Most of us probably know Tommy Bahama as the store that sells extra-nice Hawaiian shirts. But the retailer also does restaurants, and soon we shall have one in North Texas when a Tommy Bahama Restaurant, Bar & Store opens in Plano, at the bustling Legacy West complex at 7200 Bishop Rd.
Formerly known as Tommy Bahama's Tropical Cafe, the first Tommy Bahama restaurant opened in Naples, Florida in 1996, and the chain does have a very Florida vibe. The cafe is eclectic with a tropical theme, island atmosphere, and a menu and cocktails to match.
Their best known dish is coconut shrimp served with mango chutney. Other trademark items include crab cakes, tacos, sliders, roast pork sandwich, baby back ribs, and their island slaw dressed in a refreshing lime vinaigrette.
Another signature is the four-layer pina colada cake, in which the cake is brushed with rum, layered with white chocolate mousse and crushed pineapple, and covered in toasted coconut. Everyone talks about the pina colada cake. There is also a pineapple creme brulee, served in a hollowed-out pineapple.
The signature cocktail is something called a rum babalu — of course it has rum — with Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Rum, lime juice, maple syrup, Angostura bitters, and ginger beer.
Each restaurant offers regional specialties unique to its location, with a focus on using the freshest ingredients available. There are currently 16 branches, the majority of which are in exotic locals including three branches in Hawaii, one at Palm Desert, California, and one in Tokyo, Japan. There's also a branch in Texas, at The Woodlands.
According to a spokesperson, the Plano cafe will be part of a flagship-style store which combines restaurant and retailer in one. The furniture often uses recycled wood, and there is always a serious outdoor component, with features such as fireplaces.
The store will be significantly larger than the three Tommy Bahama branches already in the Dallas area, including West Village, NorthPark, and the Galleria.
"The flagship stores generally have double the selection of clothing as other stores, including a lot of stuff that is sold on-line only," the spokesperson says.
Set to open in mid-summer, the Plano store will also stay open late, with hours that match the restaurant, which could be as late as 11 pm.