With its quaint cafes, elegant bistros, and manicured gardens, the HARWOOD District sometimes feels more like a little piece of Europe rather than Dallas, Texas.
That's because the owner of global real estate firm Harwood International, Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, was born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland. He came to Dallas in 1979 with passion and a plan: to bring European culture to the city.
You could certainly say that Barbier-Mueller — who is also Honorary Consul of Switzerland for North Texas — succeeded. In addition to other global ventures, Harwood International owns 18 blocks of prime Dallas real estate and has shaped it into a delightful pocket of Uptown, known for sophisticated buildings, chic restaurants, and and even a museum with the world’s largest and most renowned collection of samurai armor and artifacts. The under-construction Harwood No. 10 will even have a European-inspired pedestrian walkway dubbed La Rue Perdue, which echos the stone-lined, open-air corridors of France.
The lovely Marie Gabrielle Restaurant & Gardens is another spot with European flair, especially when visiting artists perform. On September 27, the Swiss Concert in the Gardens brought a fusion of Swiss culture, music, and food to the HARWOOD District, presented in partnership with The Swiss Club of Dallas and North Texas. There were performances from Accordion Orchestra (from the village of Aesch in Basel-Landschaft, Switzerland), the Yodel Club Choir from Schlossbrünneli Möriken Wildegg, and special North Texas guests the Swiss Longhorns and Frohsinn Singing Society.
Even if Happiest Hour, one of HARWOOD District's seven restaurants, has a more American feel, the majority of the area's restaurants have a decidedly European vibe. From the coastal Italian offerings at Dolce Riviera to the contemporary European menu at Mercat Bistro to the quaint cafe Magnolias: Sous Le Pont, there are plenty of places where it's easy to forget you're even in America, let alone the Lone Star State.
Whether you’re dining, listening to music, or just strolling, it's easy to get lost in the European feel of the HARWOOD District.