From August 28-30, Dallas had an eventful weekend, restaurant-wise, with three big happenings including a fire, a COVID-19 temporary closure, and a triumphant return.
In that order:
Pecan Lodge fire
The famed barbecue restaurant in Deep Ellum suffered a fire in its pit room early in the morning of August 29.
According to Dallas Fire-Rescue, 22 firefighters responded to the one-alarm fire at 2:28 am early Saturday morning, where they quickly extinguished the flames. One employee was present, preparing to smoke meat.
It is believed the fire was accidental and began as the most probable result of an accumulation of grease in the smoker vents, according to Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans. On the one hand, it was no big deal, the restaurant opened on Saturday. On the other hand, it got video documentation and lots of media coverage, as there is nothing journalists like more than a fire.
In this realm, Pecan Lodge is a repeat offender, as it wasn't the first time: In 2014, the restaurant had another small fire, almost to the day. Hmmm.
In a very sad but probably not unusual development, the husband-and-wife owners of Fish & Fizz, the seafood restaurant in Richardson, have temporarily closed the restaurant after contracting COVID-19.
Owners Nick & Kelli Barclay shared the news via a Facebook post and an email to their customers.
"It is with great sadness that we have to tell you that both Kelli and I have tested positive for COVID-19. We can't believe it," they said.
"We need to quarantine and shut Fish & Fizz until it's safe to reopen. Thank you for your continued support and understanding. You are very much appreciated!"
They also offered a reminder: "COVID-19 is real. Please be safe out there."
Libertine Bar returns
The popular Greenville Avenue bar now turned restaurant-bar took the necessary steps to transform itself into a restaurant-bar and reopened on August 29.
"We're baaaaaaccccckkk!!! HIGH NOON today!" owner Simon McDonald posted jubilantly on the bar's Facebook page. "Come visit us for a safe and good ol’ time!! Check out the menu at http://www.libertinebar.com and come visit us on this rainy, muggy then hot as HELL day! See you soon!"
In order to open, Libertine had to procure a Food & Beverage license, which cost $776. ("Gotta get that extra buck," McDonald quipped. They applied three weeks ago, then had to follow up with affidavits, photos of the kitchen, equipment, proposed menu, and a kitchen (or food service area) floor plan.
They'll be open Wednesday-Friday 4 pm-12 am, and Saturday-Sunday from 12 pm-12 am, closed Monday-Tuesday. They'll still be doing to go orders, and times may change day to day.
He said it had been "a LONG 10 weeks," and his clientele seemed to agree, turning out in supportive numbers for fish & chips, "Muenster fries" (fries topped with Muenster cheese, onion, jalapenos, and bacon), and soft pretzel with beer cheese dip & mustard.
"We were busy as heck!" McDonald says. "It was good! Some bumps and bruises but we were busy!"