A highly desirable spot in the heart of Lakewood will soon be home to a family-friendly restaurant whose menu centerpiece is the sandwich creation known as the wrap. Called Unleavened Fresh Kitchen, it'll go into the center at 1900 Abrams Pkwy., next door to Liberty Burger, in what was once a gift shop called Beads of Splendor.
According to owners Tom Dynan and Scott Piland, Unleavened will be casual, practical, reasonably priced and open all day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The service style will be fast-casual, but with a little extra TLC.
The name is a roundabout reference to their main dish.
"'Unleavened' refers to flatbreads," says Piland, who manages operations. "We were trying to think of a new, unique way to name a wrap restaurant, but we didn't want to typecast it as college-centric or grungy. We wanted it to sound like a place where you'd like to go."
Dynan, who oversees the culinary side, says it'll be a "fresh kitchen" with wraps as the centerpiece. But their goal is to offer enough variety so that it's not just wraps.
"We'll have wraps, acai bowls, salads and sides that complement the food and experience," Dynan says. Dishes include the Seaside, a "skinny" tuna salad with Greek yogurt, and the Weekender, a wrap filled with fried chicken, pepper bacon and ranch dressing.
For the wrap itself, they've been working with a couple of vendors to find the right larger-style tortilla. "We want it to be flavorful, and we'd love to have it be local if we can," Dynan says.
They've also composed a kids' menu that surpasses the chicken tenders found at many restaurants. "Both Scott and I have young families," Dynan says. "We've given our kids' menu the same thought and consideration as our regular menu."
Design by Mitchell Garman will have a "light-hearted, energetic feeling," Piland says, with exposed brick, concrete floors, cool woods and banquette seating.
"It'll be a nice mix of materials that everybody can feel good about, approachable and not stuffy," he says. "But you should also feel comfortable meeting a client, not like you're sitting at daycare."
To that end, they'll have local beer and wine on tap, which fits in with a heightened quality expectation and environmental awareness.
"Inside the restaurant, we'll be using china, glass and silver, no plastic," Piland says. "Our takeout containers will be compostable or eco-friendly. We won't be using to-go cups inside the restaurant. We want to create an elevated experience."
Construction on the space has begun, with a hoped-for opening of fall 2015.
"Both of us are East Dallas," Piland says. "I live in Lakewood and Tom lives in Lake Highlands. We want to do something that's right by the neighborhood."