We all knew it would take some big clogs to fill in the void created when Tre Wilcox resigned from his duties at the Village Marquee Texas Bar & Grill. Owner Mark Hearl has done a fine job filling them. He just hired former Pyramid execuchef Andre Natera. Hearl says Natera will start on February 1 and will be implementing his style of modern Texas cuisine. It looks like Natera will be cooking downstairs in the cozy restaurant while Hearl creates a new concept for the space upstairs. Good news from the most expensive restaurant real estate in Dallas.
Last week I heard there was trouble brewing at Acme F & B. My insider, Garganta Profunda de una Vaca, relayed intel: The four owners were in disagreement over the “meat allocation program and front of the house service system.” GPDUV said Acme F&B c0-owners (Team Barcadia), Brooke Humphries and Brianna Larson, bought out co-owners Colleen O’Hare and Jeana Johnson, (Team Good 2 Go Taco, Goodfriend).
I emailed Jeana Johnson last Monday and asked if the buyout scenario was true. She replied, “This is not true.” I pushed, “Are you still owners.” Johnson typed, “Yes we are.” I smelled a lawyer. I went on to bigger and better things.
Last Friday, at 6:56PM, Johnson sent me an update: “Ok NOW we are no longer owners of Acme.” (Attorney aroma again.)
Perhaps it’s as simple as the too-many-cooks syndrome. But since the restaurant opened on June 1, there have been confusing signals. Our First Look, written by Carol Shih, painted this picture:
Each table also has a front wait who brings the food to your table, and a captain who guides you through the menu. He or she is the one who explains to new guests why ACME F&B changes its menu daily, stressing the importance of what the Good To Go and Barcadia women are trying to implement: better treatment of farmers while keeping the quality of food top-notch.
A little less than four months later another picture emerged: Norm Grimm was named executive chef. Grimm’s appointment was somewhat surprising since most of us assumed O’Hare and Johnson, the names most closely associated with the food program, were in the kitchen. We called, we asked, and we were assured this was a natural progression of their business plan.
Mierda happens. It certainly has at Acme F& B. Humphries, Larson, and Grimm, all eyes are on you. Bring us your best game.
(Side note: Humphries and Larson are opening a third Barcadia location in New Orleans.)7 Comments »
The blogosphere is exploding with chefs switching kitchens. Now Mike “Thrilla In The” Hiller reports talented chef Andre Natera is leaving the Pyramid Restaurant to take a sabbatical with his family. That’s usually code for: “I’ve been approached by a lot of restaurants and I can take my time to pick and choose.” The good news is that there are so many new restaurants opening in Dallas chefs have bargaining power. I’ve heard about several others who are ready to bail some high-profile spots. Crazy good times.1 Comment »
I’m starting to think there are evil spirits in the walls at One Arts Plaza. The spaces that housed the Screen Door and the Commissary have had more turnovers than the Dallas Mavericks in their respective early seasons. The Greek – Pita, Meze, Wine, a restaurant that lost original chef Richard Silva before they opened, has lost another, Taylor Kearney. According to Steven “Big Tex” Doyle, Kearney, who left Boulevardier recently for a new job at The Greek, is now headed to Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse.
Also, Silva has moved across the plaza and is now cheffing at Alberto Lombardi’s Café des Artistes. The Greek owners, Costa and Mary Arabatzis, must be despondent (or difficult to work for). I wonder if Lucy Billingsley, the woman with the vision for One Arts Plaza, ever imagined herself as a restaurateur by default. It’s certainly a seller’s market for chefs right now. New restaurants create new opportunities. Let the whac-a-mole chefs games begin.
UPPITY DATE: Looks like Doyle jumped the gun on Silva. This from Café des Artistes: ” Richard Silva is not the chef for Café des Artistes. I’m not sure where Steven Doyle got that information, but Richard Silva was never coming on as part of the Café des Artistes team. You will be receiving updated chef information for Café des Artistes later today.”12 Comments »