Hoping to make the words "food court" cool again, a Dallas businessman is launching a new concept called Urban8, with the inaugural effort set to debut in The Colony in spring 2018.
It'll be a free-standing food court with eight chef-driven, healthier dining options, offered at an affordable price, and will be the first of several set to open around Dallas-Fort Worth.
The "8" in the name stands for the fact that Urban8 will always have eight restaurants, plus one bar, under one roof. Unlike the chain restaurants you find in food courts within malls or airports, Urban8's players are local and unique. Also, they'll focus on wholesome menu items with healthier offerings.
The eight restaurants at Urban8 include:
Beyond the Box – sandwich shop using fresh, organic ingredients
Burger Craft – fast-casual destination using 100 percent grass-fed beef and layering in farm-to-table ingredients
Firewheel Coffee – laid-back organic coffee shop serving espresso beverages and snacks
Monster Yogurt – family-friendly yogurt and ice cream parlor with more than 80 self-serve options
Rustic Flats – fast-casual Italian restaurant with artisan flatbread pizzas using farm-to-table ingredients
Stir – book-themed bar serving craft cocktails, local craft beer, and wine
Sushi Q – traditional Japanese eatery with a focus on sushi and fish dishes
Taco Cielo – Tex/Mex restaurant serving tacos, guacamole, and other traditional dishes
What The Pho – casual Vietnamese restaurant specializing in pho
In addition to the restaurants, Urban8 will boast a stage with live music, open mic nights, art shows, and more throughout the week.
Urban8 will be at 5265 State Hwy 121, north of Sam Rayburn Tollway, surrounded by many businesses such as Dallas Craft Co, Topgolf, The Colony Five Star Sporting Complex, and Spec's.
Founder and owner of Urban8 is Stanley Rose, a businessman who wants to rethink food courts.
"Food courts are a nostalgic concept many have grown up with over the years, but there are some negative stigmas associated with them," he says in a release. "While Urban8 will keep the most important food court variable alive – variety – we will also provide exceptional customer service, high caliber food, and a lively atmosphere. With this concept, we are truly reinventing the local food court."
Rose has been working on the concept since 2015 when he wanted to grab a quick bite but didn't feel like navigating through a mall.
"The experience got me thinking," he explains on his site. "Why hasn't anybody built a food court located outside a mall or airport setting?"
He also wanted the options to be better than fast food.
"Urban 8's are called 'local food courts' for a reason," he says. "We are strategically located in an ever-widening base of neighborhoods and communities, providing healthier dining alternatives to their residents. Urban 8 restaurants offer a broad range of natural and healthy food choices that easily compete with the typical junk fast-food located on every street corner."