Speak Up

It seems Tom Landis, one of the founders of the Dallas Texadelphia chainlet, reached his student recruitment goal for the food-service English classes he has developed in conjunction with El Centro College and the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association. To make the classes viable, Landis says he needed a minimum of 25 students with a cap of 35 for the 16-week class that's piped into restaurants via AT&T cable TV lines. After fearing the program would be an abysmal failure because of a lack of Dallas food-service industry interest and participation, Landis says he was able to cajole and/or browbeat Dallas restaurateurs into allowing the recruitment of 70 students for the classes that begin January 30. "I'm fired up," Landis says. "This was the week where I either prove that people are interested in it, or they're not." Landis says the students hail from a smattering of Dallas venues including Tracy's, Sammy's Barbecue, Peggy Sue BBQ in Snider Plaza, Celebration, Uptown Bar & Grill, Mozzarella Cheese Co., and Genghis Grill and Mongolian Barbecue. Students who exceed the 35-student maximum will be placed in a "test" course, essentially an audit of the class that involves TV viewing without the accompanying materials and interaction. Landis says he has a meeting later this week with Frito-Lay to explore the development of a similar program to teach basic English skills to all of the company's warehouse employees nationwide. Hell, if Landis isn't careful, he'll have us all speaking English.

Laura's Last Chance Texas Grill and Cantina in North Dallas appears to be buttoned up for good after just more than a year in operation, at least according to all of the paper that's taped to the glass doors. It seems that Laura's and operator Laura Alpert got their landlord a little hot under the collar for not taking care of things. Like rent, for instance. So the company went and changed all of Laura's locks, effectively shutting down the venue's open mike, dollar and two-dollar draught, live band, and karaoke nights...God help us. The Abbey, that Frisco café that's squatted in what was a Baptist church from 1902 until 1974, has multiplied. Michael Madson and Morteza Darzi, who invaded the Frisco church dwelling in 1993 and converted it from chili-mac church suppers to Southwestern cuisine, have moved to Richardson, where they opened a second Abbey at the corner of Mimosa and Campbell. The new version offers certified Angus beefsteaks and prime rib, pork tenderloin, baby back ribs, and salads to drive out that black Angus herd in your gullet. It also features a hand-painted mural of the original Abbey in Frisco, in case you get the urge to roll.

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Mark Stuertz
Contact: Mark Stuertz