An Italian restaurant at one of the most central spots in Uptown Dallas is on its way out, but there's already a new place moving in. The Italian restaurant is Patrizio, located at the intersection of McKinney Avenue and Hall Street, and it will be replaced by a new concept called Sallio Italio.
The musical-sounding Sallio Italio is a spin-off of Sallio Bistro, the Mediterranean restaurant at Preston Road and Forest Lane, and comes from Larry and Karen Williams, who own Amberjax, the excellent seafood spot at Trinity Groves. Karen Williams confirms that they'll be taking over the space from Patrizio owner Ed Bailey at the beginning of August.
"Ed's down in Florida and loving life, and is maybe a little tired of restaurants these days," she says. "And we're excited about the opportunity to do Italian food."
Patrizio moved to that location in 2015 after more than 25 years at Highland Park Village, when HPV owner Ray Washburne decided abruptly not to renew its lease. Bailey, who bought the Patrizio chain in 2006, moved into the Uptown space, which had previously been occupied by the restaurant Barter.
Patrizio was valuable because it made decent Italian, better than the gloppy suburban Italian, for an affordable price. At the time it moved to Uptown, it also had locations in Fairview, Plano, Highland Village, and Southlake, and there was previously a location in Fort Worth's West Seventh District. The chain is now down to a sole branch in Highland Village.
The couple have a history of scooping up restaurants in need of loving owners. They took over Sallio Bistro, which had previously been a venture between Jeff Armand and chef Avner Samuel; Armand passed away in 2016.
The Patrizio space came along just as the Williamses had Italian on the brain. "The space has a wood-burning brick oven which Larry just loves, so we're going to hone in on our Italian," she says.
That said, they won't be doing Patrizio recipes. "We're going to split the menu between dishes from Northern and Southern Italy, with seafood and tomatoes and olives," Karen says. "You know how much Larry likes fish."
She acknowledges the name is a little silly, but that's part of its magic. "It's a corny name, but when you lay your head you’re going to be singing 'Sallio Italio,'" she says.