The corner of Bishop and Davis streets in the Bishop Arts District is about to become the meatiest place in Dallas when a new restaurant-bar called Waldron Lodge opens in May.
According to owner Kenneth Cross, the Lodge will specialize in wild game: pheasant, quail and wild boar. Chef is Beau Johnson, who attended Le Cordon Bleu Academy in Arizona, worked at The Mission in Arizona and at T. Cooks at Royal Palms, and has cooked for Taylor Swift, Danica Patrick, the Phoenix Suns and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"One of our big things will be pulled pork sandwiches made with wild boar," says owner Kenneth Cross.
"I decided to call it Waldron Lodge to pay homage to my father," Cross says. "He's from Waldron, Arkansas, in the Ozark Mountains. We used to hunt rabbit and go fishing there.
"There'll be a lot of wild game like duck tacos, bison and elk hamburgers — even the sausage for our foot-longs. We'll do trout, smoked salmon. One of our big things will be pulled pork sandwiches made with wild boar. Even our bar stools are made out of cowhide seats."
Cross worked for his father, a lawyer, before branching out into restaurants such as Alley Oops on Beckley Avenue, which he eventually sold. For this place, he took over the highly visible spot that was Anchor Plumbing, which he renovated using reclaimed materials.
"We redid the floors using wood that came out of a good-sized place near Mexia," he says. "The walls are done in old shiplap wood. We had to cut down a cedar tree that was falling over, so we turned it into a bar-top. On the outside edge, it has the knobs and contours of a tree. We just figured we'd take it before it breaks into pieces we can't use."
Bishop Arts is where Cross grew up. "I thought about opening in Uptown or Deep Ellum, but I was born and raised in Oak Cliff," he says.
"I didn't want to leave my community. I was born and raised on the golf course. Nobody believes me, but when I was 16 or 17, I said, 'One day, this will be a new Deep Ellum.' Before I knew it, I started seeing things change. There's no place like being in your own neighborhood."