The coronavirus still has most of the Dallas restaurant world buttoned down, but there are bursts of activity here and there, including the closure of a longtime bar, some stealthy undercover surveillance, and a new Blizzard.
Here's what's happening in Dallas restaurant and bar news:
COVID secret shoppers
With the coronavirus putting sports on hiatus and apparently some spare time on his hands, Dallas Mark Cuban turned his sights to monitoring restaurants and other businesses that have reopened to see whether they'd follow proper protocol. Shocker, they did not.
On his Blog Maverick website, he posted the results of a secret shopper study he funded, where he found that 96 percent of the businesses surveyed did not comply with Open Texas guidelines. Places surveyed included a Mexican restaurant chain, "global footwear retailer," cosmetics company, steakhouse chain, "home goods chain," and "female apparel chain."
They sent out shoppers to approximately 300 locations across restaurants and retail locations in Dallas, and have another 800 visits planned for the rest of the month.
Goth lounge closed
As forecast a few months ago, the Lizard Lounge, noted for its weekly Sunday goth night, has closed. Owner Don Nedler posted the news on Facebook, stating "We had to make the most difficult decision today. After 28 years, we’re going to close Lizard Lounge. The cost to maintain the business During the shutdown was overwhelming."
Double Wide market
Double Wide, the bar located in the zone between Deep Ellum and Expo Park, has shifted its model to a grocery pop-up. You drive through their parking lot and they bring your order to your car. The menu goes live Friday afternoon and customers can place orders/pay online on Toast Tab and schedule their pick-up time in advance.
Vendors rotate each weekend but could include 6- and 12-packs beer, tamales, Luscher's Red Hots, Pickletopia Sauerkraut, Department of Bread sourdough, pickled items from Petra and The Beast, brisket, Bonafide Bettie's Pies, Tate Farms ground beef, paper products, wipes, gloves, hangover kits, smudge kits, frito pie kits, and snacks.
Texas Dairy Queen has a new featured Blizzard Flavor of the Month: Cotton Candy, consisting of soft serve and cotton candy sprinkles. It'll be available through August, which seems to refute the whole "flavor of the month" concept, but whatev. It joins a lineup of limited time flavors including Oreo Cheesecake Blizzard, Frosted Animal Cookie Blizzard, Raspberry Fudge Bliss Blizzard, S’mores Blizzard, and Rocky Road Trip Blizzard.
Texas Dairy Queen continues to offer its menu via drive-thru windows, pick-up, and take-out, as well as delivery and online ordering, where available.
Dunkin' ditches foam
The national Dunkin' chain has transitioned all of its locations from polystyrene foam cups to paper cups, meeting a timetable established by the brand two years ago. At the U.S. restaurants, the foam cups have been replaced by double-walled paper cups. Dunkin’ is also on track to fully transition to new, recyclable hot coffee cup lids (#5 polypropylene) in all of its U.S. restaurants by the end of the summer.
The new, double-walled paper cups, made with paperboard certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Standard, are currently used to serve all Dunkin' hot beverages, including coffee, espresso drinks, tea, and hot chocolate in the U.S. This is big: They keep beverages hot without the need for a sleeve. Dunkin’s transition to paper cups will remove approximately one billion foam cups from the waste stream annually.
(A limited number of Dunkin’ restaurants may still have foam cups in their inventory.)
Food Bank is back
The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB), in conjunction with the Texas National Guard, Fair Park First, Spectra, and In the City for Good, is returning to Fair Park to distribute free food on Thursday, May 14 from 9 am-12 noon, or until all available food has been distributed. Fair Park First and Spectra have also partnered with The Prep Kitchen to provide meals for NTFB, the Texas National Guard, and volunteer staff members. The meals are a donation on behalf of The Prep Kitchen.
The pick-up area will be at a new location in Lots 15 and 16. Participants should enter through Gate 2 only, located at the intersection of Parry Avenue and Haskell Avenue, and follow directional signage to the pick-up area. The Dallas Police Department will be onsite to assist with traffic flow.