Supplanting Balls Hamburger was no small feat; the restaurant had been in business at the corner of Northwest Highway and Midway since 1987. It closed in December 2014 following a legal tussle with the landlord.
PHG will be a neighborhood bar and grill with an elevated menu of food and drinks, executed by general manager Jason Morgan, most recently of Neighborhood Services, and David Rhame Thompson, who worked at Nick & Sam's in Addison and at its replacement, Ivy Kitchen.
"What we're trying to go for is a real neighborhood restaurant where it's as much our guests' as it is ours," Morgan says. "We want it to be comfortable and approachable, something that people can use all the time."
Executive chef is Cristobal Montes, who previously worked at Roy's in Plano and at Capital Grille. JD Bennett, a chef Morgan got to know when they both worked at Neighborhood Services, also lent a hand on developing the menu. "Clearly, Nick Badovinus taught us a lot," Morgan says, offering a nod to the chef-founder of Neighborhood Services.
The menu will feature dishes such as tuna Niçoise, watermelon and radish salad; PHG hummus with tomato salad and olive tapenade; crispy elote; and desserts such as dulce de leche ice cream sandwiches.
"We want the food to speak for itself," Morgan says. "We're not getting caught up in techniques. We just want to make sure it tastes good, and that you can eat at this restaurant for lunch and dinner."
They're currently applying finishing touches on a remodel by popular restaurant designer Jones Baker. They're in the Village at Preston Hollow, a center anchored by a Minyard Sun Fresh Market (formerly Albertsons) that's situated in a densely populated, high-income residential district. There's a Starbucks, Original Pancake House, La Madeleine, Fernando's and cozy restaurant Suze, with very little tenant turnover.
"We hope we can help renew interest in that whole center and be convenient for people who live nearby who don't want to get caught up in the Preston and Northwest Highway jam-up," Morgan says. "The center hasn't had anything like this yet."