Lakewood Mediterranean Favorite Ali Baba Closes and Oak Lawn Gets A KC-Style Barbecue Joint.

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.

Even during a time of year brimming with holiday celebrations, the ever-fluctuating state of the Dallas food scene is subject to the same turnover we've come to expect from the rest of the year. The latest unexpected closing? Ali Baba in Lakewood, which shuts its doors today after 20-plus years due to a lack of daytime business and inadequate parking. All hope isn't lost, though: Ali Baba says a relocation could be possible in 2015.

Meanwhile, down in The Cedars, Absinthe Lounge is looking to build out its kitchen. The spot's trying to raise $25,000 through Kickstarter for the renovations, with rewards for donations ranging from a $5 mention in the Absinthe “Art of Fame” to a $10,000 Hawaiian-style party for you and up to a hundred of your closest friends.

In Uptown, fast-casual Thai favorite Crush Craft has added new options to its menu. A few of the items in new lineup include pork fritters (essentially fried miniature pork meatballs on a stick), spring rolls and fruit waters, and Thai-style battered hard-boiled eggs.

Down on Oak Lawn, a new Kansas City-style barbecue joint is in the works by the name of 18 & Vine Barbeque Restaurant. Expect a wide selection of proteins to be available on the menu, and look out for a spring opening.

Vegetarians, on the other hand, can look forward to the opening of a new Cedars Mediterranean Mezza and Grill in Plano sometime next month.

Up in Denton, a craft cocktail bar by the name of Hickory & Fry is opening on the college bar hub of Fry Street sometime in the near future. The menu for the new venture is separated by sections of dip (with things like queso con chorizo and Texas style chili), snack (think elotes and fries), graze and fuel. There will also be lunch specials that include salads, tacos and paninis, as well as a menu of classic and signature cocktails.

Cover photos via Ali Baba's Facebook page. Got a tip for The Spread? Email us!

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