A building on Ross Avenue in east Dallas that has seen a revolving door of bars has a promising new tenant: Called Dahlia Bar & Bistro, it's from Chris and Mark Beardon, the same prosperous team that owns restaurants and bars such as Felix Culpa on Henderson Avenue.
Named for the exotic flower, Dahlia will combine elements of a modest-yet-upscale restaurant with bistro fare, while maintaining the casual vibe of your local neighborhood bar.
The address is 3300 Ross Ave., which was most recently Ross & Hall and before that, Little Woodrow's. According to Chris Beardon, it's currently under construction, but is set to open in fall 2020.
The menu is by TJ Land, who has more than 20 years in the restaurant business, including co-creating the menu for Toluca Organic, the healthy restaurant concept with which the Beardons are also involved.
The cuisine boasts a Southern European-inspired theme with Italian, French, Spanish, and Mediterranean accents, balancing familiar and approachable dishes with the occasional new discovery.
That includes classic bistro fare such as steamed mussels and steak frites, but also more aspirational dishes such as parmesan-crusted lamb chops.
A 35-seat bar features craft cocktails with a floral influence made with premium spirits, along with a comprehensive wine selection.
The restaurant encompasses 3800 square feet, but the patio is nearly half that space at 1600 square feet, with a plush cocktail garden that promises to provide a relaxed, intimate patio dining and lounge experience.
The design has a bohemian theme, with lush floral décor inspired by the elegance of the dahlia flower, with olive green, plum, and lavender color accents in the dining room.
The space was originally part of a small vintage strip that was home to old-time Mexican restaurant Los Arcos. In 2014, landlord Ben Schwartz gave it a pristine renovation, creating a mixed-use complex with multiple storefronts.
The first tenant was Uncle Woodrow's, the Houston-based sports bar concept, which opened in 2016. In any other world, that would have been a slam dunk. Unfortunately, Uncle Woodrow's endured a string of unfortunate incidents that included a late-night robbery, and closed in May 2017.
It was then taken over by the team that owns State & Allen, Nodding Donkey, and Social Pie, who visioned it as a neighborhood bar patterned after State & Allen, called Ross & Hall.
By 2019, bar veteran Jason Caswell, who'd rescued a number of other concepts including LG Taps, took it over; he kept the name, but gave it a more straightforward neighborhood bar profile, with affordable food and drink. Ross & Hall closed in May 2020.
Now it's Dahlia's turn.