Restaurant closures are almost never good news. There's usually some kind of loss involved: loss of income, loss of a job, loss of a dream.
But history must be documented. Here's our farewell to the Dallas restaurants that closed in 2018:
Arepa TX, the Latin Fusion restaurant specializing in made-to-order arepas, closed its location in Frisco at the end of 2017, facing competition from the Shops at Legacy, the Star, and the Legacy Food Hall. A location at 5940 Royal Ln., at Preston Road is open.
Baker's Ribs, a longtime barbecue restaurant in Deep Ellum that also served fried pies, closed in September after more than three decades. The Dallas Morning News tried to turn the closure into some nonsensical allegory about the neighborhood, but it was really just that the owners cashed out and sold the building.
BBBop, the Asian restaurant on Lower Greenville, closed in July after three years. The owners decided that the fast-casual service model they had in place was not a good fit for the neighborhood. The Oak Cliff and Upper Greenville locations are still open.
Betty Ringer Ice Cream, the artisanal shop at Sylvan Thirty, closed in October, after just over a year. Owner Stephen Smith, also a candy-maker, was highly creative on flavors with options such as licorice combined with chocolate. But Sylvan Thirty still lacks the customer mass to make a walk-up ice cream shop work.
Blind Butcher, the Greenville Avenue restaurant known for its charcuterie board, closed in June after four years. It had struggled in its last few months, paring down the menu, but to no avail.
Blue Mesa Grill, the veteran Southwestern chain, closed two locations, including one in Arlington in May, and probably its most visible location: across the street from NorthPark Center in June where it had been since 1999. But its lease was up and the owners decided not to renew.
Cafe Express, the trail-blazing chain founded by Houston chef Robert del Grande and restaurateur (and CultureMap co-founder) Lonnie Schiller, shockingly and abruptly closed two flagship locations in Dallas. Mockingbird Station closed in September, followed by Uptown Dallas in November. Owners M. Terry Enterprises say they are focusing on their top-performing restaurants, and have engaged a firm to help restructure. One Dallas location on Lovers Lane remains, and there are six in Houston.
Caravelle, the long-standing Chinese-Vietnamese (mostly Chinese) restaurant in the Asian center at 400 N. Greenville Ave. in Richardson, closed on October 29. The restaurant had been in the Asian center at 400 N. Greenville Ave. for decades, but a chef change in 2016 preceded a slow decline.
Casa Milagro, a good-quality Mexican restaurant in Richardson, closed in September, due in no small part to the slow demise of the Telecom Corridor. Owner Eddie Galvan, of the famed local Mexican restaurant family, briefly revived it by reaching out to customers on Facebook, but finally called it quits.
Dish Preston Hollow, the Houston's-aspiring restaurant at Hillcrest and Northwest Highway, closed in January. Owner Tim McEneny cited "unresolvable concerns" with the building and location, with parking being a primary issue.
Don Chingon, a Mexican restaurant that opened in 2017 on Greenville Avenue across from the former Whole Foods Market, closed in October. Syn Group, the owners, blamed leaks in the roof, but also decided it was time to get out of the unreceptive neighborhood.
Dream Cafe, known for its fluffy pancakes and healthy breakfasts, closed its Addison location at 5100 Belt Line Rd. in August after 15 years. Village on the Parkway, the center where it was located, has new management that has leased out to a surplus of restaurants. The original Dream Cafe in Uptown is still going strong, and there's also a franchised restaurant at Mockingbird & Abrams.
Drugstore Cowboy, the coffeehouse-bar that resided at one of the most central locations in Deep Ellum, closed in July. It will be replaced by a new concept called The Crowdus, which will observe a unique retro theme both in menu and decor.
East Hampton Sandwich Co. quietly closed its location in Southlake in the fall after two years in the space — the rare backtrack for a chain that has been in growth mode.
Fat Rabbit, the mildly glitzy bar-restaurant from the same people who own Circo restaurant, closed January 21 after three years, to be replaced by a concept called PL8 Bistro & Gallery, which has now also closed.
Fernando's at Travis, a Tex-Mex restaurant, closed its Knox branch after seven years. The original Fernando's opened at Northwest Highway and Midway Road in 2005, where it has become a staple for the Preston Hollow crowd. The Knox location is now home to a second location of Lake Highlands Tex-Mex El Vecino.
FT33, the fine-dining restaurant in Dallas' Design District, closed in June after nearly six years. Buoyed by constant praise from the Dallas Morning News, it was the city's most serious foodie restaurant, where award-winning chef Matt McCallister deployed molecular gastronomy techniques such as foams and gels.
Fuddruckers, the chain featuring burgers and American food with games for the kids, closed its location on Greenville Avenue in September, after 21 years in that space. The landlords basically bumped them out in the hope for something better.
Glazed Donut Works, one of the area's first shops to do gourmet doughnuts, closed in the fall, after being in business in Deep Ellum for five years. The closure was attributed to unidentified health issues with the owner, but they vow to return in 2019.
Gordon Biersch, a California-based chain that was one of the original gastropubs to open in Dallas-Fort Worth, left Texas for good when its Plano location at the Shops at Legacy closed in March after 10 years; the Dallas location closed in fall 2017.
Highland Park Soda Fountain, home of milkshakes and grilled cheese sandwiches, closed in September due to the construction of a new office building in its location. Founded in 1912 originally as a pharmacy, the fountain had been there for 106 years.
Jasper's, the "backyard cuisine" concept founded by chef Kent Rathbun, shut down its location in Plano on November 4. According to a statement from current owner W.L. Hyde, the closure was due to the expiration of its lease. It had been there since May 2003.
Junction Craft Kitchen, a troubled restaurant in Deep Ellum, closed in April. Junction was originally the Trinity Groves restaurant incubator Kitchen LTO. After the move to Deep Ellum, ownership changed, chefs left under murky circumstances, and the plug was finally pulled.
Lake Highlands Creamery, an independently-owned ice cream shop, closed in October, via an announcement on Facebook. The shop handed over its recipes to Atomic Pie, the pizzeria with whom it shared space.
Lark on the Park, one of the first restaurants to open at Klyde Warren Park, closed in November after nearly six years. Owners Shannon Wynne and his partners Keith Schlabs and Larry Richardson will re-open a more comfortable and approachable restaurant in the same space.
Liberty Burger, the chain founded in 2011 by Mariel Street, daughter of longtime Dallas restaurateur Gene Street, closed four locations in October, including its only branch in Tarrant County. The closures were in response to one of its franchisees' noncompliance with the franchise contract.
Mamasan Poke, one of the many poke restaurants to have opened in Dallas-Fort Worth in the past two years, closed in early December, after a mere five months, raising questions about the Hawaiian poke trend and the mojo of its founders, Plan B Group.
Mamoun's Falafel, the Middle-Eastern fast-casual restaurant chain that claims to be oldest falafel restaurant in New York, closed its location in Dallas' West Village on November 11 after nine months.
Max's Wine Dive, the sophisticated casual concept from Houston that specializes in fried chicken and champagne, closed its location on West 7th Street in Fort Worth on September 1, due to lack of business. The closure marked the chain's exit from North Texas. The first opened in Dallas' West Village in 2012, but closed in 2017.
McKinney Avenue Tavern, a longtime Uptown Dallas bar, closed in March. Owner and former DJ Big Al Mack relocated to Waxahachie where he owns a bar.
Mesero, the Mex/Tex-Mex restaurant chain founded by Mico Rodriguez, closed its location at 2822 Henderson Ave. on August 19. Their lease was up and they were unable to work out satisfactory terms. No longer involved with the chain, Rodriguez renamed his original Mr. Mesero restaurant McKinney Avenue, which is now called Doce Mesas.
Pazzo, the Uptown Dallas restaurant with a lounge located at the Villa Rosa building, closed in September for non-payment of rent. It was home to the Panwaffle, a hybrid between a pancake and a waffle.
The Pharmacy, the Deep Ellum bar known for spiked milkshakes, closed in March after receiving notice from the Texas State Board of Pharmacy that their name was in violation of the Texas Pharmacy Act.
Porcino's, an Italian eatery that opened in June in an office building at Belt Line Road and the Dallas North Tollway — a space once occupied by Chaucer's — closed in mid-December, with a lock-out notice posted on the door.
Proof + Pantry, the once-high-profile restaurant at One Arts Plaza, closed, due to a shutout by the landlord. The restaurant was opened in 2014 by a team that included mixologist Michael Martensen.
Rise Biscuits & Donuts, the North Carolina chain, closed its only area branch in Allen in December. It was primarily a to-go operation, with only a few barstools and it wasn't easy to get to from the road.
Sallio Itallio, a spinoff of North Dallas restaurant Sallio Bistro and owned by the same family that owns Amberjax at Trinity Groves, closed in May barely five months after it opened. Its address at 3232 McKinney Ave. has suffered one closure after another.
Smoke, the restaurant at the Belmont hotel in West Dallas hotel, closed on December 15 after nine years. The owners of the hotel will open something new in the space.
Snuffer's in Preston Center closed in October after serving burgers and cheese fries there for more than a decade. Firebird Restaurant Group, the owner, will try something else in the space.
Social House, the Uptown Dallas location closed in July after more than a decade after being locked out for nonpayment of rent. The location on Routh Street already has a new tenant in the works: It will be replaced by Las Palmas, a classic Tex-Mex from brothers Sina and Pasha Heidari.
Sol Irlandes, a Tex-Mex spot at Stone Place Mall in downtown Dallas, closed on April 29 after more than a decade. The restaurant had a rough spring with lockouts and two temporary closures before it finally bit the dust.
Stampede 66, Stephan Pyles' nostalgic ode to Texas, closed in October after six years. It went out with a fizzle, including shortages on weekend nights for two months before calling it quits. A Stampede 66 restaurant will open at the new Delta Marriott hotel at Watters Creek Convention Center in Allen.
T Room at Forty Five Ten on McKinney Avenue, which served for 18 years as one of the top lunch destinations for the tasteful-ladies set, closed on June 30. The Headington Companies, who own it, wanted to focus their energies on the Forty Five Ten location in downtown Dallas.
Taco Cabana closed including nine restaurants in Texas, including Rockwall, Carrollton, Weatherford, and Fort Worth. Fiesta President and CEO Richard Stockinger said in a release that they hope the closures will help their financial standing.
TacQui, the tacqueria in Richardson with a menu devised by Austin chef Paul Qui, closed in November, less than six months after it opened. It was locked out for nonpayment of rent.
Tapas Castile, the Spanish tapas bar at Trinity Groves, closed on August 25, only eight months after it opened. Trinity Groves founder Phil Romano said that the restaurant wasn't doing sufficient business.
Tavolo Italia, a bistro in Frisco, closed after a two-year run. The restaurant was from Jeff Frankel, owner of Mattito's next door, and took over a space that had been Go-Go Burgers.
The Theodore, the colorful restaurant and bakery at NorthPark Center, closed in July after three years at the mall. Co-owner Chris Zielke said that sales weren't strong enough to stay open.
Times Ten Cellars, the wine bar, closed its location in Fort Worth on January 28. It opened in 2009 as a spinoff of the original location in Dallas, which is still in business.
Top Knot, the restaurant on top of Uchi Dallas, closed on January 14. It has since reopened as another concept called Uchiba.
TorTaco, the Mexican concept from Firebird Restaurant Group (El Fenix, Meso Maya) focused on tortas, tacos, bowls, and mezcal, closed its Fort Worth outlet on January 22; it had been there for a little over a year. The original TorTaco in downtown Dallas remains open.
Villa-O, which did Italian food on Knox Street for eight years, closed in January. The restaurant served traditional Italian, including pizzas and pasta, but in its later years, it became known for Sunday brunch with crab benedict, shrimp crepes, and unlimited mimosas.
Wild About Harry's, the frozen custard and hot dog shop, closed its outlet in Deep Ellum in August. It had a prominent "For Lease" sign for at least two months before it closed.
Yucatan Taco Stand at 2023 Greenville Ave. closed on October 23 after three poorly-managed years of bad service.