Today we learned Ghostbar, once the highest grossing club in Dallas, is closing. According to one employee, most of the club’s workers found out they were jobless by reading about it on blogs. Ouch, that’s cold.
Our first concern was for Wade Randolph Hampton, the dude behind the vibe at Ghostbar. “What will happen to Wade,” cried one co-worker. “Oh, my gosh. I wish Wish FM were here so I could cuddle with him,” swooned another. If you don’t know Wade/Wish, you can read this interview.
Well, don’t worry about Wish. According to a lengthy press release I received, his has been granted. Listen up.
Hampton’s fans will still be able to catch his local shows every Friday at the intensely authentic yet still hushed discotheque (and 50’s dancehall of the same name) – It’ll Do – where he has partnered with heralded impresario Brooke Humphries. His bombastic Friday hoedown, called The ISH, will feature the absolute cutting-edge in bass music and indie-electro with a bevy of globally recognized artists, including members of the unstoppable Pretty Lights camp and Dallas dubstep prodigy, Spenca.
He’s also joining up with M3 Films execs and producers Michael Cain and Melina McKinnon. They are currently producing multiple projects including the STARCK PROJECT. Jump for the notes and quotes. Continue reading "Ghostbar Has Vanished? Where is Wade Randolph Hampton?"2 Comments »
At this very moment, I am shooting the breezes with Nick Badovinus. He is on my speaker phone. He is laughing so hard and spouting Nick-isms so fast I can’t take them all down.
It all started when I noticed a Bud Kennedy tweet: “@eatsbeat Dallas’ retro Off Site Kitchen burger grill opening 2nd loc[ation] at 2405 N Henderson, Dallas.” What “shocked” me is Bud is a real reporter. He’s been in the business for a long time. He doesn’t gossip at media dinners, he makes phone calls and asks questions. I spoke with Nick a couple of weeks ago about his “renno” at NHS Tavern and he had no idea what he was going to name it. He had a new sign and some groovy new décor items, but he had no name.
He still doesn’t have a name of the place that will reopen soon. But it is NOT going to be Off-Site Kitchen. Why? Because Off-Site Kitchen is basically a commissary with a food service element. Badovinus has all of his food orders sent to Off-Site Kitchen (hence, the name) and from there, they are portioned and distributed to his other restaurants. It’s a smart business move that pays for itself by serving bitchin’ sandwiches.
Here’s what Badovinus is saying between sobs of laughter and disbelief: “Where does this s*&t come from? I mean who are these people who know more than I do? It has never come out of my mouth that there is going to be another Off-Site Kitchen. Never. How does somebody write that? I mean, do people just make these things up? Tell me, please. How does this get started? I mean people are already bitching to me that Off-Site Kitchen is too small so I’m, what, gonna take a place that sells a $3.75 cheeseburger and stick it in a high-rent location with valet parking? ( a 30-second guffaw) I mean do people think I’m stupid. It makes no business sense. Off-Site Kitchen is not a brand, it’s a place. (Oh, I see a t-shirt in the works!) It’s a real commissary not named Commissary. I mean why can’t people just call and ask me? I’m sorry this just makes me so crazy. I don’t know how you do this s*&t for a living. You must be freakin’ exhausted.”14 Comments »
One of the biggest, best and most educational wine experiences in the country happens each year in Dallas at the annual TEXSOM Conference. Founded in 2005 by James Tidwell, MS, CWE, Sommelier at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas and Drew Hendricks, MS, CWE, Director of Beverage Education for Pappas Restaurants in Houston, the annual event draws everyone from wine enthusiasts to interested novices to the ever growing wine trade to the host site of the Four Seasons Restort and Club at Las Colinas for a multi-day conference on the latest industry trends and tastings, while Somms from across Texas compete for the title of the best Sommelier in the state.
I just got a note that the seminars are completely sold out for the August 12-13 conference, with attendance expected to be around 250 this year. However, you still have a chance to attend the incredible Grand Tasting on the evening of August 13. Starting at 7pm winemakers from across the state, country and the globe will pour their award winning wine for the walk around tasting, including Revana, Miner, Frias, Hanzell and many, many more. Tickets are $95 each and will go fast. More details and ticket information here.
Todd Johnson is very upset. It turns out that Craft Dallas - Tom Colicchio’s non-gimmicky restaurant in the W Hotel where Nancy once said she’d pick its chicken dish for her last supper – is closing at the end of this summer to make room for a new restaurant, Cook Hall, that’ll open as early as the fall. Cook Hall is supposed to be a modern take on America’s gastropub and will offer “regional cuisine and handcrafted cocktails…The restaurant will add a new bar and flow more openly into the hotel’s Living Room (W’s take on the traditional hotel lobby) as well as offer shareable small-plates to encourage the social experience. Cook Hall’s pricing will be moderate to upscale.”
This is new direction is headed by Culinary Concepts Hospitality Group (CCHG), and Craft Dallas isn’t the only W destination it’s giving the axe. Ghostbar, the hotel’s 33rd floor nightclub, is also closing later this month. Plans for the space are still being finalized at the moment. Meanwhile, everyone should head to the W and start saying their last goodbyes. First Nana, now Craft Dallas. Is big-league fine dining dying a slow, inevitable death in Dallas? Sure looks like it.
Every year, July rolls around and I count the days until it’s Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven. No joke. My life is that pathetic. I’m telling you guys this because I know that some of you, gasp!, have never tried a Slurpee before. Please correct this offense, pronto. It’s 7-Eleven’s 85th birthday on July 11, and you should celebrate by getting a free 7.11 oz. cherry cola Slurpee. In case you still need convincing, here’s why:
You: Hey, I’m leaving work.
You: Free Slurpee Day.
Boss: Alright, I’m coming with you.
Skip the Slurpee Lite crap and go straight for the sugary stuff. That’s my plan, anyway.1 Comment »
Do yourself a big favor and reserve a copy of Yes, Chef, Marcus Samuelsson’s memoir of how he went from battling tuberculosis in Ethiopia to becoming a James Beard award-winning chef of Red Rooster, Harlem. The Top Chef: Masters winner will be at Central Market on Tuesday, July 17 at 4 p.m. to sign copies of his newest book and hopefully make small talk with you. Make your reservations here. There are 91 seats left. If you wanted to attend the cooking class with Samuelsson at 6:30 p.m., sorry, hon. There’s a huge waiting list. Just dole out a couple of bribes, and maybe you’ll get into the class. If there’s a will, there’s a way, right?2 Comments »
The developers of Klyde Warren Park (The Park) have been busy building the 5-acre green space that covers Woodall Rogers Freeway. The area will connect the Arts District and downtown with Uptown. The $110 million dollar attraction will feature fountains, a botanical garden, a performance stage, a children’s garden, real trees and grasses, and a dog park. I’ve had my nose to the ground since they started trying to dig up the scoop on the restaurants that will be granted rights to serve at, on, or around The Park.
I’ve heard rumors (many) the main restaurant will be operated by Wolfgang Puck’s catering operation which already has a stranglehold on most of the Art’s District concessions. This morning I got confirmation on a new chef-driven restaurant that will open at 2000 McKinney. It’s called Lark (on the Park). The owner, as it should be, is long-(long)-time-Dallasite-veteran-restaurateur-and-reformed-party boy, Shannon Wynne. He of the Moth, Flying Fish, Flying Saucer and other flying related concepts.
“Plans today suggest Chef Nick Amoriello will be going over there from the Moth,” Wynne says. “We will be interviewing additional chefs for Lark where we plan to present non-cute food.” What does he mean by non-cute food? “No mac and cheese or mamas fried chicken. Just good meals at a fair price.” When I asked him to expand his thoughts a little he said: “The beer program at the Moth will not be traveling to Lark as there is room for only one deluxe gastro pub in Dallas, but Lark promises more wines and mixed drinks. We are slated to open in December or early January.” Fearing he’d hang up on me, I pressed on. What about the interior? (Wynne designs his own spaces) Just before the line went dead he said, “The interior is a secret. Dallas illustrators will be heavily featured.”
That’s all I got. But I have to say it’s always good news when a unique Dallas project adds other unique Dallas project to the mix. Or The Park in this case.
UPPITY DATE: My initial post flushed an elusive ivory-billed woodpecker from the bushes. It calls: “Wolfgang Puck was a smoke screen. John Muse of Hicks and Muse fame will be opening a restaurant there.”11 Comments »