After an extended eight-month stint at Kitchen LTO, chef Blythe Beck will open a Southern cuisine restaurant in partnership with LTO owner Casie Caldwell. Called Pink Magnolia, it's slated for a summer 2015 opening at 642 W. Davis St., in the former Driftwood space.
Inspired by the magnolia flower as a symbol of Southern strength and hospitality, combined with Beck's fondness for the color pink, Pink Magnolia will serve "comfort food with swanky Southern flair in an upscale casual dining atmosphere," according to a release.
"I'm very excited to be opening up my first restaurant with my longtime friend and now business partner, Casie Caldwell," Beck says.
Caldwell says she's grateful Beck got the time at LTO to test her concept. "Pink Magnolia gives Blythe a permanent home to display her larger-than-life personality and is going to be a great opportunity for us to remind her fans why they first fell in love with her cooking," Caldwell says.
Trinity Groves founder Phil Romano won't have a stake in the new restaurant but says the two make a great team. "This is exactly what we hoped would happen," he says. "The incubator program encourages a culture of innovation and entrepreneurism, and it's exciting to be able to foster that growth."
Beck worked at the Mansion, Hector's on Henderson and Central 214 in the Hotel Palomar (now Highland Dallas). During that time, she got her own reality show on the Oxygen Network called The Naughty Kitchen with Chef Blythe Beck. She left for Arkansas in 2013 to take a consulting position for MovieLounge before returning to Dallas to serve two terms as executive chef of Kitchen LTO where her stint will end on May 31.
Her menu included such signature dishes as shrimp and grits, chicken-fried rib-eye and deviled eggs.
Caldwell founded the first Greenz restaurant chain in 2004, which currently has four locations in Texas. She opened Kitchen LTO in September of 2013. The concept recently announced its latest rotation with chef Anastacia "AQ" Quinones, whose reign begins on June 2 and extends through the end of 2015.
Driftwood sputtered to a close in November 2014, following a takeover by Misery Loves Company, the restaurant group that also owns Proof + Pantry, who claimed that customers did not like the location.