Family comes back swinging with new Tex-Mex restaurant in Richardson
The bad news is that a pizzeria closed. Pizza Americana, a gourmet pizza restaurant that opened in 2019 in Richardson at 800 W. Arapaho Rd., closed after two-and-a-half years.
The good news is that an exciting Mexican restaurant will open in its place: Called Sueño Modern Mex-Tex, it's a new concept from a well-liked family with decades of experience in the industry.
Spearheading Sueño is Julio Pineda, who previously co-owned Pineda's Mexican Cuisine in Richardson, where he and his family quickly built a following for their twists on Mexican classics and their warm welcoming atmosphere.
When they learned that the Americana location was available, it represented a chance at a new beginning.
"I'm happy with the past two years, with what my dad and I built, and am excited for this opportunity," Julio says. "I worked my way up the ranks at Mi Cocina, and my dad worked for them for 20 years, but we wanted to have our own restaurant, and we put a lot of love into this."
He calls their concept "Mex-Tex."
"We have our own spin," he says. "We're taking comfort food and Tex-Mex and flipping it around. It'll be Tex-Mex, but with the plates being a little more modern, and with well made craft cocktails."
The menu is still under construction but they'll definitely have mole and fajitas, with unusual ingredients like lobster. They'll also have a raw bar with ceviches and aguachiles.
"My dad is our Executive Chef and his brother is our Chef de Cuisine," Julio says. "My uncle Jaime Pineda has worked in restaurants like Boleros and Beto & Son. My dad Aureliano Pineda is the Mexican street food guy, and my uncle does the gourmet Mexican. It's a family-operated business, and that's something the Richardson community really embraces."
The cocktail program is being created by Beverage Director Cristian Lujano, who worked at Hugo's Invitados, the high-end Mexican restaurant in Irving.
"We want to bring something special and of a caliber that people in Richardson don't have to drive somewhere else to get it," he says.
Coming up with a new restaurant name was a challenge; after all, there's still a restaurant in Richardson bearing the family name. (Pineda's is still open but under different management.)
"I was talking with a buddy of mine, he said, 'This sounds like your dream, like sueño' — it's a word that rolls off your tongue," Julio says.
They're hoping to open in November, assuming that supplies, permitting, and variables line up favorably.
"We want to do it right, we don't want to rush it," he says. "Our thing is good food, Mexican-inspired craft cocktails, service, and hospitality. This is for my family, we have so much energy and so many talented individuals working together."