Greenville Goes Chef-Driven

Five-star chef jumps into Greenville Avenue fray with Clark Food & Wine Co.

Five-star chef jumps into Greenville Avenue fray with Clark Food

Charcuterie will be on the menu at Clark Food and Wine Co. Photo courtesy of Caroline Clough
Chef Randall Warder
Chef Randall Warder joins the exciting Greenville Avenue fray. Photo courtesy of Randall Warder
Chef Randall Warder

Further evidence that Greenville Avenue is a hot foodie destination: A five-star Dallas chef has selected the neighborhood to launch his own concept.

The restaurant will be called Clark Food and Wine Co., and it comes from Randall Warder, who was chef de cuisine at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek during the Dean Fearing days. Warder has also done consulting and corporate work; most recently, he was chief concept officer at Romano's Macaroni Grill.

 Chef-owner Randall Warder envisions a place with a contemporary European attitude and a menu that's American at the core. 

"I'd been looking around different areas, including downtown Plano, and wasn't necessarily trying to be on Greenville Avenue," Warder says. "But when I saw the space and the location, I realized this would be cool, especially for the kind of neighborhood-driven, funky but sophisticated kind of place I wanted to do."

Warder says he has a number of concepts in mind that will not all be identical, à la the Nick Badovinus model. But he'll start on Lower Greenville with a full-service, sit-down spot.

He envisions a place that brings a contemporary European attitude but with a menu that's American at the core.

"If you closed your eyes and pictured yourself in Spain or Italy, but with a menu that has brisket meatballs, chicken liver mousse, smoked catfish dip, flatbreads, cheese boards, vegetable boards, charcuterie plates, artisan sandwiches and cool salads," he says.

The only entrees will be house-smoked meats: brisket, pork, chicken, turkey and maybe a seafood of the day — served by the half-pound or pound.

He chose the name because he liked its implicit strength, and because Clark is his mother's maiden name. His space is at 1920 Greenville Ave., in what used to be the Billiard Bar, next-door to Nora's. It's basically brick and concrete and not much else, so he'll be building the space from the ground up. He hopes to have it open in fall 2014.

By then, he'll have the right location for his next concept, which will be half-fast-casual restaurant, half-retail, including a nose-to-tail butcher shop.

"I've been in the restaurant business for 35 years. I've opened more restaurants than I can count. I did cruise ships," he says. "I could open a restaurant with my eyes closed. But when it came time to sign the lease, I had that moment of crisis.

"I looked at my wife and said, 'Do you realize what we’re signing up for?' It's almost harder when you know what you're doing. But this opportunity presented itself."