Last May I hit my breaking point with One Arts Plaza after I reviewed The Greek, which was a major disappointment. I wrote that the menu might provide a decent substitute for sleeping pills and described some of the ingredients used there as terrible. The restaurant closed yesterday, as reported by The Dallas Morning News. No big surprise.
Before The Greek came and went, John Tesar's The Commissary, whose burgers many still miss, opened and closed, and before that Dali. The space appears doomed.
In that same time, a different space across One Arts Plaza has had two restaurants open and close. The Screen Door shuttered despite an often busy dinning room, and subsequent Cafe Des Artists closed last December. Alberto Lombardi said the decision was strategic and that the restaurant did acceptable business, but News critic Leslie Brenner awarded just one star in her review.
While the remainder of the restaurants have survived, they don't provide One Arts with any sort of cohesive identity. Jorge's Tex-Mex Cafe and Fedora Northern Italian have loyal followings but seldom generate anything resembling buzz. Then there's Tei-An: a bright star spiraling an otherwise black hole.
Two restaurants are slated to take over the now empty spaces at the front of the plaza and one is only described "national" and the other local (Hooters and Cane Rosso?). For them and whatever comes after them, the question will remain: Is the Arts District busy enough all week to sustain that many higher-end restaurants? For now, anyway, the answer continues to be "no."