There's restaurant action going down east of Dallas, specifically in Sunnyvale, where they've built a new mixed-use retail center near the Town Hall. Called Sunnyvale Park Square, it's already home to a new coffee shop called Hope Coffee, and will soon welcome a sit-down restaurant.
Called Settlers Table, it's a family-owned spot that'll open at 129 N. Collins Rd., from veteran restaurateurs and Sunnyvale residents Cheri & Earl Stigler. Along with their son Sean, the Stiglers have a laudable track record on the east side of Dallas thanks to Paw Paw's Sweet Shop and Cafe, their '50s-style diner serving breakfast, lunch, and dessert that's been a treasure to the citizens of Garland for more than a decade.
Settlers Table will have some of Paw Paw's signature elements, including wholesome food made from scratch and delicious desserts, but will also have its own personality, unique to Sunnyvale. They hope to be open by early summer.
"Sunnyvale is severely under-served when it comes to restaurants, so we're excited about the opportunity," Cheri says. "The developers reached out because they didn't want a chain. They wanted someone local, and something that was unique to Sunnyvale."
In other words, something like Paw Paw's, which Cheri founded 12 years ago as a place to get good food at not too expensive a price. She started out with sandwiches and salads, before moving to a new location in 2014 that came with a grease trap — allowing them to add the burgers and fries so many customers craved.
"I never thought I'd be in the burger business, but we use Angus beef for our burgers, and we hand-cut our fries," Cheri says.
They also serve soups which they make daily, plus prepared salads such as tuna salad, pasta salad, and chicken salad.
"I'll be bringing over some of our most popular menu items," she says. "We have one salad, our harvest chicken salad which has craisins, apples, blue cheese, and pecans. And I use Romaine lettuce and spring greens. I won't allow a head of iceberg."
Desserts are another signature, including cakes, pies, cookies, and ice cream confections of all kinds.
One major difference at Settlers Table will be the addition of dinner service; Paw Paw's is open for breakfast and lunch.
"We'll be adding entrees, we're working on the details right now, but we'll offer a couple of steaks, salmon, a vegan dish," she says. "And we'll serve beer and wine, specifically Texas wines and craft beers such as Intrinsic, the brewery in Garland."
They won't open for breakfast — that meal category will be covered by Hope Coffee — but they do plan on that most important meal of the week: brunch.
As for the name of the restaurant, Cheri dug deep into Sunnyvale for her inspiration.
"If you read the history of Sunnvale, it was formed by four hamlets, and it often references the word 'settlers,'" she says. "And I love the concept of 'table,' I've always been about the kitchen, about coming together around the family table."