In the law of Dallas restaurants physics, restaurants open and then remain in a uniform state until that state is changed by an external force. An external force could be a rent increase, super-crappy service, or the fickle public who one day loves fro-yo, then abandons it the next.
In 2019, Dallas saw some pretty major closures, including a couple of restaurants that had been around for decades.
Here they are, in chronological order:
Bowls & Tacos closed on February 24. The menu featured two trendy food groups that were seemingly a winning combo, in one of the coolest buildings in Deep Ellum: a vintage Gulf station at 3400 Commerce St. The space is now being developed as a new bar by the folks from Double Wide nearby.
East Hampton Sandwich Co., the chain of shops from restaurateur Hunter Pond, closed its location at The Star in Frisco in February. Pond said they had "a really hard time" keeping it afloat.
Knife Burger, the burger stand by chef John Tesar, closed its outlet at Legacy Hall in February. Tesar was not the only concept to depart from the food hall in Plano; others included Glazed Donut Works and Chez Dip, the French dip sandwich place from chef Tom Fleming.
Even Stevens, the Utah-based sandwich shop, closed its location at the troubled-ish Richardson Restaurant Park in February. The chain was planning to open a location in East Dallas in a new shopping center on Northwest Highway at Abrams Road, but they filed for bankruptcy in March and Dallas is no longer listed on their website.
Top Round, the Los Angeles-based concept specializing in shaved roast beef sandwiches, closed its location at Toyota Music Factory in Irving, where it had been open for just over a year. It closed March 1. The chain opened a location in East Dallas at 4800 Bryan Ave. on August 3.
Another Broken Egg Cafe, a breakfast and lunch restaurant in Casa Linda Plaza, closed in February. The chain has three other locations in the area, including Dallas, Southlake, and The Colony.
Peak & Elm Cocina y Bar, which served Mex and Tex-Mex in a cool old building at the corner of Peak and Elm Streets, closed in March. The Moreno family went on to revive their La Popular Tamale House concept at 4823 Bryan St., across from Jimmy's Food Store. The old space is now home to a neighborhood bar called Peak Inn.
Cane Rosso, the Dallas-based Neapolitan-style pizzeria chain from Jay Jerrier, closed its location at Fairview on March 16. The lease ended and they opted not to renew.
Chicken Moto, a Richardson restaurant dedicated to Korean fried chicken, closed at the end of March. The restaurant opened in spring 2017 as a full-service fried chicken restaurant from husband and wife Sandy and Greg Bussey, Steve Shin, and Sam Osee, who also own Bbbop Seoul Kitchen.
Start, the Dallas-based restaurant chain dedicated to healthy fast-food to go, closed its location in Frisco on March 12. The owners stated that foot traffic in the area was slow because planned development on Lebanon Road had been halted.
Ziziki's, the small Greek chain, closed its location in Plano at 5809 Preston Rd. on April 28. That leaves two locations in Dallas at Preston-Forest and at Travis Walk, and one at The Star in Frisco.
Taco Joint, the small chain of taquerias, closed its location in Richardson on May 1; it had been in the same Richardson Heights center as Alamo Drafthouse since 2014.
Abacus, one of Dallas' most acclaimed and long-standing fine-dining eateries, closed in June. A cutting-edge combination of chef Kent Rathbun's fine-dining background and his interest in Asian cuisine, Abacus ruled every top-10 restaurant list in Dallas for many years. The restaurant re-opened as the more casual Jasper's concept in August.
Mockingbird Diner, an indie home-cooking restaurant across from Love Field, closed in May. The restaurant had been open since 2017 with Texan dishes such as chicken-fried steak.
Gather Kitchen, the healthy downtown Dallas restaurant specializing in healthy bowls, closed its Preston Center location in May. A manager blamed the location.
Hard Rock Cafe closed its Dallas location at Victory Park, having reached the end of a 10-year lease. A statement from Hard Rock International suggested that the venue could return. It closed in July.
Dough Society Pizza in Plano closed in June. The pizzeria opened in 2018 using traditional Italian techniques but it was not enough to overcome a lack of marketing and issues with the location, including construction and difficult parking.
Circo Dallas, spinoff of a famed New York restaurant, closed in June. It opened in September 2018 atop the One Uptown building, where it had a second-floor pool area with cabanas and bars.
Windmill Lounge closed in July and was transformed into a new bar called M.D. Tavern, which carries on the Windmill's traditions while meeting the needs of its growing audience. Owners Tom and Lisa Georgalis also own the Ivy Tavern.
Henry's Tavern, the beer-happy tavern chain which had one Dallas-area location in Plano at the Shops at Legacy, closed in June, and its parent company, Restaurants Unlimited, declared bankruptcy. The Plano restaurant had been there since 2012.
Pera Turkish Kitchen, the Mediterranean restaurant, closed in June. Pera's chef Habip Kargin has since opened Selda Mediterranean at 6006 Belt Line Rd., and the Pera space is now home to Russian restaurant Bubala Cafe.
The Flying Biscuit Cafe, the Atlanta-based breakfast restaurant chain, closed its two Dallas-area locations in July. They were owned by franchisees. One was in Richardson's Restaurant Park, at 744 S. Central Expy.; the other was in downtown Dallas.
Daphne's Mediterranean, the popular California chain, closed all its Texas locations in July, including two in Dallas. The closures were less than a year after Daphne's acquired Noon Mediterranean (which had previously been called Vert's Kabap) out of bankruptcy.
Don't Tell Supper Club, the quirky bar-restaurant at 2026 Commerce St. that became best known for its drag brunches, closed in August after being locked out by the landlord.
Humperdinks, the longtime local sports bar-restaurant chain, shut down for good. There were three locations left after the Addison location closed in 2017 — Arlington, Greenville Avenue and Northwest Highway — and all three closed in 2019.
Nicola's Ristorante Italiano, which served authentic northern Italian food at the Shops at Legacy since 2005, closed at the end of August. The restaurant's lease was about to end, and they decided to call it a day.
Mesa Dallas, the Mexican spot in North Oak Cliff from husband-and-wife chefs Raul and Olga Reyes, closed on August 17. Reyes has since opened Ceviche Bar, an oyster bar at 451 W. Davis St., a few blocks from Bishop Arts.
Bandera Roadhouse, which did Texas and Tex-Mex food in East Plano in the old Cuellars' Fajita Ranch at 3310 N. Central Expy., closed after less than a year.
Izkina, the restaurant at the Deep Ellum Hostel, closed in August and was replaced by a more casual concept called Booty's, serving cocktails and international street food.
Buzzbrews Kitchen, the local breakfast-all-day chain, closed its location at 4334 Lemmon Ave. on August 21 after 11 years. The first Buzzbrews opened on Fitzhugh Avenue at US 75 in 2005; other locations are in Lakewood, Deep Ellum, and Victory Park, which opened in 2015.
Sugarbacon, the restaurant in McKinney, closed in September via an announcement posted on Facebook. The restaurant opened with a big splash in 2015. It also opened a location in Lakewood in the former Dixie House space in 2016, but that one lasted less than a year, and the space is now home to Kozy Lakewood.
Char Bar, the Greenville Avenue fixture easily identified by its cheery blue-and-white Swiss chalet-style structure, closed in September. Known for its colorful Greek owners and basic diner fare, the restaurant had been there since 1973.
Stiky Ribz, a BBQ restaurant on Greenville Avenue, closed the last week of September. Stiky was the spinoff of a well-regarded Forney BBQ concept and the third barbecue concept that tried to make a go of it in the former Daddy Jack's space — including a restaurant called Louie King BBQ, featuring former Lockhart Smokehouse pitmaster Will Fleischman, which closed in May.
The Grape, the revered old-timer on Greenville Avenue, closed in October. The restaurant had been open since 1972 and was renowned for its romantic atmosphere, wine list, and mushroom soup. Owners Brian and Courtney Luscher bought the restaurant from original owners Kathy McDaniel and Charlotte Parker in 2007 and gave it a second life, in no small part due to their decadent burger crowned No. 1 in the state by Texas Monthly.
Spaghetti Warehouse Restaurant, an institution in Dallas' West End, closed in October. The restaurant had been located at 1815 North Market St. for 47 years. After it closed, it hosted an auction of all its kitchen equipment and charming vintage decor.
Mudsmith, the coffee shop and popular Wi-Fi hangout from Dallas restaurateur Brooke Humphries, closed its original location at 2114 Greenville Ave., in October after eight years at the space. Humphries cited the many changes that were taking place in the area.
Olivella's, the authentic Neapolitan-style pizzeria chain, closed its location in Victory Park in October after nearly 10 years. Owner Charlie Green was faced with a new lease and opted not to renew. When the pizzeria opened, it was part of the first wave of restaurants in Victory Park that includes many now-gone concepts such as Naga Thai.
On The Border closed its longtime legendary location on Knox Street and transformed the concept into a to-go spot and catering kitchen which opened in October. They went out with a bang, serving margaritas for $1.82, plus extended happy hour specials throughout the closing weekend.
Philly Pretzel Factory closed its location at 1920 N. Coit Rd. in Richardson after only four months in the space. Known for soft pretzels, pretzel dogs, pretzel cheesesteaks, and cinnamon pretzel twists, the chain still has two locations in Dallas and Mansfield.
Steel City Pops closed two Dallas-area locations, Casa Linda Plaza and Garland, on November 1. The company explained in a press release that they needed to scale back the number of stores in order to keep the business healthy.
Mudhen Meat and Greens, the healthful restaurant from Shannon Wynne located at the Dallas Farmers Market, closed on November 3. In a statement, Wynne attributed the closure to a shortage of healthy-minded diners, although restaurants such as True Food Kitchen, MIXT, Original ChopShop, Roti Mediterranean, Flower Child, Tribal Cafe in Bishop Arts, Cava, Coolgreens, Modern Market, and Southpaws Grill might prove otherwise.
Full Circle Tavern, a neighborhood bar and restaurant that relocated from The Cedars District to Lakewood, closed in November, after less than six months at its new address. It had been in business for nearly eight years.
Zaytinya, the Mediterranean restaurant in Frisco from famed chef José Andrés known for inventive Turkish, Greek, and Lebanese cuisine, closed on November 18, after less than two years in the space. A spokesperson said that the team was involved in discussions to relocate to Dallas.
Jack's Kitchen, the small Southern spot featuring biscuits that was tucked away in an East Dallas neighborhood, closed in November after two years. According to Sandy Jones Inman, whose brother opened the restaurant in 2017, they were dealing with a number of challenges, including robberies, limited parking, no liquor license, and a lawsuit.
Eastwood's Bar in Uptown Dallas, which dubbed itself the "Living Room of Uptown," closed in October with a whisper. The space will become a new bar called Gaslight.
Baker Bros. American Deli on Greenville Avenue in the Old Town shopping center closed in November. This was the final location of a small chain that had been a popular lunch haunt and light-dinner destination since 1999.
Get Fried Fry Cafe, a quick-serve restaurant specializing in French fries with gourmet toppings, closed in November. A franchisee brought the concept to Dallas in 2018 and there were big expansion plans for the New York-based chain, but those did not come to fruition.
HQ Prime Beer Garden, which had been at the northeast corner of Walnut Hill Lane and US-75 under a variety of names, closed on November 25. It started out as Red, Hot and Blue, a location of the national chain doing Memphis-style barbecue. Owner Craig Collins, who also owns Nazca Kitchen, stated that there wasn't enough business in the center for the restaurant to keep going.
Small Brewpub, the bar-restaurant on Jefferson Boulevard best known as "the place where chef Misti Norris used to work," closed on December 7, after five years. The owners said their lease was up and they decided not to renew.
Dairy Queen closed nine locations across Dallas-Fort Worth, including Grand Prairie, Euless, Fort Worth, Hurst, Keller, and Roanoke. All of the locations were owned by a single franchisee, Lickety Split Food Services, who shut down its entire DQ portfolio.
Slater's 50/50, the burger chain, closed its location at Preston-Royal after less than a year, according to a spokesperson. The original on Greenville Avenue remains open.
Nickel & Rye, a laid-back hangout and brunch destination in Uptown Dallas, closed in mid-December after six years on McKinney Avenue. Manager Will Cody cited the shrinking lifespan of bars in Dallas these days.
Mudsmith, the coffeehouse concept from Brooke Humphries, closed its last Dallas location at the Centrum building in mid-December, along with its sibling Pints & Quarts. Mudsmith had customers but the two concepts shared an unusually large 5,000-sqare-foot space.
Tillman's Bishop Arts, which has been doing Southern food on West 7th Street since 1992, will close on December 31. The restaurant was briefly locked out by the landlord but rallied long enough to make it through the holiday season before calling it quits.
Capitol Pub, which had presided over Henderson Avenue for nearly 13 years, will close at the end of 2019. Owners Cheryl and Peter Kenny helped bring energy to Henderson Avenue when they opened the ar in 2007 and were also among the first to make brunch into a thing. The couple will open a new place, Lochland's Food and Spirits in Lake Highlands, in January 2020.