An Italian restaurant concept that's iconic to Dallas is getting a revival: Sfuzzi, which was one of Dallas' first modern Italian restaurants when it opened back in the late '80s, is opening on Henderson Avenue.
According to a release, it'll open at 2401 Henderson Ave., which is the former Capitol Pub space, and will open in early 2022.
Sfuzzi is being resurrected by Brandon Hays and Phil Schanbaum, partners in This & That Hospitality (High Fives, Tiny Victories, Whippersnappers, Ferris Wheelers, Alice). Hays was involved with the concept previously and recounts in a statement how Sfuzzi was once a buzzy destination.
"This was true of both the version that opened in 1987 and the one I co-owned and opened in 2009," Hays says. "It was an exciting place to find yourself. There was always a celebratory energy, and we never knew who may walk in the doors. Phil and I are looking forward to bringing back the old Sfuzzi memories to Dallas diners but also help create new ones."
Robert Colombo first opened Sfuzzi in Dallas in 1987 on McKinney Avenue in Uptown Dallas, then teamed up with Hays to bring the second one to the same street in 2009, before calling it quits in 2013.
"Sfuzzi was where I cut my teeth in the restaurant business and learned quite a bit in my young career," Hays says. "Going at it again after all these years of Phil and I owning our own venues lends a different perspective."
They'll feature original Sfuzzi recipes plus a few newcomers, Schanbaum says, including "incredible pizzas, flavorful pastas, and well thought out dishes."
"The plan is to draw as much inspiration as possible from the original menus – both food and bar," he says.
That includes the signature frozen Bellini along with a cocktail program created by Fernanda Rossano, who worked as a barback at Sfuzzi in 2009 and is now one of Dallas' most respected cocktail pros.
Mot Hai Ba chef/owner Peja Kristic is consulting chef; he was Executive Corporate Chef for Sfuzzi from 2011-2013.
The restaurant has a huge commitment to outdoor space, with seating for 80 inside and 120 outside. Decor is by Wallace Johnson Studios (Sachet, Alice, R&D, Beverly's), with a wraparound patio, U-shaped bar, split on the interior of lounge seating on one side and traditional dining on the other, and a massive Woodstone wood burning oven as the centerpiece.