurateur Taylor Nguyen. Nguyen is slipping a sushi/hibachi restaurant called Pandora into Purgatory, while next door he plans to install a Cuba Libre-like Caribbean number called Hell's Kitchen come October, though Hell's Kitchen might be a better fit for the multilevel Purgatory complex. Purgatory is a stack of themed nightclubs: Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, the perfect combo for Last Rites valet parking. But these aren't the only restaurants the founder of the Green Pepper restaurants in Oak Lawn, Coppell and Irving is toying with. He plans to follow up with an unnamed "French tapas" venue somewhere on McKinney Avenue in the near future--a purgatorial limbo of sorts.

Classic Café Southlake is gone, shut down after a four-year run. It wasn't slacking revenues that forced the plug pull, says owner Chris Wells. Sales were up some 25 percent over last year, he says. No, it was a lease dispute. "Once in a while in this life you run across a guy you can't work with," Wells explains. "It was disheartening to not be able to find a deal. We were negotiating, and he just wasn't negotiating in good faith." Wells says he is scouting Dallas-Fort Worth for a new spot to supplement the original Classic Café in Roanoke and hopes to open one within the next 12 months...Health educator Phillip Nikpour calls himself a wine therapist, which means he not only touts drinking it, he might urge you to bathe in it, too. "In California a lot of women will put grape seed oil on their fingernails," he says. Other places, too. To capitalize on this salutariness, Nikpour is opening a shop called The Wine Therapist in Lakewood, where he'll feature wine tastings, hawk bottles and evangelize for what he calls Vinothérapie. The Wine Therapist will feature chair massages, Monday-night wine walks with a personal trainer, wine-based exfoliates, "the world's first" wine fashion show and Caudalíe skin-care products made from wine grape seed extract. "It sounds kind of goofy, but it's packaged nicely," he says. "I market it as the best thing there is short of Botox." The really goofy wrinkle is Nikpour's logo: a red cross centered in a black circle. He plans to apply the graphic to a delivery van dressed up as an ambulance; welcome relief for Dallas' cuticle emergencies.


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