The quaint Sykamore Cafe in East Dallas has closed, but the family who owns it has resurfaced at a former Malaysian restaurant in Plano.
Their migration from Dallas to Plano was a two-part deal that began in November when they were approached by the owners of Asian Delights Cafe, a Malaysian restaurant at Custer and Parker roads in Plano.
"They asked if we wanted to take it over, so we're revamping it to a 100-percent vegan menu," says owner Sean Wong.
Wong, his wife Katie Chan, and their two sons were the toast of the vegan community when they opened Sykamore in mid-2014 with a wide-ranging menu of stir-fries, rice and noodle dishes, sandwiches, and smoothies. The couple both had professional careers in other fields before deciding to open a restaurant. Chan is a formally-trained chef who cooked at top hotels in China. Wong was a computer consultant for American Airlines. Both have been vegetarians for decades, and their two sons are vegetarian as well.
Finding an Asian-style vegan restaurant in the middle of Dallas was unique. But the space had many challenges, including a constricted area and limited parking.
Wong also wants to warn other potential businesses of the ongoing issues they experienced with their landlord situation in Dallas, where they were eventually locked out.
"We were always having repair disputes," Wong says. "As our customers may have noticed, the building was very hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. We tried many different options and spent a significant amount of money with no change."
He says that they communicated the issues to a couple they thought was the landlord's liaison and began deducting a portion of the rent. But when they arrived at the restaurant on December 29, they found they were locked out.
"We have never seen the landlord, we're not sure if it is a her or him, or even who the real landlord is," Wong says.
The landlord could not be reached for comment.
The East Dallas departure may be a loss for inbound diners, but Collin County is not so far away. "We hope people will visit us in Plano," Wong says.