We're in the doldrums of summer, and there's one easy way to tell: restaurant closures. That's what happens this time of the year. But things end on a note of optimism, with some openings to report and the news of a chicken dinner you can get to go.
Townhouse Kitchen + Bar at Galleria Dallas is no more. The restaurant announced its closure on July 26 via Twitter and Facebook – "Townhouse Kitchen + Bar has closed. Thank you to all of our guests for your support and patronage" – before promptly scrubbing its Facebook page altogether. Its closure was sudden; it was still tweeting happy hour prices and daily specials the day before its demise.
Townhouse was owned by Restaurants America, which has opened a slew of concepts around Dallas in the past couple of years, including Prime Bar in Uptown and Park Tavern, the $2 drink haven at the Shops at Park Lane. Those are the only two concepts still afloat. Two others, Mockingbird Taproom and Boca Chica have closed as well.
The odd thing is that RA comes off as an aloof, corporate entity, yet both Mockingbird Taproom and Townhouse were shut down for nonpayment of rent, which is kind of a small-time move.
Cantina Laredo in Lakewood, which was in the old El Chico space, has closed. So has Inforzato Cafe, the freaky restaurant in Oak Cliff that used to be Hula's Hotties; the owners told The Advocate that, after five years, they were too tired to go on.
Open less than a year, Jack's Southern Food on Greenville Avenue, from itinerant restaurateur Scott Jones (Screen Door, Cowtown Diner), closed on July 28. According to a staffer, the restaurant will relocate, once it finds a space to its liking. The same staffer explained that guarantees of parking and other amenities had been made by the landlord that were not fulfilled, and the restaurant took the landlord to court and won. Jack's has its eye on four to five places around Lakewood or East Dallas that will not only have parking, but also the opportunity for a bar, which the Greenville Avenue location did not have.
Blue Mesa Grill in Addison moved from its longtime space at the Tollway and Belt Line into a new space on Montfort Drive. The new location boasts a patio with a fire pit and a tequila bar.
A Fuzzy's Taco opened in Deep Ellum,
next-door to the new Twilite Lounge between Black Swan Saloon and Three Links. It starts serving breakfast tacos at 7 am on weekdays and 9 am on weekends, when it's open until midnight.
BRAVO! Cucina Italiana opens on South Hulen Street in Fort Worth on August 1. Bravo comes from Bravo Brio Restaurant Group, which also owns Brio. Bravo is the fun, affordable restaurant offering classic Italian in a Roman-ruin decor with an open kitchen that's supposed to bring a hint of live theater. Brio is the more serious "Tuscan villa." There are two Brios, in Allen and Southlake, but this will be the first Bravo. Dishes include artichoke and spinach formaggio, sausage fennel bruschetta, chicken Parmesan Milanese, filet mignon and lobster ravioli alla vodka.
Chef-restaurateur Felipe Armenta, who owns The Tavern in Fort Worth, is celebrating California-style cuisine with his swanky new restaurant, Pacific Table, newly opened in Fort Worth. The menu specializes in fresh seafood and vegetable dishes.
Outback Steakhouse opened one of its new prototypes in Hurst. With a larger lounge and patio seating, this is the fifth new prototype in the chain, but it's the first in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Fred's Texas Cafe in Fort Worth will add a third location, going in next door to the Oui Lounge near TCU where Love Shack just left.
Chocolate Secrets on Oak Lawn is serving lunch, beginning July 29. The menu includes panini, salads and cheese plates.
Chop House Steaks & Seafood in Pantego is selling eight-piece chicken dinners to go with corn, mashed potatoes and biscuits for $20. It's similar to what Velvet Taco is doing with its rotisserie chicken. But you have buy it in the back of the restaurant, through a rear door.