Lombardi Family Displaces Taqueria Stand for New Concept, Then Changes Their Mind

Last July, Sarah Lombardi, daughter of Alberto Lombardi, who's behind a seemingly endless array of Dallas restaurants, announced she was getting into the business too. Sarah signed a lease in Bishop Arts and planned to open a space distinctly her own and separate from the family business. Look at this happy picture of Sarah and her boyfriend celebrating their recently signed lease.

José Ralat-Maldonado of the Taco Trail was quick to jump on the news -- not because Sarah's concept promised freshly toasted tortillas and crisp carnitas but because the new concept displaced one of his favorite taquerias. El Padrino Mexican Grill's little taco stand was gobbled up in the lease, and owner Juan Contreras would have to find a new space.

Now it looks like Contreras' relocation was needless.

Yesterday, buried at the bottom of a lengthy press release detailing a sushi concept that's been added to Bistro 31 in Highland Park Village (a special roll includes tempura bacon!) was news that the concept had been scrapped. From the release ...

As construction progressed on the Mercantile, a restaurant in the Bishop Arts District to be developed by Sarah Lombardi, a decision was made to cancel the plans to open the concept. A combination of budgets and costs associated with retrofitting and renovating a historic structure was the basis for the decision.

Meanwhile Contreras has been dutifully relocating the old stand, completing a new build-out, filing for a whole new round of permits and preparing to court a new customer base way out in Pleasant Grove. The new place is finally open and despite the displacement, Contreras hold no grudges. "It is very unfortunate that Ms. Lombardi was not able to continue her project in Oak Cliff," said Conteras. "I wish her the best of luck on her future endeavors."

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