Last year was the year of the Great Suburban Migration in the Dallas restaurant scene. Some of the city's finest dining institutions, like Tim Byres' Smoke, set their sights on the rapidly growing suburbs that surround Dallas and Fort Worth. Plano was an especially popular destination last year, but it looks as if another neighboring city may be the next big place that restaurants decided to set up shop en masse.
Last week CultureMap reported that Il Cane Rosso, everyone's favorite VPN-certified pizza shop, would be expanding yet again to a new location in Carrollton. Jerrier has already made successful moves to Fort Worth and Fairview with his popular pizzeria, and the Carrollton location would bring the number of operating Cane Rosso restaurants to five. Jerrier is a business-savvy guy, and his latest move could predict the next wave of north-bound moves for Dallas restaurateurs.
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At present, Carrollton's culinary scene isn't known for much outside of Babe's Chicken Dinner House and its under-appreciated Korean and Vietnamese food, which means that it's a ripe place for a culinary renaissance. The changing demographics of the city also suggest that Carrollton is finally ready for restaurants beyond Cheddar's and hidden strip-mall Korean food. Carrollton's population has increased steadily -- by at least 10 percent each year -- and people are generally more interested in high-quality food than they were ten years ago.
If Il Cane Rosso takes the plunge and is successful, this could spark the same influx of restaurants that has drastically changed Plano's dining scene over the last few years. There are plenty of Dallas restaurateurs who have their eyes on expansion, and I would imagine that many will pay close attention to whether or not Cane Rosso is able to attract a sustainable clientele in an area that is otherwise completely devoid of interesting dining.
It will also be interesting to see how the notoriously cheeky Jerrier will respond to the demands of suburban clientele. In a place where the pizza options generally look more like Pizza Hut than fire-blistered Neopolitan-style pies, diners may also need a little time to adjust to the notorious tip-sag.
According to CultureMap, Cane Rosso will set up shop in an old bicycle shop in downtown Carrollton, and plans to open by June at the latest. This opening should come as exciting news to Cane Rosso devotees that have been driving through rush-hour traffic to make it to Deep Ellum, Fairview, or White Rock in time for dinner, or just people who are interested in having that delicious s'mores calzone closer to home.