The City OKs The Blind Butcher's Later Hours, And More Restaurants Announce New Plano Homes.
Welcome to The Spread, our weekly feature that aims to share all the area restaurant, food and beverage industry news that's fit to print. Except, this is the Internet, so space isn't a concern. Also: Good thing, because this is Dallas and this town always has breaking restaurant news going down like whoa.
Good news, suburban fans of Oak Cliff's nationally renowned barbecue joint, Smoke. The restaurant’s innovative take on barbecue is coming right for you.
But don't think of Smoke's expansion as the start of the restaurant's descent into a watered-down, franchised version of itself. To hear owner Chris Jeffers tell it, it's more like a natural growth. And, following all the recent the pilgrimage to increasingly trendy suburb, it just makes sense in his mind.
“There's really no particular rhyme or reason,” says owner Chris Jeffers about his decision to open up shop in the old Snuffer's space at Park Boulevard and Preston Road. “I think Plano is a really cool city that's far enough away to not cannibalize the Smoke in Dallas. The strip mall we're in is all like-minded brands.”
As far as what to expect of the new spot? Don't fret. The new location will stick to what Smoke knows best.
“We're not gonna change anything,” Jeffers ensures The Spread. “[We'll] just keep a cool, kind of residential feel to it.”
Speaking of expansion to Plano: The Austin-based sushi chain (and former Shark Tank contestants) behind How Do You Roll will be opening its first North Texas location in the not-too-distant future. The fast-casual restaurant follows the Chipotle-like concept where customers can choose from an assortment of ingredients — including yellow fin tuna, Atlantic salmon, crawfish and more — to make custom sushi rolls, thus widening the options for sushi lovers who want a happy median between fancy dining and grocery store sushi rolls. The sushi joint will join the new Smoke location in Plano in the Preston Park Village sometime this summer.
Meanwhile, The Blind Butcher faced some opposition this week from its Greenville Avenue area neighbors regarding its late night hours. Neighbors opposed the renewal of the restaurant's two-year late-night permit because of the sounds from the recently opened back patio, claiming it was a nuisance. And so the Blind Butcher’s late-night permit request went to a public hearing before the City Plan Commission. But, see, here's the surprising part: Commissioners granted the restaurant a new permit. Granted, the commission only granted the restaurant/bar a year-long permit, citing that they receive a lot of noise complaints about the area since the restaurant is also near the Truck Yard, but still: The Butcher can now keep its patio open until midnight and its indoor space open until 2 a.m. for at least the next 12 months.
Another business having to deal with permit concerns of late is Calais Winery, which is having to move from its Deep Ellum location to Hill Country in Hye, Texas. Calais ran into issues with the City of Dallas' refusal to grant adequate zoning for the spot due to its vague rules for wineries. The winery owners considered moving to Bishop Arts, but the move would call for them to identify as a bar — and they didn't want to deal with the annual permit review that came with that decision. On the plus side, Calais' new location will include an on-site vineyard. So there's that.
In more opening news, the California-based Healthy LYFE Kitchen announced that it too is coming to Dallas this summer. The fast-casual concept for health food enthusiasts specializes in dishes containing 600 or fewer calories, as well as gluten-free and vegan options. The menu will include items such as edamame hummus, un-fried buffalo chicken strips, grass-fed steaks and burgers. The spot will also have selection of organically/sustainably sourced wine and local beer from Franconia, Rahr & Sons, Lakewood Brewing and Grapevine Craft Brewery. Three Healthy LYFE locations are scheduled to hit the area, starting with — you guessed it — a Plano location that's set to open on June 13. That will followed by a Preston Center spot on June 27 and a West Village home on July 25.
Meanwhile, another Hopdoddy Burger Bar will be opening in Uptown on June 2. This will be the second Dallas installment of the Austin-based chain, with a third location in Addison in the works. Happy National Burger Day, everyone!
Another recent opening? The Ginger Man in Lakewood, which is just the latest to come in the long line of Ginger Man pubs. The new location has a minimalistic, chill vibe, while still retaining the same bar atmosphere synonymous with the Ginger Man name — which, far as we're concerned, is to say that this location too boasts a pretty rad patio.
Lastly this week comes the news that The Texas House Farm-To-Table Caucus is hosting its first Dallas farm-to-table dinner on Thursday, June 12. The event will raise funds to support legislative education on local food issues. The dinner will be using ingredients from local farms, paired with local craft beers and spirits. Tickets are currently on sale here.
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