Mesa's Back Patio Takes Shape, Along With New Tapas Lounge

I've seen a couple of blog posts describing Mesa's recent lamentations. A Facebook post citing slow sales have kicked off a little spate of coverage urging diners to give the Oak Cliff Veracruz style Mexican restaurant another look, if only to save the place from demise. Certainly Dallasites should be eating at this little gem, not to save it -- chef Raul Reyes says that while sales have slowed a touch, things are going well at his family's restaurant -- but because the food is really good.

As evidence of their success, the Reyes are expanding. A sizable patio is taking shape out back, hewn from reclaimed cedar, and an oak bar top was installed last week. Lighting has a big presence in the design, with little, glowing bulbs hidden between the slats of lumber and a massive chandelier made from recycled bottles that is in the works. After sundown this should be an attractive space for a drink.

Olga's old beauty salon next door is getting a transformation too. The drywall is up and a stylish lounge tricked out in the same orange and brown tones that dominate Mesa's main dining room will open, hopefully some time this summer. Raul told me the new space will focus on the same great cocktails you can get at Mesa's bar, with a new tapas menu for snacking while you lounge. He doesn't have a name for the lounge yet -- or at least he's not sharing it.

Even the front of the building is getting a facelift. Two massive cedar forms jut out from the shiny, metal facade, letting diners know that an interesting restaurant space is buried among the pawn shops and discount shoe stores that line this stretch of Jefferson Boulevard.

These three spaces in tandem, along with the Texas Theatre down the street, could make for a compelling evening for Oak Cliff locals who've grown tired of the more popular Bishop Art's District. They'd make a compelling reason to drive across the river too. Sometime this fall, I bet Mesa and its counterparts see some notable business, not just because of Facebook posts and blog posts, but because the place stands on its own merit.

Emoladas anyone?

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