A new tenant has landed in the highly desirable former Blue Goose Cantina space on Dallas' Greenville Avenue: Called Goodwin's, it's a restaurant collaboration starring chef Jeff Bekavac, and it will open at 2905 Greenville Ave. in 2024.
That's a long way off, but the location is iconic, in one of the hottest areas along Greenville Avenue, and Bekavac is one of Dallas' most amiable and well-liked chefs.
For this new venture, he's partnered with Austin Rodgers (Alamo Club) and David Cash, who owns Smoky Rose. Rodgers will handle the front of the house, while Cash tends to operational matters such as scoring the iconic location, which became vacant in March after Blue Goose was unable to renew a lease with its meanie new landlord PegasusAblon.
Bekavac is native of Coppell and graduate of A&M who attended California Culinary Academy, worked in San Francisco, New Orleans, and San Antonio, then with chef Nick Badovinus (Neighborhood Services) and the PILF Group (Cane Rosso, Zoli's NY Pizza) which he left last year.
Bekavac and Rodgers met when they both worked for Badovinus.
"I worked with Austin for seven years at Neighborhood Services, and we always remained good friends," Bekavac says. "When he left to do Alamo Club, David was one of his original investors. We'd talk about restaurants, trying to figure out something we could do, and David was able to bring it together."
At Goodwin's, the culinary theme will be a continuation of what Bekavac has specialized in the past: American with a little Mediterranean and a little Italian.
"The Americana influence has been my background, Americana to me means 'food we like to eat,'" he says. "We'll have sandwiches, burger, great appetizers, and a big raw oyster program - there's nothing like that on Greenville right now besides Aw Shucks. But I think the most important thing is to be a neighborhood restaurant - to have people from neighborhood who want to drop in on a weekday to grab a meal and make a reservation for the weekend when they can cut loose a little bit."
They're also adding a separate in-house cocktail bar, name still TBD, a moody but energetic late-night hangout with martinis and such, which will be located in the back of the restaurant.
For now, the space is gutted, there are permits to acquire, design plans to be drawn. Meanwhile Bekavac will help out at Alamo Club, doing some R&D for what will eventually end up on the menu at Goodwin’s.
Goodwin is the cross street at Greenville Avenue where the restaurant will be located.
"We started calling it Goodwin's casually, but felt like it was a good name for a neighborhood restaurant to be named for a local street," he says. "It felt like a classic neighborhood restaurant that could’ve been there for 20 years."
One thing the menu will definitely have is an homage to the Blue Goose margarita.
"When I used to work at Hibiscus with Nick, I lived on Vickery and loved Blue Goose as a spot to grab a margarita," he says. "It's a such a cool space. I think of The Grape, that was there for a long time, and Chas Martin has done a great job filling that locaiton with Sister restaurant. We all take this seriously, the idea of an iconic location means a lot to me and I know a lot of people in the city. It's such a cool space and we'd love to do a restaurant that's going to be there for another 40 years."
The news about Goodwin's was originally reported in a subscription-only story in the Dallas Morning News.