Independent Bar & Kitchen Opens In Deep Ellum, And Bar Of Soap Gets New Life.

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.

This week, let’s start off with some opening news, as Independent Bar & Kitchen quietly debuted in Deep Ellum this past weekend. The restaurant project from the Club Dada, Off The Record and City Tavern team focuses on rustic European comfort food alongside nostalgic dessert options. The venture is currently in its soft opening stages, with plans for an official grand opening on the horizon.

Not far away, expo Park’s getting in on the new action too, as a biker-friendly spot called The Vault Expo Park will open as a casual bar-restaurant, located in the former Bar of Soap and Switching Gears space. The menu will focus on upscale bar food and Prohibition-style cocktails, with decor inspired by historic Texas outlaw figures. No word yet on an official opening date.

Less nebulous in its arrival is a self-serve doughnut concept called Crunch Donut Factory that is setting up shop in Arlington. Per CultureMap, customers will be able to select a basic doughnut and desired toppings from a Chipotle-style assembly line. An opening is slated for the end of this month.

Another change in the works? The ever-in-the-news John Tesar has announced that he has left the Apheleia Restaurant Group. The chef will no longer be an advisor to Oak, The Royale Magnificent Burgers or any affiliated restaurants, according to GuideLive. In the meantime, Tesar is working on expanding his Knife empire in addition to other projects. In his stead, Joel Harrington has stepped into the role of executive chef at Oak and Quill.

In other news, Anvil Pub is hosting A Benefit for Dani Gurl. All of the proceeds of the event will go to the medical costs of Dani Rene, a popular bartender who was in a motorcycle accident this past February. With the purchase of $20 tickets, attendees will be entered into a raffle for prizes such as a VIP trip for two to Straight Rhythm in L.A. (sponsored by Red Bull), a PBR BMX bike, tattoos and artwork from local artists and more. The event takes place on Sunday, May 15 at 7 p.m.

In craft beer news: Deep Ellum Postal & Grocer is overhauling its operation to sell craft beer and wine to-go. The hybrid convenience store and mail center is changing its business model to reflect the current demands of the neighborhood, per GuideLive. The store has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to cover the costs of restructuring the business. The crowd-funding effort ends on May 19.

Also, Four Corners Brewing Co. is taking part in this year’s Big D BBQ Battle on Saturday, April 30. The competition awards prizes to pitmasters from throughout the Metroplex in categories such as ribs, brisket and beans. The event benefits Cafe Momentum and takes place from 5 to 9 p.m.

Finally, Community Beer Co. is hosting its annual crawfish party on Saturday, May 14. Presale tickets are currently available for $25. For that, you get two pounds of crawfish, three Community brew tokens and a commemorative 2016 crawfish and brews glass. The event starts at noon.

Cover photo via IBK’s Facebook Page. Got a tip for The Spread? Email us!

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