Hash Over

Dragonfly wash-out

All the ingredients were there for a really sudsy soap opera: greed, sex, back-stabbing, courtroom battles. But now it appears the frothy Dragonfly saga is coming to a close, or at least changing course. Charlott Norman, the limited partner who wrested control of the shuttered nightclub from general partner Steve Kahn, has withdrawn her liquor license application from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission -- essentially throwing in the towel on her efforts to revive the Lower Greenville spot after investing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Norman says she was advised to pull the plug based on the belief that the agency was about to quash her long-running quest for a booze certificate. Was the agency troubled by her efforts? "We're talking about the Dragonfly, aren't we?" she asks sardonically. TABC agent Fred Oden says that the agency hadn't yet reached a decision on granting the license, but that the application drew a swirl of protest. "There was lots of different things. Probably 20 different letters came in," he says. Oden adds that his office just received a liquor license application for the spot from a company called LMNT Corporation. All this was news to Dragonfly landlord Bill Hutchinson, president of Dunhill Partners. "I do know that [Norman's] current on her rent," he says. "As the landlord, that's the one thing I know." Yet maybe that's because Hutchinson has other things on his mind. He's in the process of hammering out a lease on the Arcadia Theater next door, a spot once run by Kahn and his brother, Bruce. Hutchinson says three operators are vying for the spot, including the former owners of the Yegua Creek Brewing Company. The suds never stop.

Out and about

Former Melrose Hotel Executive Chef Jim Anile is wired. "I'm going nuts. All I do every morning is hit golf balls just to clear my mind," he says. Seems the lauded chef is having trouble coping since being booted from the kitchen shortly after the 75-year-old hotel was snapped up by Pennsylvania-based Berwind Property Group earlier this year. After the acquisition, Anile says, the staff was put on a 90-day probationary period. "On the 89th day I was let go." So he's pounding the baked pavement and talking to people at the Green Room. He's also looking at spots in Connecticut and in Santa Fe, New Mexico, even though he prefers to stay in Dallas, where he hopes to eventually hook up with a well-heeled backer and open his own place. "I'd hate to lose the momentum it took me five years to build," he says. Not to mention the new handicap.

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Mark Stuertz
Contact: Mark Stuertz

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