Roosting Tortilla

It was only a matter of time before the border fortified its hold on Uptown. Manny Rios, part of the family that crafted Mia's Tex-Mex, is the culprit. Rios is set to open Manny's Uptown on May 5--a rendition of Mia's famed cuisine--in the former Guthrie's/Rooster location on Lemmon Avenue. "It's not going to be nothing like Guthrie's or Rooster," he promises. "There's a lot of money around in Dallas...It's a key location. This is like an oasis." Rios is stocking the kitchen with Javier Hernandez, formerly a kitchen hand at Mia's, and Cirilo Hernandez, a one-time Mi Cocina employee. The menu will be stocked with family recipes.

It's been gutted. Demolition is about to begin on one end. Reconstruction is loaded in the torpedo tubes. This is the current state of the Joule Urban Resort, a 124-room, $40 million luxury hotel simmering in a circa-1920s 17-story office building on Main Street between Neiman Marcus and the Magnolia. Joule should open in the summer of 2006 with a two-level spa, rooftop pool, lobby bar and gift shop, and an unnamed upscale restaurant, all contrived by famed Transylvania-born designer Adam Tihany, who did Le Cirque 2000 and Jean Georges restaurants in New York, for example. Food? William Koval, formerly of the French Room in the Adolphus Hotel, will be flicking the whips. But that's not all that's occupying Joule's parent deLuxe Hotel Group, headed by Robert Colombo of Sfuzzi restaurants fame. In 90 days the company will open the Hillcrest Hotel, a boutique house on Hillcrest Avenue near Mockingbird Lane in what was once a near-decrepit Ramada Limited hotel. Colombo had it pared down to the slab and framing columns before it was reanimated into a 52-room, $10 million property with a 65-seat "speakeasy" called Tattler's. Jon Schwarzenberger, former executive chef of the Crescent Club, will work the speakeasy's tavern-food menu... Chris Svalesen, the founding chef of Fish and operator of Thirty-Six Degrees--both of which went belly-up--has signed a long-term corporate contract to develop restaurant menus for Fresh Catch LLC, a group of investors behind Go Fish, an upscale casual seafood room. The first Go Fish is set to open in Addison within days followed by locations in Fort Worth's Sundance Square and Southlake's Towne Square before the end of the year. Atlanta is also in the crosshairs. Svalesen says he is also developing a yet unnamed fast casual seafood concept serving wraps, po' boys and fish tacos while Fresh Catch vigorously pursues franchising opportunities for both concepts. When he's not doing that, Svalesen works the kitchen at the ParkGate retirement community on Wycliff Avenue.

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Mark Stuertz
Contact: Mark Stuertz

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