Dallasites Get Another Place To Drink In Their Cars, And The Hypnotic Donut Dash Returns.
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.
Keeping track of the Dallas food scene is almost akin to following the stock market. Every day presents a fluctuating state of restaurant openings and closings. For some of the biggest names in the industry, there's no real downtime. They're just constantly working on ways to wow us foodies with new concepts, while somehow keeping the market saturated.
Hands down, some of the busiest people in the industry these days have to be the people behind Smoke (read: Tim Byers, Chris Zielke, Chris Jeffers and Eric Justice), who, in addition to opening a second location in Plano around the end of this month, are also working on opening another new concept called Spork, which is set to hit North Dallas in February.
Anyone familiar with the process of opening a restaurant — either by hearsay or through actually trying to navigate the bureaucratic hell that is City Hall — can probably attest that it's a time-consuming, chaotic process with a lot of unknown variables. While the opening of the Plano outpost of Smoke (located in the former Snuffers space) was provided with the framework of its Dallas flagship store, Spork was a concept built from scratch by chef Justice to take over the shuttered Sonic space at Frankford and Preston. Though we can largely expect some of the same elements that made Smoke a popular destination (with the addition of a custom 10-foot hearth, according to a press release), Spork will be nothing like what we've come to expect from America's Drive-In. Instead, imagine chef-inspired burgers and dishes, as well as a full bar.
Also on the new restaurant front: Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. is looking to open in Bishop Arts by mid-January. If the tried-and-true combination of cheese and bread isn't enough of a hook, the place will also have a selection of wine, beer and cocktails to go with the hand-held comfort food.
Over in Trinity Groves, fourth-round Kitchen LTO chef Blythe Beck is taking well to her new position — so much so that she doesn't want to leave. The pink-coated chef is in the midst of a Facebook campaign to renew her tenure at the rotating restaurant venture for another four months (the typical turn around for concepts). At the time of this writing, she has just a little more than half of the 1,000 likes needed for the extension.
On the expansion side of things, Greenville Avenue resident salad shop Crisp Salad Co. is opening up a second location at The Shops at Park Lane sometime in spring of 2015.
Also coming up soon in 2015: It's almost time again for the third annual Hypnotic Donuts Dash, which will happen on Saturday, January 24, at Fair Park. The event combines at 5k and one-mile fun run with slightly less physically challenging activities, like a chubby bunny contest with doughnut holes. The fun run begins at 8 a.m., with the 5k beginning at 8:30. Those looking to participate can register here.
Meanwhile, if you're looking for a place to grab a drink on Christmas day, you can head over to The Rustic for their Drink the Tree event from 6 to 11:55 p.m. You'll be able to cap off the holiday with $3 PBRs straight from the Christmas tree, as well as tamales and tequila for that extra festive feeling.
In brew news: The ever-uneventful West End will soon be getting its own craft brewery, courtesy of John Sims (formerly of Four Corners Brewing Co.). The brewery is slated to open at the corner of Munger Avenue and Lamar Street, right in the old Butcher Shop Steakhouse space, with no current name in place other than Lamar Brewery Building.
Speaking of beer: Out in the suburbs, Cobra Brewing Co. is celebrating its one-year anniversary on Saturday, December 20, from 1 p.m to 6 p.m. The event will feature 10 Cobra brews on tap, plus live music and food in addition to commemorative mugs/steins (for VIPs) and pint glasses (for regulars) with the cost of admission.
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