There's a new Tex-Mex restaurant coming to Preston Center from an acclaimed chef. Called Muchacho, it's a new concept from acclaimed chef Omar Flores and his business partner, Alec Marshi.
Flores and Marshi also own Whistle Britches, the chicken and biscuit restaurant concept that has locations in Dallas and Plano.
Flores has been nominated for a James Beard Award twice, but far more importantly, he won the CultureMap Dallas Tastemaker Award in 2018 for Best Chef.
According to a release from CBRE, the restaurant will be located at 4011 Villanova St., in what used to be Taco Diner, where it will occupy a 3,500-square-foot space at the Plaza at Preston Center, and that includes an 800-square-foot patio.
In a statement, CBRE senior VP Greg Pierce calls the Plaza at Preston Center "a fantastic location for a restaurant like Muchacho," which you might expect him to say, because CBRE helped make the magic happen. The landlord was represented by Easley Wagonner, Amanda Throckmorton, and Mike Geisler with Venture Commercial in Dallas.
"There are already several lifestyle tenants and complimentary restaurants in an area serving a demographic with a high disposable income," Pierce says. "Muchacho will fill a need for high-quality Mexican food in a relaxed and upscale environment. It is a great intercity core location in the middle of Highland Park, University Park, Preston Hollow, and Bluffview."
Flores has had a meteoric career, from his sous chef role at Abacus to opening his own restaurants, including Driftwood, Casa Rubia, and Whistle Britches, which he debuted in North Dallas in 2016.
Flores says that Muchacho has been a long time coming.
"Growing up in El Paso exposed me to great, authentic Mexican food," he says. "While there isn't a shortage of Tex-Mex restaurants in Dallas, we are striving to bring a unique restaurant that is better than the rest."
Food and drink blog FoodBeast says that El Paso's proximity to Juárez, Mexico, and New Mexico, as well as its own revered traditions, have created a special culinary environment that should earn it the title of true Tex-Mex capital of the United States.
Flores says he'll be doing "traditional Tex Mex, focusing on quality and execution."
How about a signature dish? "Signature dish?? The 80's are long gone," he says. He's right, that's an idiotic question.
"We'll have the usual suspects — enchiladas, tacos, fajitas," he says. "We'll also have a smoker, so we'll be doing brisket, pork, and chicken out of there. El Paso is influenced heavily by New Mexico and Chihuahua, lots of green chiles and dried products because of the arid temperatures."
Muchacho's opening is tentatively scheduled for fall 2019.