A new neighborhood restaurant with sterling credentials will open on an iconic corner within the Park Cities. Called Hudson House, it's a brand-new concept from Hunter Pond, founder of the highly successful East Hampton Sandwich Co. chain. Pond, along with partners Kyle Brooks and Hank Keller of Vandelay Hospitality Group, will open Hudson House this summer on Lovers Lane near the Dallas North Tollway.
Pond describes it as the quintessential neighborhood restaurant, homey but with a sophisticated East Coast character. Unlike East Hampton, it will be a full-service restaurant. This represents good news for the Park Cities, which is not exactly known for having the best collection of restaurants.
"I've always loved the vibe of the West Village and New York city neighborhood restaurants," Pond says. "So this is an American neighborhood restaurant — a weekly dining destination for the neighborhood, and for people who are craving an intimate and cozy environment."
It will have oysters, and it will also be "interactive."
"It'll have a large oyster bar, with beautiful oyster presentations from the East Coast," Pond says. "Down in the West Village, you see restaurants where the tables are close together and there are oysters everywhere.
"A key differentiator for us is that we'll have a shucker building seafood towers in front of customers," he says. "I like that kind of interaction, and you don't get a lot of that here. It was an experience I had in the Northeast that I would like to have here."
They'll also have entrées, a cheeseburger, and a signature fried chicken sandwich. And like East Hampton, prices will be moderate.
"I'm hoping it's a place that's approachable, where high school kids can enjoy a Friday night cheeseburger, while at the table next to them is the couple that wants to get a shellfish tower and bottle of champagne," he says.
The space it's taking at 4448 Lovers Ln. was most recently a fast-casual Mexican place called Chiladas. But it has been home to a number of concepts over the years, including Mango Thai and La Creme Coffee & Tea, one of Dallas' earliest coffee spots. It'll also take the space next door that was previously Holy Ravioli, which is moving one block east.
Like the restaurant, the name also draws its inspiration from the Northeast. "I was thinking of the Hudson Valley, and of having this homey feel within the restaurant," he says.
East Hampton Sandwich Co. currently has six locations open, with two more on the way, including the Frisco Star complex and the Crescent.
"We're continuing to expand East Hampton at a rapid pace, it's going really well for us," Pond says. "But I've been thinking about this concept for a long time. Kyle and I always told ourselves that if a great location became available where this kind of restaurant made sense, then we would do it."