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Chef Richard Blankenship Leaves The Joule and Heads to Cru in West Village

Last week we talked about Joel Harrington taking on a new role as a chef at The Joule. The restaurant is in flux, changing from Charlie Palmer at The Joule to Charlie Palmer Steak.  The now former, and very talented, sous chef Richard Blakenship left The Joule yesterday to head the kitchen at Cru in Uptown. Nice get, owner Patrick Colombo. “Yes, we courted him to oversee all of our locations, but for right now he is going to be at West Village,” says Colombo. “We just resigned our lease and will be renovating in the late spring. Eventually Blankenship will take a bigger role.” This whole scenario makes me curious. If Charlie Palmer at The Joule couldn’t make it as a destination restaurant in Dallas, then who can? I just don’t believe people in Dallas are willing to eat downtown unless they live there. Charlie Palmer at The Joule did it best.

  • Food Girl

    Charlie Trotter not Palmer is closing his Chicago restaurant.

  • Nancy Nichols

    thanks food girl. i realized that the second i hit publish.

  • Anon

    Chef’s come and go, but I don’t understand why they would want to change it to a steakhouse. Dallas has enough steak houses for crying out loud, we don’t need another one. It will be in danger of losing all it’s uniqueness…and it might limit the creativity of the very talented Joel Harrington.

    What a boneheaded move.

  • TheBrad

    … and the Silver Oak will flow…

  • Eric

    i’m sorry but going downtown is a pain in the butt. Glad he is coming to the west village.

  • BorntoRhone

    I remain mind-boggled by people unwilling to eat in downtown but happy to eat in Uptown which is appoximately 1 mile away. It certainly isn’t like Uptown has better parking.

  • Kgun

    The Joule food service needs a major over haul. Ate and drank there three time in December, never as good as it should be. For the investment they will need major work in the F&B scene. I’m certain Charlie and team know this. They should bring the chef in from Healdsburg CA.

  • Jackson

    I second BorntoRhone re downtown vs. uptown. Getting from uptown into downtown (or vice versa) takes all of five minutes unless it’s five o’clock traffic. We left Primo’s on McKinney at 6:30 last Friday evening. The walk to the car took about the same amount of time as the drive to Charlie Palmer on Main. The only thing downtown proper needs is about two dozen more Main’s!

  • Heather M

    “I just don’t believe people in Dallas are willing to eat downtown unless they live there. “

    Nancy – this is a thread of a bigger issue. Many people aren’t willing to live there except temporarily (i.e. renting). Investment properties don’t count as living. Many people also aren’t willing to visit downtown because there is limited shopping. And the arts district area? Very nice, but most visitors are on weekends or they are early birds.

    Maybe it’s time to admit we are spending too much public and private money on the downtown neighborhood.

  • Jackson

    @Heather M, you write that “Maybe it’s time to admit we are spending too much public and private money on the downtown neighborhood.”

    The notion that urban cores have no central meaning is a bad model for cities.

    Downtown isn’t “a neighborhood.” The M Streets area is a neighborhood. Bluffview is a neighborhood. UP and Lakewood are neighborhoods (several, actually).

    Downtown is none of that. It’s downtown, for God’s sake, as are all downtown’s…in all cities. This sentiment you express is what happens when decades go by with too little action or juice after 5:00. As a result, too many of Big D’s citizenry have little to no sense of what a downtown means today. A prior commenter wrote “i’m sorry but going downtown is a pain in the butt.” Such a sentiment — suburban in its outlook — is just wrong on multiple levels, starting factually.

    I can’t imagine, say, a Chicagoan or New Yorker writing that we spend too much public and private money on the “downtown neighborhood.”