Moroccan restaurant Medina Oven in Dallas' Victory Park closes doors
After more than a decade, a restaurant in Dallas' Victory Park has been shuttered: Medina Oven & Bar, which had been serving Moroccan food there since 2013, closed at the end of January.
A representative from the restaurant initially stated that the closure was temporary, but on January 29, a lockout notice was posted on the restaurant's door. Their furniture was removed from the space at 2304 Victory Park Ln. Their phone is disconnected, and their social media accounts stopped doing posts in mid-January.
No one involved with the restaurant was available for comment, but a spokesperson for the landlord said that they were definitely closed for good.
The restaurant was dealt a damning blow in 2019 when owner and co-founder Sam Benoikken died unexpectedly. A native of Morocco, Benoikken was a graduate of the University of North Texas with a BS in Hotel/Restaurant + Business Administration, who worked at a number of restaurants including the Mansion on Turtle Creek before co-founding Medina Oven with his then-partner Yaser Khalaf.
Benoikken was an avid champion of all things Moroccan and a consummate host beloved for his warmth and hospitality.
The restaurant represented a beautiful oasis in Victory Park, with its intimate atmosphere, stunning jewel-tone tapestries, plush pillows, and gilded touches.
The food earned uniformly high ratings from critics and diners alike, helping to introduce Moroccan dishes such as tagines and chicken with Moroccan olives and preserved lemon-saffron sauce to Dallas diners.
Khalaf left Medina Oven and went on to open his own restaurants Baboush and Darna Mediterranean Eatery.
Benoikken' wife Susan is a full-time nurse who had no hospitality experience, and who was unaware the restaurant had closed. It had most recently been managed by a former customer, Suzana Taha, who stepped in and took over to keep it alive during some difficult times that included the pandemic.