After years of slim pickings, Dallas is suddenly multiplying wine bars. In addition to Paul Pinnell's upcoming Dali Wine Bar & Cellar, Chateau Wine Market and Bodega Bar founder Amier Taherzadeh (son of Stone Trail Restaurant founder Tony Taherzadeh) is supplementing his Travis Walk market this July with an upscale wine bar/American bistro in the former Il Sole space on Travis Walk's upper level. Ari's Wine Bistro will feature "unintimidating" fare such as burgers and steaks plus sashimi salads. But won't Taherzadeh simply be biting off his own Bodega Bar hand? Nonsense. "We're not going to be cutthroating each other," he says. Then down the street on Henderson, brotherly lawyers Brooks and Bradley Anderson will open Veritas in the Shops on Henderson in mid-May. The Anderson Brothers collected some wine chops as minority owners of the ill-fated Tarantino's in Deep Ellum, which closed in the waning summer months of 2006. They're parlaying these chops into a 1,750-square-foot wine bar/retail shop that will serve up craft brews, boutique wines, artisanal cheeses, local art and on-premise blown glass. Partners in Anderson & Anderson, the Anderson brothers specialize in restaurant and bar transaction legal work and operate a thriving warrant and traffic ticket mailing program.
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Flush with a fresh infusion of hedge fund cash after weathering an involuntary bankruptcy petition last year (ultimately dismissed), Dallas-based Earth Biofuels Inc. is revving up its much delayed Willie's Place at Carl's Corner project just south of Dallas on Interstate 35—a 35,000-square-foot truck-stop "town" set to open July 3. Willie's Place is a refurbishment and expansion of Carl's Corner truck stop—incorporated into a township by owner Carl Cornelius in 1986—that will include two restaurants, a saloon, a convenience store and a renovated 750-seat theater hosting Texas and national country music acts. Earth Biofuels, which produces and distributes liquefied natural gas and biodiesel, has a 50 percent stake in the project with country star Willie Nelson and Cornelius invested in the other half. Willie's Place will pump BioWillie, Nelson's branded biodiesel fuel, while the restaurants will serve typical truck-stop fare: burgers, steaks, chicken-fried steaks, plus recipes developed by Nelson himself.