The Dallas Design District may be home to some of the hottest new restaurants in town. But one of the area's earliest — and most enthusiastic — restaurateurs is Kay Agnew, proprietor of Bridge Bistro, the elegant Cajun restaurant on Riverfront Boulevard.
Agnew previously owned the very similar Margaux's. Though the name may be different, many of the delectable dishes such as gumbo, crawfish and shrimp enchiladas, and chocolate pecan pie are the same — netting her a corps of fans who follow wherever she goes.
"It's like living in a circus," Kay Agnew says, of the Design District. "The area is constantly changing and evolving. There is always something new."
"Hardly anyone orders from the menu," Agnew says. "People come in and say, 'Hey, you know that such-and-such that was on the menu two years ago? Make something like that for me, will ya?'"
Agnew started out in the '80s on Lovers with Cafe Margaux's, before a series of moves around the city: Oak Lawn, Travis Walk, Lomo Alto, Cedar Springs. She came to the Design District with Margaux's, which occupied a cozy space at the International Design Center (where Royal Sixty now resides).
Then she saw the space available at her new location near the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and couldn't help herself. She loved the area so much, she even decided to buy a loft a couple of blocks down the road.
"It's like living in a circus," she says. "In a good way, of course. I mean that the area is constantly changing and evolving. There is always something new coming to the area."
Agnew enjoys the sense of camaraderie she feels among other business owners nearby. Her eyes sparkle as she points to a craft brewery going in next door and the art galleries behind her restaurant. She loves the happy hour that happens now and then for people living and working in the area.
"Being down here is a laugh a minute," she says. "It's a daily adventure."