Dallas and barbecue seem to go hand-in-hand, so it should come as no surprise that a new barbecue concept plans to expand to our fair city.
Sugarfire Smoke House originally hails from St. Louis but recently announced plans to expand to Dallas at 6750 Abrams Road, between Vickery Meadow and Lake Highlands. Expect the joint to open in the former Spec’s space by June of this year.
Sugarfire got its start in 2012, and is the brainchild of Charlie Downs and chef Mike Johnson. Johnson’s visage might be familiar; he’s appeared on Food Network’s Burgers, Brew & ’Que and Destination America’s BBQ Pitmasters.
Back in the Show Me State, word is that Sugarfire is known for its succulent brisket, pulled pork and ribs, as well as an array of signature sandwiches. We can expect the local menu to sport plenty of locally sourced beers, as well as cocktails and boozy milkshakes to accompany the meat selections.
Don’t think that Sugarfire will be another transplant who doesn’t know barbecue. Sugarfire is partnering with local investor, Kevin Klika, who along with his wife Haydee, intend to make sure Sugarfire's first foray into Texas gets a bit of Lone Star flair.
“We’re thrilled for the opportunity to bring Sugarfire Smoke House to Dallas,” Klika says. “Here in Texas, barbecue is no joke, but we know Sugarfire will bring a barbecue bliss this community has yet to experience."
True to their word, Sugarfire plans for an Ole Hickory smoker to be installed in the restaurant to smoke the day’s meats, and sides and desserts will get plenty of attention from the kitchen, as well. We’re definitely looking forward to opening day to judge for ourselves how Sugarfire stands up in our busy barbecue city.
But perhaps more important for Dallas is Sugarfire’s choice of venue, just a mile from the Five Points in Vickery Meadow. The high-density area east of the Shops at Park Lane has previously been a hub of crime and run-down places that city leaders could not find the answer to address.
The neighborhood associations and crime watch groups worked to improve things, and now the area is getting help from the city. Early last year, Dallas announced the city's most expensive library, the Vickery Meadow Branch, would break ground near the Five Points intersection, with the goal of serving the multilingual immigrant communities that call the area home.
There's also been a larger push from the Dallas Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which combined to launch Project Safe Neighborhood to help root out crime. And late last year, a $120,000 federal grant was used to bring in Oak Cliff-based Better Block, a nonprofit that focuses on bringing visual improvements to neighborhoods.
Over the course of a few days, workers installed new lighting, put fresh coats of paint on many buildings and added brightly colored crosswalks to the Five Points intersection. There's also new playground equipment and planters with fresh greenery.
Sugarfire will give residents a new dining option, too, joining neighbors such as Alamo Drafthouse and the newest location of Fireside Pies. While there's still much to do in many parts of northeast Dallas, the willingness of new restaurants like Sugarfire that want to call the area home show that the hard work and investment is paying off.
Sugarfire Smoke House, 6750 Abrams Road, Suite 110 (Northeast Dallas). Planned to open June 2020.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.