Main Street Garden Munchies

Ellen's Southern Kitchen team to do picnic cuisine at Main Street Garden

Ellen's Southern Kitchen team to do picnic cuisine at Main St. Garden

The beleaguered kiosk at Main Street Garden is slated for another do-over. Rusty Taco will close on September 14, to be replaced by a new concept from the team behind West End restaurant Ellen's Southern Kitchen. The cafe will reopen by mid-October.

According to a release from Downtown Dallas Inc., Ellen's owner Joe Groves and chef Russell Mertz will do a casual place with sandwiches and wraps, extending service throughout the park, beyond the cafe’s current patio boundary. They'll provide picnic baskets and wine and cheese trays during events, and host trivia nights, game-watching parties and bingo.

The kiosk began in June 2010 under the purvey of chef Doug Brown in an entity called the Lily Pad. It closed at the beginning of 2012. After six months of awkward back-and-forth over who the next owner should be, the space was consigned to Rusty Taco, who opened in July 2012. Rusty Taco founder Rusty Fenton passed away in June 2013; the stand's liquor license lapsed in August.

For the new concept, the cuisine is described as "upscale picnic-style" with sandwiches, salads, wraps and seasonal items such as snow cones. Groves describes it "as a food truck without the wheels."

Planned hours will be 7 am to 10 pm every day, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus afternoon and evening beer and wine. The name hasn't been announced. Until it opens, Downtown Dallas Inc. will bring in food carts and food trucks.

"We believe we have found an operator with a vested interest in the community who will contribute back to a great experience," says DDI spokesperson and executive vice president Kourtny Garrett.

Main Street Garden
Something new is on the menu at Main Street Garden. Photo courtesy of Downtown Dallas, Inc.