Manuel's Creative Cuisine has temporarily shuttered, seemingly stunted by the same clunky location that previously housed Star Canyon, Bengal Coast and Silver Fox Steakhouse.
While Star Canyon put in an impressive run, and Steel, the sushi den tucked into the back corner of the building, has been popular for the past 10 years, most restaurants that have given it a shot in this Highland Park meets Oak Lawn address have had difficulties drawing customers.
Manuel Arredondo admitted the location was a challenge when I interviewed him during my review of the restaurant shortly after they opened in May. His dining room is massive, with high ceilings, widely spaced tables and an empty feel that's amplified by a significant lack of customers. There's also no significant signage for the restaurant, and drivers who pass by on Cedar Spring Road are just as likely to guess the space houses a styling salon as they are a competently executed restaurant.
Arredondo seems committed the space despite these issues. According to Culture Map he's reopening the restaurant in two weeks and adding tacos and other menu items his customers have requested to the menu. He's also mentioned changing lighting to make the place more visible, and also of having an outdoor dining space added in the past.
Those changes may help, but it seems unlikely that they'd be significant enough to change the course for the restaurant. His arrival was marked by significant press coverage and the restaurant instantly fell into the abyss. While anything can happen, I can't see any reason why a revamped Manuel's Creative Cuisine would have a different experience.
While his restaurant in Los Cabos enjoys brisk business it seems something is lost in translation here in Dallas.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.