A prime location across the street from AT&T Stadium in Arlington will soon be home to Ella B's, a new restaurant featuring Southern and Cajun food from a former Dallas Cowboys chef.
Ella B's is a mom-and-pop venture from Patricia and Patrick Whitfield, and will occupy a space at 1004 N. Collins St. that's kitty-corner to the stadium. They plan to open in April.
The couple has a catering business called The Covenant Catering Service, which they founded 12 years ago. Since the coronavirus, they've arrived at an unusual niche.
"We've been very busy providing food to clubs during COVID-19," Patricia says. "When clubs were not allowed to open unless they were serving food, we would go in and take over the kitchen and be their food service component. We still do that, but we were ready for our own place. This was a goal we've had from the beginning — to have our own restaurant."
They found the ideal location when the owner of 1010 Collins, an event space and wedding venue, approached them about taking over an adjoining space.
The menu and the restaurant name are inspired by Patrick's grandmother, Ella B. Whitfield, with whom he spent many days in the kitchen as a child. They'll do Cajun and low country Southern food, with a dash or two of Jamaican and Nigerian cuisine.
"We have a diverse audience and we also like all kinds of food," Patricia says.
The restaurant will have a full bar with mixologist-crafted cocktails, and given their proximity to the stadium, they're creating some game-oriented specials.
"We definitely want to offer tailgater packages and host tailgating events as well," she says.
In addition to cooking for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys for two years, Patrick has been a private chef to celebrities. He's also developed a line of barbecue sauces and spices.
"In his career, Patrick has covered a wide spectrum of cuisines, from Southern to African to high end, and we'd like the restaurant to reflect that, with things like a special chef feature every Friday," Patricia says.