December Wrap Up of Restaurant Opening and Closings

Another month has passed and another 30 restaurants have opened. While there were more rumors (and shouts) along the way, we’ve rounded up the restaurants that are now open with some first glances to let you know what to expect.

And as always, the good news comes with sad news. Observer author Doyle Rader spoke to Dominick Oliverie, the owner of The Great American Hero, about his last four decades of serving sandwiches in Dallas and why he is closing. If you want one of their heroic heroes, make sure to stop by before they close in late December.

click to enlarge

You have until December to get your final Great American Hero.

Doyle Rader

Another closure hit nearby: After 20 years in business, the Metropolitan Cafe, a downtown breakfast and lunch spot next to the Observer’s office, closed after Thanksgiving.

Deep Ellum also took a few hard blows. The Anvil Pub closed on Halloween after 11 years in business, leaving some of us deprived of the loss of the legendary “F * ckbrunch”. Then Braindead Brewing and its hangout deck closed the day after Thanksgiving.

It’s not that you can replace this type of locally owned business, but Deep Ellum is trying. We checked out Pop Culture DTX (2812 Elm St.), a revolving pop-up themed bar. The current topic called TGIF (it’s all about the 80s and 90s) was introduced shortly after Thanksgiving.

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Electric Shuffle (2615 Elm St.) also opened in Deep Ellum with 17 electric shuffleboard tables that up to 20 people can play at the same time. Alyssa High covered the menu, as well as brunch and happy hour packages with shuffleboard, food and drinks.

Angie Quebedeaux wrote about the food, drinks, and funky bathrooms at Hawkers Asian Street Food (2800 Main St.), also in Deep Ellum. This place is based in Orlando and there are approximately 11 other restaurants across the country. They serve popular street food from China, Malaysia and Thailand.

In the nearby Exposition Park, Tarantinos Cicchetti Bar and Record Lounge (3611 Parry Ave.) is now open, serving cicchetti (small plates) and focaccina (small Italian sandwiches). This place comes from the longtime restaurateur Peter Tarantino from Dallas, who previously owned a place of the same name in Deep Ellum. They have a full bar and feature local art as well as a record lounge area for their rotating turntable.

click to enlarge The Flamin 'Hot Cheetos Burger at the Sugar Factory comes with a block of Monterey Jack cheese with a Cheetos crust.  - LAUREN DREWES DANIELS

The Flamin ‘Hot Cheetos Burger at the Sugar Factory comes with a block of Monterey Jack cheese with a Cheetos crust.

Lauren Drewes Daniels

The Sugar Factory (1900 Cedar Springs Road) opened in Uptown, an over-the-top drunkenness and sugar affair with a heavy social media vibe. If you want a flashy birthday party with a $ 100 sundae, this is a great option.

Villa Azur brings French-Mediterranean dinner and a great nighttime party atmosphere to Victory Park.

Not far away, Modest Rogers (3811 Fairmount St.) opened in Oak Lawn; it’s much more humble, but still exhilarating. This place serves Texan influenced Venezuelan, Spanish and Mexican cuisine by Modesto Rodriguez, whom many Dallas fans know from stints at Nonna and Carbone’s or his Mo’s plancha pop-ups.

Zack Coutré, CFO of ARG Concepts, announced on his personal Facebook page that Wits Steakhouse has started a small soft opening. Wits is the South African steakhouse that replaces the longstanding Oak restaurant in the Design District. Reservations through Resy are only open until Saturday, but we expect regular opening times to be announced soon.

Restaurants on Lamar at the Omni Dallas downtown has two new restaurants – Pegasus Pizza and Hops and Hens. There can never be too much fried chicken (apparently), and Hops and Hens has local draft beers and lawn games. Pegasus Pizza next door has Neapolitan style pizza and a full bar.

click to enlarge The downstairs dining area is pretty nice.  - LAUREN DREWES DANIELS

The downstairs dining area is pretty nice.

Lauren Drewes Daniels

Parterre in the Santander Tower (formerly Thanksgiving Tower), where Ascension Coffee once stood, has also opened in the city center. For those who work or live in the city center, Parterre is a point of contact for everything: breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks.

We visited Casablanca at Bishop Arts (200 N. Bishop Ave.), the lovely restaurant and bar with a karaoke whisper bar in the background and a large, luxurious terrace in front.

We also checked out the newly renovated Garden Cafe (5310 Junius St.), a loyal companion in East Dallas. The renovation includes a new bar with beer and wine. A new evening menu includes beef cheek fries and a flat iron steak with a pepper crust, as well as a vegan Alfredo that owner Mark Wooton is enthusiastic about.

Lakewood Advocate has the latest on Mayer’s Garden (2422 N. Henderson Ave.), which recently opened in the former Jake’s Burgers and Beer Space. This is another vision that has taken a while to come true and we look forward to giving you a first look at their garden cocktails, beer, wine and casual food.

The Koreatown district has a new home-cooked spot, Nuri Grill (2254 Royal Lane), run by two chefs who moved from Korea to run the kitchen here. University Park has a new Italian restaurant, DL Mack’s (6501 Hillcrest Ave.).

In the suburbs there is a new location for the Greenville Avenue Pizza Company in Richardson. This place has a full bar, and if you’re already into their “pizza crack” wait to try it on the edge of a Bloody Mary.

Also in Richardson, Michelle Pepping turned Tasty Tails into Chelle’s Seafood. The seafood is still there, but Chelle’s is more east-coast oriented and has a little bit of Asian flair in it.

Garland recently got his own Harvey B’s (6850 N. Shiloh Road, Suite U), a long-time simple burger joint in Old East Dallas.

We recently visited Mad for Chicken in McKinney. This New York-based Korean fried chicken place is growing rapidly in North Texas.

Desi District, a top Indian restaurant from Irving, has also opened a location in McKinney. In Flower Mound, Sfereco (120 River Walk Drive) is now open on the River Walk. Primo’s MX is now also open and more restaurants will follow in the coming months.

In Southlake, the modern Southern Restaurant Jellico has opened in the Westin Southlake Hotel (1200 E. State Highway 114). Arlington has its own bombshells, and Grand Prairie has a new locally owned coffee shop, Billy Joe Coffee Co., in the Farmers Market complex.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Chef Kenny Mills’ Original Chop House Burger is returning to its original location, as seen at diners, drive-ins and dives. Mills promises he will recreate the original and expects to open this place early next year.