Opening News

3 Dallas restaurants open and one closes in a surprise July spree

3 Dallas restaurants open and one closes in a surprise July spree

Loro papaya salad
Satisfy your Malaysian-inspired cravings. Photo by Logan Crable

July is generally not a time for news about Dallas restaurants opening and closing. It's the sleepy summer. Restaurateurs usually prefer to wait until the fall, after everyone gets back from Aspen.

But with the pandemic turning 2021 upside down, everyone's ready to get back with a vengeance, and this is why we have three high-profile restaurants that opened this very week, as well as a Greenville Avenue restaurant that closed.

Here's the 411 on four restaurants in Dallas, three opening, and one closing, good news first.

OPENINGS

Dream Cafe
The Dream is back, and what joyful news for this beloved, healthy-ish Uptown Dallas restaurant which left its longtime location at the Quadrangle after 33 years to relocate to 2811 McKinney Ave., where they officially opened on June 30.

They've effected a magical transformation of the former Christies Sports Bar into a bright, cheerful, modern space, with handsome pale wood tables set off by deep blue fabric banquettes. (They've made a special place on the wall for their signature neon moon.)

The breakfasts and weekend brunch are as fab as ever, with pancakes, chicken & waffles, beignets, French toast, smoothies, avocado toast, and more. They've added a few new items such as froses, and are lending a hand to other local businesses such as Joy Macarons, featuring a freezer filled with Joy's macaron ice cream sandwiches.

A patio facing McKinney Avenue give it a new see-and-be-seen buzz.

Loro Dallas
Asian smokehouse and bar from two of Austin's biggest restaurant names, Aaron Franklin (Franklin Barbecue) and Tyson Cole (Uchi), officially opened on July 5.

The restaurant is in old East Dallas at 1812 N. Haskell Ave., at the corner of Munger, with lots of pandemic-friendly outdoor seating, where it's combining Southeast Asian flavors with traditional Texas BBQ.

They drummed up the excitement by hosting an #exclusive friends & family weekend, serving up fish & chips, rice bowls, French onion brisket melt, and Malaysian-inspired dishes including curry chicken and brisket coconut rice.

Dallas is the second Loro; the original opened in Austin in April 2018. A third location is opening in Houston later this year.

Milagro
New restaurant from Jesus Carmona opened at Trinity Groves on Tuesday July 6. Carmona gained fame when his previous restaurant Tacos Mariachi was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. He also owns Chimichurri, an Argentinian bistro in the Bishop Arts District.

Milagro's menu features Tijuana street tacos, with some carryover from Mariachi, but with new options as well. Dishes include Ceviche and Veggie Bowls, Mahi Mahi Birria Tacos, Pork Belly Al Pipil Tacos and the Campeona Burger on a brioche bun with avocado mousse, shrimp, asado cheese, crumbled chicharron, and a jalapeno glaze, served with house-made fries.

CLOSING

Ragin' Crab
Seafood restaurant and crab house at 2100 Greenville Ave. closed on July 1, letting diners know with a sad hand-scrawled message taped to the door that said, "Sorry we are not opened today - Manager."

The restaurant opened there on January 1, 2016, taking over the former rather sketchy Kush space spotlighting Louisiana-style boiled crab, plus shrimp, scallops, lobster, crawfish, and clams, as well as Cajun dishes and an oyster bar.

The restaurant was a sister concept to Hibashi Teppan Grill & Sushi Bar in North Dallas, from restaurateurs Steven Sohn and Tiger Park.

Closing in July seems like odd timing, especially when you consider that the restaurant stuck it through and remained open throughout the pandemic, although with the same staffing issues that every restaurant is suffering right now. But a spokesperson said that it was a lease issue (they'd been there five years), and they hope to reopen in a new location in Dallas by the fall.