Well, that didn't take long. The space that held the recently closed Watel's — and, before it, York Street — has new occupants: Chefs Jeana Johnson and Colleen O'Hare, of Good 2 Go Taco, have grabbed the gem of a spot and will open a new restaurant there sometime in March.
The duo took possession of the space at 6047 Lewis Street this week and have already started renovations. They have a concept in mind but hope to wait until it gets closer to opening before sharing the details.
"I think this space has had a great life as a fine-dining spot. But we're going in a different direction," Johnson says.
"We introduced ourselves to the neighbors, and they said, 'Are you guys going to do what York Street and Watel's did?'" Johnson says. "That's not what we're going to do. I think this space has had a great life as a fine-dining spot. But we're going in a different direction."
Please not a hot dog place.
"It's not hot dogs," Johnson says. "We've had an idea and have literally been searching for a location for this concept for a couple of years. When the space became available, we knew immediately that would be the perfect home for it."
There's something cosmic about their taking possession, because O'Hare worked with chef Sharon Hage in the kitchen from 2003 to 2005, when it was still York Street.
"Colleen is familiar with the kitchen and knows the space by heart," Johnson says. "If I ask, 'Where's the light switch?' she'll say, 'Oh, it's right here.'"
It's a nice postscript after the chefs' departure from Acme F&B, the upscale restaurant-bar they opened off McKinney Avenue last year in partnership with Barcadia owner Brooke Humphries. And their gravitation toward this section of East Dallas close-in to downtown is another thumbs-up for an area that's seeing lots of new development.
"This has renewed my enthusiasm," Johnson says. "We're out there cleaning up the yard and really enjoying ourselves. Before, we would have been more likely to pay someone to do it. We were digging up a tree stump, and a neighbor came by and volunteered to help pull it out with his truck. It's such a great neighborhood."