Mike “Thrilla InTha” Hiller reports former Charlie Palmer at the Joule chef, the talented Richard Blankenship, will head the kitchen at the new Nick & Sam’s Grill. What is the new Nick & Sam’s Grill you ask? The one replacing Ristorante Nicola just south of Preston Center near the Park Cities.The new Nick & Sam’s Grill is the first partnership for Nicola’s owner Richard Gussoni and N&S bossman Joseph “Badda Bing” Palladino. They plan an early October opening. (Nicola’s up north is open for business) Hmm. Nick & Sam’s Grill, Sevy’s, Houston’s, Rathbun’s Blue Plate, (maybe) Tesar’s Spoon all within an olive toss of each other? Gonna be fun watching the numbers on this situation.5 Comments »
Ristorante Nicola, not my favorite restaurant in Dallas, is closed. Not for renovations as they told us last week. Closed for good. Once hotter than hot, the mediocre high-falutin’ Italian spot will shutter and reopen as the hotter than hot Nick & Sam’s Grill. However, Nicola’s owner Richard Gussoni and Nick & Sam’s owner Joe Palladino will partner for the new restaurant. The Plano location of Nicola’s Ristorante Italiano remains open and will accept any outstanding gift certificates held by Ristorante Nicola customers. Nick & Sam’s Grill Park Cities is slated to open in early October. Not sure what the talent will be in the kitchen but I understand Nicola’s just hired an out-of-town chef to run the kitchen and he’s hopping mad about the change.
The Mecca Restaurant is known for its bigger-than-your-face cinnamon rolls and home-cooking style, and now it’s about to take all of that to its new location at 5815 Live Oak Street. After 44 years at its Harry Hines location, owner Michael Sealy says it’s time to move. The lease is up, the building requires a great deal of care, and most importantly, he says, “Since DART bought up Denton Drive behind us, our sales are half of what it used to be. And we can’t increase our sales because there’s no market for dinner.”
After nine months of scouting for a new location, Sealy settled on the Lakewood location that used to be the old space for Molly Maguire’s Irish Pub. Before that, in the 30s, 40s, and 50s (according to Sealy), Volk’s Department Store occupied that space, and people would buy their blue jeans there. Now the space right next to an exercise center called CrossFit White Rock will be used to serve three-egg omelettes and homemade pancakes to keep up Mecca’s 74 years of breakfast tradition.
Sealy plans to add dinner service once Mecca makes its move, starting August 17 at the soft opening. The Harry Hines location will close on August 12.
Four days ago, Nancy announced that The Commissary was closed and speculated yesterday that Screen Door might be next. It turns out that she’s right. The Screen Door in One Arts Plaza is closing doors tomorrow. A few friends and I went there for lunch just to capture some Southern comfort food memories before it completely shutters down, and our waiter told us that he and the other employees found out late last night around 10 p.m. that it was official: Screen Door’s last dinner service will be at 7:50 p.m. this Saturday. They’ll open bottles of wine and say goodbye. According to the waiter, The Commissary will re-open as Ziziki’s in approximately three weeks (rather soon, it seems) and Screen Door will re-open as a French concept as part of the Lombardi family in late September early October. (Still waiting on a call from a Lombardi spokesperson to confirm this fact.)
When I asked Chef David McMillan if he was sad to see Screen Door go, he shook his head no. “That’s the way it is when you have a fun economy,” he said. He’s hoping to open something closer to where he lives, either in Colleyville or Southlake.
Jump for updated news.
This just in: Ziziki’s Restaurants owners, Costa and Mary Arabatzis, are opening Meze Small Plates and Wine Bar in the space formerly known as The Commissary. Instead of gourmet burgers, expect to find Greek-style food. Opening is set for September.
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“We have enjoyed a great 7-year run and thank everyone who has been a part of it,” says Brant Wood, Chairman and CEO of Cafe Brazil, LLC. “Our lease expires at the end of this month, and unfortunately, we were unable to come to an agreement with the landlord that will allow us to operate profitably. Our last day of operations will be Sunday, July 29. We hope to replace this location somewhere in the area in the near future. Until then, customers can visit us at any of our other 10 Metroplex DFW locations including Plano and Richardson.”
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 »
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.
No more #2 burgers with unmelted cheese at Goff’s in Preston Valley Shopping Cener (LBJ & Preston), the joint closed on June 30. The University Park location is still open. Tippy Thai, a tiny BYOB spot, and Mangiamo Italian Restaurant, a full-service restaurant will open soon.
Just up Preston at Royal I noticed a sign for Saucy’s Thai & Pho over the door next to Natalie’s in the southwest corner of Preston Royal Shopping Center. Also Nando’s, the Veracruz-style restaurant in the space formerly known as Cava/Le Rendezvous, is now open for business. Former Gloria’s employee Fernando Santo is teaming up with his mother Blanco Husca. She was the chef at The Original Mexican Café (“The Original”) in Galveston.
In all honesty, I don’t know if this is old news or new. I searched the web for reports and found none other than Yelp. According to a person who works nearby the place has been closed a couple months.19 Comments »
Nancy Nichols already announced that, after 28 years, Nana will close on Saturday. The space will reopen in September as a steakhouse. She is inconsolable. Partly because of the closing and partly because the new name, Sēr, uses a symbol that isn’t on her Remington typewriter.
Tonight is ‘The Last Supper.’ But last night was the last standup. Members of the restaurant’s extensive customer list enjoyed a Champagne and hors d’oeuvre reception to the sounds of a live band with food prepared by several of Nana’s past executive chefs: Ron Rosenbaum, David McMillan, and Doug Brown. Current executive chef, Anthony Bombaci, and future execuchef, Anthony van Camp, were also in the kitchen.
Jump for the feast. And fabulous photos. Continue reading "Nana’s Last Supper: Return of Former Chefs’ Dinner"4 Comments »
Margarita Ranch is slated to be out of their space on June 18. Herrera’s will open in the fall.
I heard they were thinking of retooling, but now they have decided to close.
6 Comments »“We have made a business decision to close our Fort Worth location of Bailey’s Prime Plus. We appreciate the support the city of Fort Worth and community have provided Bailey’s during our time at West 7th,” said Gary Van Gundy, president of Edward C. Bailey Enterprises.”
According to owner Phil Silva, Pho Colonial Authentic Vietnamese Diner on Frankford closed yesterday. “We just couldn’t get the traffic in there,” Silva said. “I don’t know if it was us or the location. The place is not very visible from Frankford.” Silva has operated in that space for over five years which included the last days of Bene Bene.
Silva is locked in a courtroom battle with his former partner Khanh Dao, the veteran restaurateur who was involved with Draelion, The Drae Lounge, Steel, and Voltaire. Late last year, Dao was removed from the day-to-day operations because the restaurant was running high (63%) food costs and not making any money. Dao filed a restraining order to keep Silva, the majority owner, from removing her as one of the members of the partnership. The judge denied her request.
I asked Silva about Dao’s whereabouts. “We had a shareholders meeting on Tuesday and she was there,” Silva said. “I have no idea what she is doing. Our lawsuits, we are basically suing one another, is scheduled for August.” Meanwhile, the downtown location of Pho Colonial is open. The chef from North Dallas will run the kitchen.
About a year and a half ago, there was a small Hatfield-and-McCoy feud in Southlake. Jack Layman, a former manager at Rockfish in Southlake, quit and opened Jack’s Porch in a space nearby. When I reported this, the situation ticked a lot of people from both sides off and they got into a big rumble in the comments section. Apparently Layman was bound by a “non-compete” contract and Jack’s Porch was a little too close to the Rockfish location. I guess Rockfish won because one observer sends word that Jack’s Porch is closed. And he/she is wondering why. Anybody out there know the details?5 Comments »
Loads of people love the Seasons 52 in Plano. Why? It’s fresh, seasonal, has a nice wine program…oh, and nothing on the menu is more than 475 calories. Dallas folks won’t have to drive to Plano for a mini-indulgence dessert, Seasons 52 is opening a Dallas location at NorthPark. Yes, it will occupy the former space known as McCormick and Schmick and will open this fall. The press release says it will “bring approximately 100 new jobs to the Dallas area.” Interesting spin. Is that more than the total number of employees who lost their job when McCormick and Schmick closed? Probably a wash. Seasons 52 likes to play around with other numbers: Master Sommelier George Miliotes features a diverse international selection of 100 wines, including over 52 choices offered by the glass.” Jobs! Wine! Free valet parking!
Jump if you need more to make you happy.
Nancy reported yesterday that Sushi Axiom in Cedar Springs is closing doors. The owners of Sushi Axiom and their business partner, Monica Greene, have decided to open a new (unnamed) Mexican concept restaurant in its stead. Sushi Axiom will move over to Addison and open in the space where Cyclone Anaya’s once occupied that area off Belt Line and Montfort. It’s slated to open in late summer 2012.