Charming old downtown Plano is about to get sweeter with the addition of a chocolate shop: Dallas' Dude, Sweet Chocolate. It goes into a prime spot on the brick-street-lined main strip, at 1016 E. 15th St., in what was previously a women's clothing store called La Belle Boutique.
"It's three doors down from Lockhart Smokehouse, which is cool because we're both from Oak Cliff," says Dude proprietress Katherine Clapner. "We're really excited to be there. It's just the kind of neighborhood we like."
This becomes the fourth branch of Dude, Sweet, following the original in Bishop Arts, Greenville Avenue, and Fort Worth.
"We knew we needed to go north," Clapner says, including such areas as the Shops at Legacy and downtown McKinney.
"We looked everywhere, but we have unique requirements," she says. "I only need between 700 and 900 square feet. There's not a lot of that out there. After you find the space, you need someplace where people walk around, and with decent parking. People will drive around the block to get a beer, but not for a chocolate shop."
Dude Sweet joins a renaissance in downtown Plano, along with restaurants such as the pioneering Urban Crust, Lockhart, and, more recently, Dalat.
The Dude team has already started renovation, including painting the building inside and out, while awaiting permits from the City of Plano on plumbing and the like. "You have to do a lot of stuff to give people chocolates," she says.
She expects to be open by November. "If I had my way I'd be doing a Halloween opening," she says.