The bowls didn't cut it in Preston Center. Gather Kitchen, the healthy downtown Dallas restaurant specializing in healthy bowls and nutritious, affordable food, pulled the plug on its Preston Center sibling at 6135 Luther Ln.
Manager Steven Thompson confirmed that the restaurant had closed at the end of May. But he says not to blame the cuisine — it's the location that did them in.
Gather Kitchen is a fast-casual concept founded by Soraya Spencer, a native of Algeria born into a family of chefs. She opened the first location at Thanksgiving Tower in 2017 with a commitment to whole, non-processed foods, served in an innovative, fast-food model.
Her menu offers vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and Whole 30 options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
There are bowls for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Customers choose a base, then toppings from a choice of vegetables; protein; and sauces, made daily without sugar or additives. Options include zucchini "noodles," cauliflower "rice," poached shrimp, grass-fed beef crumble, basil-cashew-pesto, and six-pepper Mexican sauce.
Spencer was ahead of a pack that's marching in, including concepts such as Cava and Mixt.
After building a solid following in downtown Dallas, she opened the Preston Center location in September 2018. The location had longer hours, Monday-Friday 7 am to 9 pm, and weekends, as well, which the downtown location does not have. Preston Center was open all day Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm, and Sundays with brunch from 10 am to 4 pm.
The restaurant earned positive reviews for its food and friendly service. But that address at 6135 Luther Ln., the one-time Cafe Expresso, has not had great luck, having been home to a revolving door of concepts including Bowen's Cafe, Peak Wood-Fired Grill, and Hospitality Sweet.
Thompson says also that the energy in Preston Center has shifted slightly northwest, toward the intersection of Westchester Drive and Berkshire Avenue, where the new mini Target store is.
"It's only a few blocks away, but we just didn't see the foot traffic on our side of the center," he says.
Preston Center has hosted many a healthy concept, including Dallas' only raw food restaurant, Be Raw (now closed), and is currently home to Gem, the healthy juice bar.
Thompson says their downtown location is still going strong, and they're not ruling out another crack at expansion. "We just need a better location," he says.