A West Dallas institution is being revived: The former Foundry/Chicken Scratch is being reopened by Shane Spillers, owner of Eno's Pizza and fervent former Foundry customer.
Spillers says he loved the place before it closed and wanted to make sure it kept going for the neighborhood. He's currently overseeing an update of the space, which moving forward will simply be called The Foundry.
"I live a few blocks away and I've always enjoyed the space ever since it opened," he says. "It's an amazing space for gatherings of friends and family that has served the needs of the community in such an amazing way. I hated to see it go, and to have the opportunity to come in and resurrect it is a huge honor."
The Foundry was opened in 2011 when owners Tim Byres, Christopher Jeffers, and Chris Zielke, who also owned Smoke and BarBelmont, built their urban, kid-friendly oasis worthy of hipster Oak Cliff in the style of an "Austin-style beer garden" with live music and more than 50 local and international brews, on the property formerly occupied by Jack’s Backyard.
It made CultureMap's list of underrated music venues, which cited the joys of gravel under your feet, picnic tables galore, a long list of beers, and plenty of diversity on stage – from electronic and avant-garde duos to indie-rock acts from Austin.
It also made CultureMap's list of fantastic fried chicken in 2013, a lifetime ago in the world of fried chicken - where it was praised for serving chicken two ways: rotisserie and in biscuit sandwiches.
Alas, it closed in May, a casualty of COVID-19, which is an irony given the fact that its indoor/outdoor profile is the direction many restaurants and bars are going in these post-pandemic times.
Spillers says they gave the space some maintenance and love. "We're making it feel a little better and brighter," he says.
He and his team from Eno's are also updating the menu.
"Thematically it'll be the same, definitely with fried chicken but we're expanding it with new recipes and eventually the addition of other experiences, like breakfast, so it can be a full experience seven days a week," he says.
It'll be a work in progress, but they hope to be open by the end of September.
"We want to bring the Foundry back to life with the bar, food, live music programming, and make the space available is most important thing," he says.