While COVID-19 continues to affect commercial real estate downtown, West Dallas’ planned development district has attracted a new leaseholder.
Soiree Coffee Bar opened its doors with music and a private event in Trinity Groves in mid-October, and the coffee shop and jazz bar officially open to the public Oct. 24.
“We’re about coffee, community and camaraderie, specifically for this area,” co-owner Tara McDaniel says. “West Dallas is a newly gentrified area and we’re here. … We just want to plant our feet and bring something that represents excellence and diversity across the board.”
The opening marks a second for Trinity Groves since the pandemic began, and a development milestone as the district moves away from its original restaurant incubator concept.
Nearly 11 years into its two-phase development plan, Trinity Groves will expand an additional 90 acres to include more apartments, a hotel and an office property, according to an Urban Land Institute case study.
With several restaurants temporarily and permanently closed because of the pandemic, Trinity Groves has set its sights on mixed-use development. Owners of Soiree Coffee Bar expect to capitalize on this future development and signed a five-year lease with Trinity Groves.
“It was a lot of negotiating, back and forth with that, but the concept came together, the partnerships came together, at the right time,” McDaniel says.
Soiree partnered with more than 15 black-owned businesses for its soft opening on Oct. 17. More than 50 community members flowed in and out of the space over a three-hour opening period.
“I just appreciate the vision that the owners had for this venue,” guest Brandon Moore, 27, said. “It’s an upscale, black-owned, coffee shop that sets a standard for what excellence can look like in our community.”
Like Moore and McDaniel, co-owner LaFree Ryan sees the coffee shop as a community effort. Soiree is collaborating with DFW Black-Owned Restaurants for food items and a number of to-go items will be distributed through the shop.
Ryan also expects the space will be also available for book signings, spoken word, artists, and other community events.
“We still have a lot of work to do, so be patient,” Ryan says. “We just embrace it all and hope you all just embrace us.”
The operators of the previous business, Dulcet Café, said they closed in August because of the location and COVID-19. Ryan and her fellow co-owners applied for the space in early September and had around a short window to convert the space.
The renovated 2,650-square-foot space includes a cocktail bar, coffee bar, performance stage, an outdoor patio and a 6-foot mural displaying prominent jazz artists.
“If you look at the level of detail and the work that was put into the venue, you can tell there is a passion behind it,” Moore said while sitting in an oversized blue armchair. “I feel like it’s more than just some random coffee shop.”
The craft coffee menu includes the Ella Fitzgerald, a salted brown sugar latte, the Lena Horne, a honey-lavender latte, and Alberta Hunter, a dulce de leche latte.
Coffee infused with bourbon and cognac are also on the menu, which co-owners say will expand to include spiked coffee.
COVID protocols for social distancing, wearing face coverings and cleaning practices will are in place.
“We’re taking everything we do here [seriously], and we want to provide the best coffee experience for our customers,” Ryan says.
Continuous development of the area is almost “normal” for Trinity Groves residents such as Moore.
“It’s part of the culture that is being built in this city,” he says. “It will be a great place for people to come together and collaborate.”
Soiree Coffee Bar, 320 Singleton Blvd., No. 190 (Trinity Groves). 972-850-9030. Open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday; 7 a.m. to midnight Friday; 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
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