A restaurant space that's been a major hot topic in East Dallas' Casa Linda neighborhood has landed an exciting new tenant: Ellen's, the beloved restaurant in downtown Dallas' West End, will open a new location in Casa Linda Plaza at 1152 N. Bucker Blvd., in a new-build space that was originally slated to become a location of the Snooze an AM Eatery chain.
Owner Joe Groves says they look forward to recreating the great home-cooking cuisine, all-day hours, diligent service, and comfortable atmosphere for which Ellen's is known.
Construction has just begun; they hope to be open by mid- to late-summer.
Founded in 2012 by Groves and his partners Russell Mertz and Andrew Chooljian, Ellen's was named in honor of Groves' mother, Ellen Groves Corlee of Fort Worth. They serve a menu of comfort food and are open all three meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus brunch, with a full bar for wine and cocktails.
They're know for their meatloaf, chicken-fried steak, and bodacious breakfast and brunch dishes, such as shrimp & grits and a "pancake pot pie" featuring pancakes layered with sausage gravy, bacon, sausage, hash browns, scrambled eggs, and cheddar cheese, with real maple syrup by Maple Craft based in Sandy Hook — typical of the level of care their food receives.
With their menu and customer-friendly hours, they're poised to fill a major vacancy left by two recent neighborhood departures: Barbec's, the breakfast spot on Garland Road, and the iconic Highland Park Cafeteria, both of which closed in 2020.
But East Dallas was always on the list. "Garland and Buckner is such a major intersection, and we feel lucky to be in the area," he says.
The menu will be the same, and they're still working on decor.
"Right now, it's a shell with a dirt floor, so we have a ways to go, but I'm a firm believer in the idea that each restaurant has its own unique personality," he says.
The building they're going into is at the southwest corner of the intersection, in a new building that was originally earmarked for Snooze, the Denver-based chain, until Snooze decided against it. The neighbors got up in arms over the new building; having a new building in Casa Linda Plaza is apparently no bueno.
Fortunately, just as he does at his other locations, Groves has a strong sensitivity to the neighborhood's culture and concerns.
"Casa Linda Plaza has rabid fans," he says. "We heard some of the controversy about the building, I think partly it was because it was a relatively modern-ish building in what is a classically '50s-Mediterranean-Mexican complex, and partly because it blocks the northern view of one of the center's arched neon signs. You can still see it on Garland Road — but that seemed to be a lot of the conversation online."
"We want to do whatever we can to preserve the integrity of the shopping center," he says. "Our objective is to be good neighbors."