Why Are The Guys Behind Rick's Cabaret Opening a Breastaurant Next To a Strip Club?

Shell casings are stacked on top of each other throughout the room. Gunmetal chains drip from the ceiling, creating a transparent wall effect. Dormant torpedoes and military helmets are pretty much everywhere you turn.

Yes, the military-driven ambiance at Dallas' newest restaurant, Bombshells, is jarring. But it's just part of the concept here from the men behind Rick's Cabaret International. The other part? Women, scurrying around the dining room in short camouflage shorts and revealing tank tops, plus some 50 HD televisions strewn about the place.

Let's be clear: At its core, Bombshells, which has been operating since February but will celebrate its grand opening this Sunday, is just the latest addition to Dallas' ever-growing breastaurant market — big business around these parts in recent years. But, to hear the men behind the spot tell it, their restaurant and sports bar fusion is something the Dallas nightlife scene has been lacking — even if their offering, which places an emphasis on the female waitstaff a la a Hooters or Twin Peaks, actually looks rather tame right next to Silver City Cabaret, the strip club that stands next door.

That odd coincidence, it seems, is just a matter of convenience. After some success with a few New York steakhouses, the gentleman's club conglomerate, which owns Silver City, built out an unused portion of that club's building to give their Bombshells concept a run. They already knew the area, so trying out their concept here just made sense — even if, as locations go, it's a little weird. Why buy the cow at Bombshells when you can go next door to Silver City and get the milk for the cost of a lap dance?

“They just wanted to branch out to be more than just a gentleman's club,” says newly promoted Bombshells general manager, Stephanie “Dallas” Rettig, while taking a breather after a recent busy weekday lunch rush. “They wanted to branch out with a new concept bar. This was just a really good opportunity for them.”

If nothing else, the physical space offers Bombshells plenty of room to give the concept a go. The massive building housing it includes two separate dinning areas, ample bar seating and a large outdoor patio that is accessed through one of the space's three rolling garage doors. And, yes, there's even a stage for that successful cover band playing all the great hits of yesteryear. It's a space not unlike Sherlock's Pub, except, well, not really.

“Honestly, I don't feel that we have competition,” Retiig says, dismissing the idea that either Sherlock's Pub or the next-door Silver City might be able to offer more explicit versions of what her spot can at either end of its spectrum. “Although we are a concept bar, we have things to offer that they don't.”

That includes a diverse Americana style menu, which Bombshells serves until 2 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday. It also means that friendly female staff.

And, so far, Rettig says, the concept is working.

“We have a lot of older gentlemen,” she says. “And we're surrounded by nothing but businesses, so we do have a very fast-paced lunch, too.”

If business continues to flourish — and considering that Rettig swears that business is good despite the fact that the space has yet to get out of its soft launch period, that much doesn't seem wholly unlikely — we could expect more such area establishments from Rick's Cabaret International in the near future.

Already, RCI is discussing a potential Talladega Nights-themed Bombshells-like spot to go up in Downtown Fort Worth.

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