Restaurant Takes Flight

Dallas Farmers Market inks deal for new bird-themed restaurant cousin to Meddlesome Moth

Dallas Farmers Market inks deal for new bird-themed restaurant

Dallas Farmers Market Shed 2
New things are happening at the Dallas Farmers Market. Courtesy photo

The Dallas Farmers Market has signed a deal with Shannon Wynne for a new restaurant called Mudhen. It is slated to open in March 2015.

It represents another bird-themed concept for Wynne and his partners, Keith Schlabs and Larry Richardson, joining a flock that includes Meddlesome Moth, Bird Cafe and Lark on the Park.

According to a release, the concept is called Mudhen, not Mudhen Cafe or The Mudhen. Wow, fussy fussy. Whatever you call it – with "The" or without, with "Cafe" or not – is Mudhen an appetizing name for a restaurant? The release says that it's the slang name for the American Coot, a migratory waterfowl that eats vegetation and vertebrates when available. Bird-loving SideDish has a photo.

"We don't take a long time to settle on a name," Wynne said. "It'll be earthy and farmy, and that's about as much thought as we gave the name."

By "farmy," Wynne means that Mudhen will use produce from the market, whether local or otherwise.

"The opportunity to be part of the Dallas Farmers Market redevelopment was one we simply could not pass up," Wynne said. "Mudhen will focus on a healthful, chef-driven menu that highlights the freshest ingredients available in the city, mostly because we will have daily access to many local, and some imported, growers just 200 feet away from our kitchen."

The restaurant will have a patio and beer garden, with craft beers from around the world.

Wynne signed the lease on May 1 to open the 5,500-square-foot restaurant located at the north corner of the Dallas Farmers Market. The announcement falls on the heels of the March groundbreaking of the market’s Shed No. 1, as well as its appointment of a group called GROW North Texas to interact with farmers.

Brian Bergersen, CEO of Spectrum Properties, spearheaded the addition of Mudhen to the Dallas Farmers Market development. "Shannon knows great food and how to create a welcome, casual dining experience with an element of fun," Bergersen said.