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Nick Badovinus to Open One, No Make That Two Neighborhood Services’ Locations in Dallas

nickThis year has been horrific for many local restaurants, but 2009 has been very, very good to Neighborhood Services. “I am so tired of saying no to my customers,” said Neighborhood Services owner/chef Nick Badovinus. “I will be so happy to now say yes.”

For the last 16 months, Badovinus’ 90-seat restaurant on West Lovers did not take reservations, was not permitted to open for lunch or offer outdoor seating. There was always a wait for a table.  “We pissed off a lot of people with our space,” said Badovinus at 7:16 this morning. “So many customers said, ‘I love your place, dude, but I just don’t have four hours to give you to eat there.’”

First up will be Neighborhood Services Tavern which will open “by Valentine’s Day” in the space formerly known as Soley on Henderson Avenue. The lease is signed and the project has already been approved. The menu features  “about 12 small plates, 12 large plates, daily and nightly specials, dips, snacks, classic cocktails, and a sub-50 [dollar] wine list.” The kitchen will be headed by Mike Williams, the opening sous chef for Neighborhood Services, who once cheffed at Craft Dallas.

Neighborhood Services Bar & Grill will open in the controversial Taco Mundo space in Preston Royal Shopping Center in late May or early June. “PR” will have all of his “yes factors”—lunch, outside dining, and loads of parking. The menu will be a casual version of Neighborhood Services. Chef Jeff Bekavac, a line cook for Badovinus at Hibiscus and currently in the kitchen at Neighborhood Services, will run “PR”.

“That leaves me with a great opportunity at Neighborhood Services and by that I mean I can really finally serve the neighborhood. It will allow us to move into a reservation-based model,” said Badovinus.  “Dude, I would think this strategy was crazy if I didn’t already have 80 dishes that the customer has already approved with their pocketbooks. The risk is daunting but you have to listen to the marketplace. When your customers say grow, it sure makes it easier. I am so blessed by the support I’ve received since I opened. I’m just looking forward to being able to say yes for a change.”

14 comments on “Nick Badovinus to Open One, No Make That Two Neighborhood Services’ Locations in Dallas

  1. Congratulations Nick! Now that you have successfully learned to crawl as an owner, don’t forget to learn how to walk before you run. Expanding too fast has ended many an empire. Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year to you and the entire Sidedish nation.

  2. Yeah! I live across the street from the PR Neighborhood Services location and it’s exactly what we need over here. I’m glad Taco Mundo bailed.

  3. Yay, yay, yay!!! Please put that salad with the egg on top on the PR location menu. Please, pretty please!!! :)

  4. Agree with Gastronome. The charm of NS is that it IS a fun scene and an eclectic mix of people…think Nick will have a hard time recreating that at Preston Royal – we’re talking the Fish City, Cantina Laredo, Purple Cow and George & Laura crowd. But then maybe that is what he’s aiming for…The Tavern sounds like a great idea though. Seriously, everyone wishes Nick the best and I hope both places will prove as successful.

  5. Kym – let’s face it – the Preston Royal crowd is where the $$ is. All the restaurants around PR are always busy and residents support their local restaurants. Smart move Nick.

  6. Back from Christmas – Tinkerbell – get over yourself…no snark involved…just hate to see Nick move such a unique venture into an obviously boring environment – think Popolo’s…think Al’s Prime…think Sushi Star…zzzzzzzzz….I am a PR resident so I know of which I speak…As I said – and which you obviously didn’t get – is that I wish Nick the best and hope it proves a success…I’ll continue going to the Lovers Lane address and leave room at the PR location to the bedtime by 9 pm crowd :- )

  7. Henderson is hotter than the surface of the sun and Nick has to come home! Thanks Nick, look forward to your return.