Urban Market, the groundbreaking but bedeviled full-service grocer and café downtown in the Interurban Building (the 134-unit apartment high-rise fashioned out of the circa-1916 Dallas Train Station) that has bled losses for most of its near three-year history, will soon have a mini-me. Next month Urban Market will open a satellite grocer in the Southside on Lamar Urban Lofts, forged out of the circa-1910 Sears Roebuck & Co.'s Catalog Merchandise Center. The 2,000-square-foot convenience grocer will have a broad sampling of stocks found at the downtown location including prepared foods, fresh produce, some fresh meat and dairy products plus beer and wine. If the bigger UM can keep its footing firm, that is. "As more and more of these lofts and apartments open up, that's what's going to make or break us," says Urban Market General Manager Barry Cook. "We've got all of the business we can handle at lunchtime. We need people to get in here and buy groceries."
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Former wine consultant Paul Wong (Pokachaipatt), who bills himself as the unofficial adopted son of the late Dallas restaurateur Annie Wong, says he's enjoying remarkable success with his year-old Crepes For U, a 500-square-foot "creperie" in Plano's (transplanted from Richardson) Asia World Market at Legacy Drive and Central Expressway. But not necessarily the kind he's after. Wong says he's had to post a sticker outside his store urging people not to point and click cameras at his display of Japanese-inspired crepes. "We can't do any business," he insists. "People just stand outside and take pictures of the store." Irony savored. Wong is currently scouting additional creperie locations...Justin Phillips, Jay Savage and Lawrence William, the trio who purchased Industry Bar in Addison from bar mogul Frankie Carabetta (Tribeca) last January, have unveiled an upgraded menu: taters on the half skin, jalapeño rivets, wing nutz, that sort of thing. The menu comes on the heels of an Industry Bar-wide revitalization. Phillips explains: "Well, we upgraded the women's bathroom so that there's no more sewer backup. And we added another stall. Now there's three. That was kind of a big issue." You go, girls.