If hitting the newest restaurants is your thing, then you've probably made a trek or two to Fort Worth. That's where most of the notable openings have taken place in January, from a new Tristan Simon spot to a Dallas taqueria in expansion mode.
We've also seen a couple of closures, including a sad restaurant in a doomed spot and a pizzeria in Richardson that had been open for more than 50 years.
Consilient Hospitality opened AF+B on January 10 in Fort Worth's West 7th District. It's described as an elevated neighborhood tavern with modern American food and beverage; does that mean it's on stilts? In the kitchen is chef Jeff Harris, previously of Craft and Bolsa, with his former Craft mate Laurel Wimberg on pastry. The restaurant features cocktails from bartenders Chad Solomon and Christy Pope, as well as a wine list by sommelier Ryan Tedder that includes wines from Texas, Virginia, New York, North Carolina and New Mexico.
Popular Dallas taqueria Velvet Taco has opened its second branch, this one on West 7th Street in Fort Worth. Velvet Taco, which opened at Henderson Avenue and US 75 in 2011, is owned by FrontBurner, which also owns Twin Peaks and Whiskey Cake. A release from the company says that they've worked towars perfecting the menu so they can take this brand across the country.
Also opening in Fort Worth is Kona Grill, the Arizona-based chain that combines American food and sushi. It opens on West 7th, across from the Modern Art Museum, on January 31. This is the second Kona Grill in the Dallas-Fort Worth area; the first is at NorthPark Center.
Del Frisco's Grille opened in Southlake Town Square. It's the third in the area, following branches in Dallas and Fort Worth. Like the other two, it's a two-story restaurant with a patio on each level and an exhibition kitchen. The menu includes flatbreads, burgers, egg rolls and tacos; a weekend brunch includes chicken-fried steak and eggs, and a red velvet Belgian waffle. The company, which makes its headquarters in Southlake, opened six Grilles last year.
An Italian restaurant called Bocce's will open in February in the old Inforzato's space at 244 W. Davis St. in Bishop Arts. The menu will feature pastas, meatballs, sausage, chicken Parmesan, eggplant Parmesan and garlic shrimp. Chef-manager is David Rice; Donna Rice will run front-of-the-house and do cooking classes.
Kitchen LTO, the permanent pop-up restaurant at Trinity Groves, is entering its second concept, starring chef Eric Shelton and designer Stefania Morandi. The menu will be New American. Shelton has most recently been executive chef of “M” Dining at the Music Hall. He'll start serving dinner on Wednesday, February 5.
Hopdoddy will take over the old Frankie's space on McKinney Avenue in Uptown. This will be the second Dallas-are branch of this Austin burger chain; another one is coming to Addison at Village on the Parkway.
There's a new tenant for the old Humperdink's in Richardson that closed in May 2013. Mediterranean buffet chain Fadi's will open there in March.
Blind Butcher, the restaurant-bar on Greenville Avenue from the owners of Goodfriend, has soft-opened. In this case that means they still don't have a menu together but are serving drinks and some snacks.
Mediterranean restaurant Blue Olive Grill opened in the former Chicago St Pizza space on University Drive in McKinney.
Monkey King Noodle Co. is now open for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays, from 6-10 pm.
Pizza Villa, a Richardson pizzeria beloved by the locals, closed after 50-plus years in business. And the ill-fated Acme Social Club, which started out as Acme F+B then changed to a bar concept, closed, adding another bad vibe to the indisputably jinxed location of 4900 McKinney Ave.
Luscher’s, the hot dog restaurant plotted for Gaston Avenue by chef Brian C. Luscher, has been postponed. The City of Dallas decreed that there was not enough parking, and Luscher is seeking another location.
Ground was broken on a bar-restaurant called Vagabond, which is going into the old J Pepe's space on Greenville Avenue. This is an odd resuscitation of a Vagabond Lounge that was in the same space from 1952 to 1978. It comes from John Kenyon of Red Jacket, with cocktails by Eddie "Lucky" Campbell, food by Stewart Jameson (Goodfriend, Mot Hai Ba) and Jon Baudoin (Driftwood) as concept contributor and operations.
Potato Flats is the latest Phil Romano concept going into Trinity Groves. The main dish will be baked potatoes, to which customers can add toppings from a salad-bar-style line.
In a page lifted straight out of Torchy's book, Grub Burger Bar, which recently opened on Greenville Avenue, features a special monthly burger. For January, it's a chicken-fried burger with cheese and jalapeño white gravy on a buttermilk biscuit.
Max's Wine Dive reignites its Meatless Mondays special, offering 25 percent off vegetarian entrees and happy hour prices every Monday from 4 pm to midnight.