Most restaurants fail within the first two years, which makes it no surprise that Dallas, too, frequently sees eateries shutter with little to no warning (at least for consumers). These closures can feel like a tiny heartbreak — we form close bonds with the businesses we frequent. We make memories there, celebrate special occasions. But business is business, and sometimes, business isn't great. These are the 2017 Dallas restaurant closures that broke our hearts.
This one's fresh, and it still smarts a little: Dallas cocktail forefather Victor Tangos is closing Sunday night after New Year's Eve service. The bar and restaurant served inventive cocktails and solid late-night eats on Henderson Avenue for 10 years, helping kick-start the neighborhood's status as a Dallas food and drink destination.
In late August, Oak Cliff coffee shop and mini-market Bolsa Mercado closed after a six-year run, leaving its prime space on Davis Street empty. It's not gone for good — Bolsa Mercado is still operating as a catering business — but we miss the breakfast tacos, Oak Cliff vibe and ample workspace. The Mercado's sister restaurant, Bolsa, is still open and churning out stellar food and drink just a block away.
Sambuca isn't closed yet — the Uptown restaurant will shutter at the end of February 2018, but it's had a long 26-year run in Dallas. The restaurant's owners have been battling the building's owners for years over major structural issues, and in November, they announced that they're giving up the ghost early next year. “We’re going to be closing our Uptown location at the end of February, and we plan to go out with a huge New Years’ Eve and very special Valentine’s Day celebration,” said Kim Forsythe, owner of Restaurant Expert Management. “We’ll be thanking our customers by celebrating each weekend of the holiday season with rockin’ dance bands and rolling back some of our signature dishes to 1991 prices.”
Matt McCallister's upscale Southern food restaurant in Deep Ellum closed Aug. 13. “It just doesn’t do enough business for a full-service restaurant,” McCallister told D Magazine . “It’s Deep Ellum. We weren’t a small bar and didn’t cater to the Deep Ellum crowd (big mistake). You can’t make it on a business that only really does business on Thursdays through Saturdays.” We'll miss starting our Deep Ellum nights with a spirit-forward cocktail and Filament's superb service.
Joyce & Gigi's
After a commendable five-year run, Ross Avenue South American restaurant Joyce & Gigi's closed Aug. 26. "It's been a pleasure to serve our community and the people who found our cuisine interesting and unique for these last five years, however, we believe it’s time to complete this chapter of our lives and begin a new one," owner Gigliola (Gigi) Zimmermann said in a statement released before the restaurant closed. "We are moving forward to focus on new priorities with our new family."
The 33-year-old West End steakhouse shuttered June 30 after 33 years, and owners placed at least part of the blame on crime in the neighborhood that "left us concerned for the safety and welfare of our valued customers and staff," according to their statement. The suggestion that the West End is not safe enough for dining didn't sit well with several other restaurants in the downtown neighborhood.
Omar Flores' Casa Rubia, one of the most acclaimed restaurants in Trinity Groves, closed July 22. "We slow down tremendously [during] summertime," Flores said at the time. "Financially, I couldn't sustain another summer like last year. High rents and big management fees didn't help either." Trinity Groves, described by its owners as a "restaurant incubator," has notoriously high rent and contract agreements that syphon a lot of restaurants' income.
For more than 20 years, Daddy Jack's in Lower Greenville served tasty seafood dishes in a no-frills environment. On May 6, this Dallas mainstay closed its doors for good. Dallas mourned the loss, but general partner Cary Ray seemed relieved that this chapter was coming to an end. "We’re kind of pooped,” Ray said at the time.
The same day Filament closed, Smoke's Plano location shuttered as well. But all is not lost: Tim Byres' elevated barbecue joint is still cookin' at its West Dallas location next to the Belmont.