Clubbing Crocs

Robert Colombo specializes in reanimating the skeletal remains of Dallas' after-dark hotspots. Or so it seems. First he and Billy Solomon stirred some tequila into Sipango and poof: out came Trece. Now Solomon and Colombo are frosting the Dralion Restaurant & Lounge or Drae or whatever it was with crocodile espresso leather and poof: here comes The Club. The Club Dining & Drinks is billed as a modern take on the supper club. What's that look like? "It's really like a club club; in the vein of a 21st-century contemporary club with a lot of dark woods," Colombo says. "It's done in a very clean, contemporary nature." The Club will have a revolving door. The Club will have vaulted ceilings. The Club will have a photorealistic mural by artist Yankel Ginzburg and a piazza-ish patio. The Club will have gaming tables with dominoes and backgammon. Plus that lizard espresso leather on the chairs.

Working the open kitchen will be Vincenzo Indelicato, former "concept chef" for Nicola's Ristorante Italiano in the Shops at Legacy, who will do grass-fed steaks, house-made pastas and "jet-fresh" seafood.

Meanwhile, Colombo's brother Patrick is trying to mesh the gears at his Victory Tavern City Grille in Victory Park. First his opening chef Zac Wilbur departed. So Colombo recruited Brett Sparman, former Nana executive sous chef. Then Sparman decided red-blooded American food wasn't for him. So now Colombo is looking within... Judd Fruia, who last was director of operations for Fireside Pies, has left Fireside parent Consilient Restaurants, though he is still a partner in the pizza parlor. "We weren't doing the growth that we needed to be doing," he says. "We ran into some obstacles." Fruia says Consilient backed off its aggressive expansion plan of four to six Fireside Pies units per year, and the two existing Firesides with a third emerging this fall in Grapevine weren't enough to buoy his position. So the former Pappas Bros. Steakhouse general manager is back with Pappas Restaurants focusing on the new Pappas Pizza in Addison...Former Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Dotty Griffith has recast herself as Phemme Phatale, or the face and personality of, a Frisco-based Web community where barbecue obsessives can share recipes, pix and tricks on fire, smoke and fat-laced meat. At Phattie, Griffith will blog, file articles and do video play-by-play at the nation's most famous barbecue cook-offs. "There's a huge universe of people who live and breathe barbecue. They're just crazy about it," Griffith says. The site is the work of barbecue enthusiast Edward Garcia.
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Mark Stuertz
Contact: Mark Stuertz

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