Openings and Closings

First Look: The Foundry 2.0 Opens in West Dallas

The Foundry is serving a menu similar menu to Chicken Scratch; fried chicken with homestyle sides.
The Foundry is serving a menu similar menu to Chicken Scratch; fried chicken with homestyle sides. Lauren Drewes Daniels
The Foundry is back in West Dallas. The big, open-air music, bar and fried-chicken venue felt a lot like its old self on a recent evening during a soft opening.

The Foundry originally opened in 2012. Chef Tim Byers provided gourmet fried chicken at one end, via Chicken Scratch, and there was a modest stage on the other end with a bar in the middle, all surrounding the big courtyard dotted with picnic tables. It closed in the early days of the pandemic when then-owner Chris Zielke saw no viable path forward.
click to enlarge Just a few changes to the new space, like table service. - LAUREN DREWES DANIELS
Just a few changes to the new space, like table service.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
New owners took over the space earlier this year. Shane Spillers, who also owns Eno’s Pizza Tavern, pressed and starched the space; it just looks a little nicer now, though if you’d been there before the pandemic, you might not even notice any difference. The stage was torn down then built back and there is now table service in the courtyard.

We went to try to new menu, which is an ode to the old menu. A six-piece order of tenders is $24, and while that might seem like an eye-popping price, it's enough for two, maybe even three, adults. A half bone-in fried bird, which is hands-down juicier and more flavorful, is $15. It’s a big meal as well — easily enough for two people.
click to enlarge A half bird of bone-in chicken is juicier than the strips, as expected. But that crust is a story in itself. - LAUREN DREWES DANIELS
A half bird of bone-in chicken is juicier than the strips, as expected. But that crust is a story in itself.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
The house-made sides are more like single servings. The fries, a thick mac ‘n’ cheese and a slaw with unruly long shards of cabbage are all $3.25 each.  Little containers of ranch are 50 cents each and were yummy.

The crust on all the chicken is something else though. Instead of just encasing the chicken meat, it's trying to be the star of the show. Maybe it should be. It’s extra thick and crunchy; pieces that fall off the bird make for tasty bites on their own. You’ll find yourself searching for extra chunks in the bottom of the basket. A dip in the ranch is extra fun. One can imagine this as an appetizer in itself.


The menu is short for now. Strips or a half-bird of chicken with four sides (the ones mentioned above plus beans).

The bar has a good collection of local craft beers and vodkas.

They're still in soft-opening mode while working out the kinks in the kitchen and staff, of which there were none on our visit. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for live music updates.

The Foundry, 2303 Pittman, 4 - 10 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m. to "late" Friday - Saturday, Sunday 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. (brunch)
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.