Del Frisco's Grille opened this weekend in Uptown. The restaurant sits next to Private Social, in the same building, for a fine-dining one-two punch. The menu at each restaurant is different, and so is the look and feel, but they're still going to compete for the neighborhood's high-end discretionary spending.
Private Social may have had a glitzy red carpet opening party, but their facade is very understated. The silver knife and fork logo marked with a P and an S blend into the gray exterior of the building. It's a sleek and subdued look that quietly beckons, "Hey man, come eat here if you got enough coin, but only if you're cool enough."
Next door, the Del Frisco's Grille signage takes a completely different tack. Stacked orange box lanterns hang from the top of the building framing a loud, yellow neon sign. The combination screams, "Hey, you with the overpriced shirt and the car lease you can't afford! Get over here! Don't you know we got some killer ahi tuna tacos?"
I wonder if either tactic will prove more effective over the long haul. Certainly you can imagine that diners being told they have to wait 60 minutes for a bar table at Private Social might be seduced into checking out Del Frisco's Grille next door. But I wonder if the well-lit exterior is just more welcoming in general, and which storefront grabs more attention as people drive by on McKinney Ave.
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The real test for both restaurants will be measured in time, as each settles into its own dining style. Will Private Social give into front door envy and spruce up their exterior with neon or LEDs? Or maybe they'll bring that bright red carpet back out. Hopefully they'll just focus on their plates though, and let the palates of their diners sort out who's best.