Openings and Closings

New Restaurant Openings Continue to Outpace Closings in January

The NKC hot chicken sandwich at Chicken N Pickle.
The NKC hot chicken sandwich at Chicken N Pickle. Lauren Drewes Daniels
The start of the new year has brought plenty of new beginnings to Dallas, as well as some bittersweet goodbyes. As we head into February, here’s a look at openings and closings so far this year.

Longtime pizza favorite PizzaLOUNGE closed its doors last week after 12 years of service to the Fair Park neighborhood. The Dallas pizza spot proved successful for picky pizza patrons who didn’t have a carnivorous appetite. Pizza LOUNGE’s ability to bridge the divide between meat-eaters and vegans built a loyal following and created a hotspot for vegans in the area.

Oak Cliff's and the Observer's favorite, Trompo, closed its space in the Bishop Arts District on Christmas Eve but can still be found on Gaston Avenue in East Dallas.

After 32 years in business, Two Sisters Catering closed its catering business on Dec. 31. Like many other restaurants, COVID brought unforeseen issues that made it impossible for the company to meet demand.

World-famous La Tarte Tropézienne closed earlier this month. The French bakery in downtown Dallas was one of our favorites here at the office. It was the first-ever storefront for La Tarte outside of France and was known for its cream-filled tarts made famous by Brigette Bardot, but opening just prior to the pandemic proved difficult for the small spot.

Sara Blaskovich at The Dallas Morning News reported that Italian restaurant Spezza closed after New Year’s Eve dinner in Old Parkland. The location will be renovated into office space, but Blaskovich says owner Julian Barsotti says his Italian restaurant might reopen elsewhere in Dallas.

There were lots of openings as well.

Last month, we reported that The Great American Hero (4001 Lemmon Ave) would not be closing after all, as its owner announced last summer. If you were one of the many Dallas patrons devastated by the news hopefully you read the follow-up that The Hero lives on. A pair of investors has stepped in where owner Dominick Oliverie left off and will keep the iconic brand going into 2022 and beyond.

Speaking of reopenings, The Rodeo Bar (1321 Commerce St.) also made its return. The Rodeo Bar closed its door a couple of years ago for renovations to the 110-year-old Adolphus Hotel. Now it’s back with "Tight Jeans and Loose Morals."

If you’re a big fan of chicken and leisure sports, head out to Grand Prairie. Chicken N Pickle is a restaurant and entertainment complex that hosts 11 pickleball courts (a combination of tennis and ping pong) along with a couple of full bars as well as a restaurant with barbecue and hot chicken sandwiches.

If you want the chicken without the pickle, then good news, North Carolina-based fast-food chain Bojangles will make its North Texas debut this year with further plans to expand across the state.

In more expansion news, Duro Hospitality, the restaurant group behind other high-end spots The Charles and Sister, has plans to open three restaurants this year including a three-room hotel called Casa Duro and Café Duro, a cafe market adjacent to Sister on Lower Greenville. There are plans for another yet-to-be-named restaurant in the Design District, along with plans to renovate the iconic Highland Park Soda Fountain into a new restaurant open sometime in the fall.

Another iconic local spot, Mayer’s (2422 N. Henderson Ave.), got a second life. Chris Wolfgang took us to the new bar on Henderson Avenue that has the same spirit of 1881 original but without the zoo.

Antone’s sandwiches of Houston has finally made its way to North Texas with its premade sandwiches rolling into 75 select Kroger, Tom Thumb, Albertson's and Market Street stores.

The Star in Frisco is expanding, opening five restaurants this year with most set to be complete in the first half of 2022. The first of these, Lombardi Cucina Italiana, is a concept by longtime Dallas restaurateur Alberto Lombardi. North Texas-based owners Derek and Sheree Simms will open The Glen and Monarch Stag. The former will be a cocktail bar with curated seafood dishes and the latter features a cigar lounge with a full menu, live music and rare Scotch whisky.

Also a part of the Star’s expansion, Sidecar Social will open a second location at the Star after a successful debut in Addison. Art-deco Snowbird Cocktail Lounge & Kitchen will open next spring and finally, Roti Grill will be relocating from its original location at The Star from Winning Drive to Gaylord Parkway.
click to enlarge The LA-style burrito filled with Flamin' Hot Cheetos at Tacos La Gloria. - E MAYNE
The LA-style burrito filled with Flamin' Hot Cheetos at Tacos La Gloria.
E Mayne
The local favorite food truck at Tyler Station, Tacos La Gloria (2301 Mountain Lake Road), has reemerged in the heart of Oak Cliff on Mountain Lake Road with a new brick-and-mortar operation. Eric Mayne gave us a second (first) look at the spot.

If burgers are your thing, then check out Susan's Burgers N More (2226 Irving Blvd.), which opened around Christmas. It’s nothing fancy, but it offers really good burgers (and more) for less than $15. Or you could try the Paddy Burger at Chet’s (208 N. Market St.), which recently opened next to the West End’s DART station.
click to enlarge The chopped brisket sandwich at MillsMade Barbecue. - LAUREN DREWES DANIELS
The chopped brisket sandwich at MillsMade Barbecue.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
In a switcharoo of sorts, chef Kenny Mills’ Original Chop House Burger in Arlington moved back to its original location on Park Row, as famously seen on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Meanwhile, Mills' son Travis took over the old burger location on Little Road and opened a barbecue spot, MillsMade Barbecue. The spare ribs are tender and brisket macaroni and cheese is worth fighting over.

Rounding out the new openings and expansion this month, we reported that TUPPS Brewery is finally breaking ground on its 25,000-square-foot production facility expected to open in October. And D.L Mack’s (6501 Hillcrest Ave.) is opened Park Cities, with Chicago vibes including the city's lesser-known tavern-style pizza.

Further north in Addison, husband-and-wife comedy duo T.K. Matteson and Kara Kimbrough opened their comedy club TK’s (14854 Montfort Drive) on New Year’s Eve, offering a restaurant, bar and an underground 1930s-style "speakeasy" for private dining. Check their website for a list of upcoming comedy shows. Dinner, drinks and a laugh.

The Whippersnapper in the Knox-Henderson neighborhood has changed themes again, as it's wont to do. The spot, which has previously gone full-throttle on The Office and The Simpsons, is now a Friends pop-up, chock full of art, drink and food-themed specials.

Also, we recently heard that Blackfriar Pub from McKinney Avenue is expanding to a second location in Lakewood. They'll take over the space that was most recently Full Circle Tavern. This spot is owned by The One Esca Group, a restaurant group out of Plano. No opening date yet, but we'll keep you posted.

Skyrocket Burger, which is owned by Milkshake Concepts, recently opened a new outpost in Frisco (6633 John Hickman Parkway) just a bit north of The Star. Skyrocket is one of our favorite afternoon delights. 
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Chance Townsend is the Dallas Observer's food intern for spring 2022. He's a grad student at UNT, and his favorite time of the day is unlimited mimosa brunch. If he's not writing about food then he's probably in the kitchen cooking it.