Acclaimed Dallas chef John Edwards died early Friday in what police describe as an apparent suicide. A Dallas native and the father of two children, the 37-year-old Edwards joined the Fairmont Hotel in 1980 as sous chef in the Pyramid Room restaurant and was appointed executive chef in 1991. He was widely recognized as one of the top chefs in Dallas and received numerous culinary awards including the Nation's Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame. Funeral services were held for Edwards on Monday.
A new Romano venture
Phil Romano is poised to sink his particular brand of food-service shrewdness on Maple Avenue. The creator of Eatzi's, Macaroni Grill, and Fuddruckers acquired the Lawry's space earlier this month and plans to open Samuel's, a steak and seafood house, in March. The restaurant will include a caviar bar, a cigar lounge, and an open kitchen featuring a toque-topped pianist tinkling a grand piano amid the food preparation chaos. Lawry's will leave its 15-year Maple Avenue home and reopen in Addison along the Dallas North Tollway sometime in November. The Pasadena, California-based restaurant company is building the new Lawry's on a site that was once home to the Rusty Pelican and later Addison Square Garden. Lawry's President Richard R. Frank said the company has wanted to move the restaurant north ever since market surveys showed its customer base was primarily from North Dallas. Founded in 1922, Lawry's Restaurants Inc. operates six venues in Southern California, Las Vegas, and Chicago in addition to Dallas.
After just three months as general manager, Steven Occhipinti departed suddenly from highly acclaimed seafood restaurant Fish for undisclosed reasons. Matre d' Louis Gougazelli will fill Occhipinti's slot...Mediterraneo parent FoodStar Restaurant Group said it considered NorthSouth's Quadrangle space as a possible Popolos location before quickly nixing the idea. "The place is huge," says Popolos General Manager Joerg Mast. "It's kind of scary. The bar is so big, the bartenders need roller-skates." Sources say it is unlikely a lease agreement will be hammered out on the space before New York-based Taylor Simpson Group completes its acquisition of the Quadrangle from Dallas-based Hampstead Group sometime in July.
E-mail Mark Stuertz tips and gripes at [email protected].