El Fenix/Facebook

With the change in weather comes a busy week of events packed with wine dinners, Oktoberfest celebrations, and even a lunch dedicated to okra. There are not one but two restaurant anniversary parties: one commemorating one year in business and the other, 105 years. There’s a price point for every wallet, from $1.05 enchiladas to a $500 per person Italian pairing dinner.

Tuesday, September 12

Discover Italy Wine Dinner at Carraba’s
All three area locations of the Italian chain (Hurst, Plano, and Dallas) will host a four-course dinner that will journey through the wine regions of Italy. Menu highlights include beet & goat cheese salad, penne with black pepper cream sauce & sausage, chicken ardente, and chocolate mousse. Wines will be paired with each course and dinner is $55 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Arrive by 6:30 pm.

Valdicava Wine Dinner with PierFilippo Abbruzzese at Monarch
Live your best life by snagging a ticket to this $500 per person wine dinner (plus tax and gratuity) featuring PierFilippo Abbruzzese of Valdicava in Tuscany. Courses will include wood oven clams, Hudson Valley foie gras, mafaldine pasta, Wagyu strip loin, and pecorino camomilla. Courses will be paired with Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino wines, including a 2006 reserve that earned 100 points. Dinner starts late at 8 pm.

Wednesday, September 13

El Fenix Mexican Restaurant’s 105th Anniversary
The historic downtown flagship location of El Fenix Mexican Restaurant will celebrate 105 years in business with an all-day party. Visit from 11 am–10 pm for live music, performances by Mexican folkorico dancers, and giveaways. All El Fenix locations will host happy hour all day, including $5 margaritas, $2 small beers, and $4 large beers. The first 105 guests at all locations can also get enchiladas for just $1.05.

Thursday, September 14

The largest wine festival of the Southwest returns to historic downtown Grapevine for its 37th annual four-day run. GrapeFest features the best of Texas-grown wines, and this year, guest wineries from Australia, Barossa Valley, and Napa Valley. New this year is the Rose Rendezvous sponsored by Messina Hof Winery, Landon Winery, and Llano Estacado Winery. Musical acts include country singer David Lee Murphy (Friday) and Carnie and Wendy Wilson of Wilson Phillips (Saturday). GrapeFest opens at 11 am daily. Admission is free all day Thursday and on Friday until 5 pm. After that, adults are $10 ($5 for 62-plus and children 6-12). Note that admission does not include tasting experiences, including the popular People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, which is $28 per person (in advance) and booked in 90-minute increments throughout the weekend.

Addison Oktoberfest
The four-day family-friendly festival will celebrate German culture through live music, Bavarian dancers, races & games, and of course, German food and drink. Go hungry for sausage, schnitzel, sauerkraut, strudel, and pretzels to be washed down with Paulaner Bier. The party will take place Thursday through Sunday at Addison Circle Park. Tickets are $10 for adults and children under 10 get in free.

Graci Sicilian Wine Dinner at Dolce Riviera
Harwood District Italian restaurant will host a four-course wine dinner inspired by the Italian region of Sicily. Wines by Alberto Graci will be paired with each course. Menu highlights include spaghetti alla Nerano, Spanish mackerel al guazetto, and pistachio tiramisu. Tickets are $125 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and dinner begins at 7 pm.

Friday, September 15

Thirsty Lion First Anniversary at Preston Hollow
Gastropub will celebrate one year in Preston Hollow with a party for a cause. Enjoy all-day happy hour and complimentary tastings, including Tito’s Vodka (4-6 pm), Revolver Brewing (5-7 pm), and Deep Eddy Vodka (6-8 pm). There’ll be live music on the patio starting at 7 pm and raffle giveaways for big prizes. Each dollar spent on raffle tickets will benefit the United Way Maui relief fund. Don’t miss the Maui Mai Tai and Hawaiian Sunshine cocktails; one dollar from each will also benefit the fund at all Thirsty Lion locations from September 15–30.

Adolphus Biergarten
Iconic downtown hotel will celebrate Oktoberfest for the first time ever with the opening of a rooftop biergarten. Visit starting at 4 pm for access to authentic Oktoberfest music, food, and beer. Admission to the rooftop biergarten is $20 per person and open dates include September 15–17, 21–24, 28–30, and October 1, 6–8. Access is only for those 21 and up.

Saturday, September 16

Omakase Collaboration at Namo
Sushi spot in the West Village will host a Michelin Star sushi chef from Japan to collab with Namo exec chef Kazuhito Mabuchi on a weekend-long 20-course omakase dining experience. Seating times are available both Saturday and Sunday: Saturday at 3 pm, 6 pm, and 9 pm; and Sunday at 1 pm, 5 pm, and 7:30 pm. Tickets are $275 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and sake, wine, and Japanese whisky pairings are available upon request.

Sunday, September 17

Okrapalooza 2023
See what 12 local chefs can do with okra during this daytime dining event benefitting local non-profit, Promise of Peace Gardens. Featured chefs include Adam West of Local Yocal BBQ & Grill, Marshall Cole of Evans Meat Market, and Richard Vana of The Heritage Table. Tickets are $80 per person (which includes adult beverages) and the lunchtime event will take place from 11 am-2 pm at Dallas College Culinary, Pastry, and Hospitality Center.


These are the 6 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

A sign that fall is near: Oktoberfest events start popping up on the calendar. This week offers an Oktoberfest beer launch party at a local brewery with plenty of German-inspired fanfare. Also plan for summer poolside yoga paired with margaritas one more time at an iconic downtown hotel, and a steal-of-a-deal shrimp boil and Hurricane special. (It’s hurricane season, after all.)

Thursday, September 7

Shrimp Boil at Rockfish
Enjoy a dozen large peel-and-eat shrimp with the traditional shrimp boil sides of corn on the cob and potatoes tossed in a choice of seasoning for just $8.99. The deal is good at the Richardson location of the Rockfish seafood chain for dine-in or to-go. They're also serving $4 Hurricanes all day.

Friday, September 8

Dallas Chocolate Festival at Fashion Institute Gallery
Dallas' sweetest festival was founded in 2009 and has become a national force for its role in spotlighting hand-crafted chocolate. It's a three-day event, running Friday September 8 through Sunday September 10, and will feature seminars, immersive learning experiences, one-of-a-kind offerings, and oodles of chocolates to sample.

Saturday, September 9

Oktoberfest Launch Party at Texas Ale Project
The Dallas brewery will debut its Oktoberfest beer with a day of German traditions. The event will feature German cuisine, a steinholding competition, best lederhosen contest, and more. Admission is free and the party will run from 2-7 pm.

Mad Hatter Dinner: Profoundly Wonderland
Seven local chefs will collaborate on an Alice in Wonderland-themed seven-course dinner benefiting Independence Gardens, a garden-based education program. The lineup includes Mollie Guerra, Justin Box, Joshua Bonee, Josh Harmon, Sahara Grace Uy, Jo Garcias, and Belal Kattan. The dinner will take place at Profound Event Space in Fairview. Individual tickets are $125 (which include drink pairings) and the dinner begins at 7 pm.

Sunday, September 10

Yogarita at Le Meridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh
The historic Dallas hotel will host its final poolside yoga stretch sesh of the season paired with a Casamigos “Yogarita” cocktail. The $40 ticket (plus tax and a small fee) includes a one-hour yoga class, one Yogarita, and a coastal-inspired fish taco from the hotel restaurant, Perle on Maple. Shop Kendra Scott jewelry with a 15 percent discount after class. AB.Lino Hats will also be on-hand. Class begins at 10:30 am and mats will be provided.

Monday, September 11

Taste of Texas Wine Dinner at Urban Crust
The Plano wood-fired pizza joint will host a four-course dinner featuring four wines from across the Lone Star State. Tickets are $59.90, plus tax and gratuity, and dinner begins at 6:30 pm.

STK Steakhouse

These are the 9 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

Labor Day is Monday, September 4 and many Dallas-area restaurants are taking advantage of the long weekend to expand their brunch service. But first, say “bye” to summer (unofficially) with a sip-and-stroll tasting and summer beer dinner, along with a homage to Sauvignon Blanc. And tell your favorite first responder that a snazzy steakhouse is offering 50 percent this weekend just for them.

Thursday, August 31

The World of Sauvignon Blanc at Tango Room
Experience a blind, three-flight tasting of summer’s perfect wine varietal: Sauvignon Blanc. The 60-minute guided tasting will come with the chef’s selection of small bites. Guests can also get 20 percent off their dinner reservation afterward. Tickets are $115, plus tax, and the event begins at 6 pm.

Bye, Bye Summer Beer Dinner at On Rotation
Celebrate the unofficial end of summer with a four-course saison beer dinner at the Lemmon Avenue brewery and kitchen. Menu highlights include watermelon salad, pan-seared scallops, and lemon-blackberry tart with hazelnut whipped cream. Dinner is $60, plus tax and a small fee, and comes with beer pairings for every course. Arrive by 7 pm.

Friday, September 1

Labor Day Weekend for First Responders at STK Steakhouse
Doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters, EMTs, hospital workers, and teachers, take note: you’ll get half off your meal this weekend at STK Steakhouse. The “vibe dining” destination, known for its prime steaks and party atmosphere (there’s a DJ booth in the middle of the restaurant), will also give a $50 dining credit to all its Friends with Benefits members. (Sign up for that here.) The offers are good Friday through Monday.

Say Goodbye to Summer Wines & Spirits Tasting at Omni PGA Frisco
Savor the unofficial end of summer with an adults-only sip-and-stroll. Guests will get 10 drink samples to enjoy on The Monument Realty lawn at the flashy new Frisco resort. Sips will range from white and rose wines along with espresso martini ice cream pour-overs and prosecco with popsicles. Tickets are $62, plus tax and a small fee, and the event will run from 6-9 pm. Wearing white (and comfortable shoes) is encouraged.

Monday, September 4

The following restaurants are hosting special Labor Day brunch events:

Bulla Gastrobar
The Legacy West restaurant will host its Spanish-style brunch from 11 am-4 pm with mimosa towers and menu offerings like hazelnut waffles and “Huevos Bulla.”

Ida Claire
Visit from 10 am-4 pm for a Southern-inspired brunch featuring fried chicken and waffles, pull-apart cinnamon rolls, and Ida’s biscuits paired with brunch cocktails.

Mexican Sugar
The fancy Mexican restaurant will offer its brunch at all location Monday featuring dishes like cajeta French toast, steak and eggs, and Benedictos rancheros with masa cakes. The Plano location will host brunch from 11 am-3 pm and the Las Colinas and Uptown locations will run from 11 am-4 pm.

Whiskey Cake
Indulge in a Cold Old Fashioned 2.0 paired with lemon blueberry French toast, the Hangover Burger, or the Farmer’s Breakfast from 11 am-3 pm.

Fish City Grill
All locations of the upscale seafood chain will host a Cajun shrimp boil for $16.99 all day long. Wash it down with $5 Gold Margaritas.

Miller Lite House

New Miller Lite-themed lounge joins Cowboys roster at Star in Frisco

Cowboys News

A new beer lounge that's all about one beer has opened at The Star in Frisco: Miller Lite House at The Star is a collaboration between The Dallas Cowboys and Molson Coors Beverage Company that'll serve beer and snacks, and will also be available as a rental space.

The facility, which celebrated its grand opening on August 22 with appearances by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former Cowboy DeMarcus Ware, is steps from the similarly-branded Tostitos Championship Plaza, and according to a release will offer visitors to the Cowboys' headquarters and practice facility the opportunity to experience the feeling of game day, every day.

How exactly it will do that they do not say, but they do say that the multi-functional space will feature a 300-square-foot cooler stocked with many options, including beverages like - yes! - Miller Lite and Vizzy Hard Seltzer, available for purchase weekdays, event days, and game days. All the days.

There will also be assorted chips, candy, and more, also available for purchase.

Visitors to Miller Lite House at The Star will have the opportunity to rent complimentary tailgate-inspired games for use on Tostitos Championship Plaza, including cornhole and frisbee. If you rent it, is it really complimentary?

Other amenities include lounge space with plush seating, a large-screen TV, device chargers, and a seasonally rotating Dallas Cowboys-themed photo opportunity.

Miller Lite House will also serve as the ticketing center and starting point for The Star Tours presented by SeatGeek, where fans can get an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Staff at Miller Lite House will serve as docents for the 91-acre experience at The Star, offering concierge-style services including ticketing and event support, directions, and tips for eating and shopping at The Star District.

In a statement, Jones says that it's just another moment in their partnership with MolsonCoors.

"Building off the success of Miller Lite House AT&T Stadium, our fans will also be able to create their own Miller time moments here at Miller Lite House at The Star, because when it’s Cowboys time, its Miller Time," he says.

Deep Ellum Brewing Company/Facebook

These are the 9 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

Tequila, tiki drinks, Sazerac, and Belgian brews are all on the menu this week in the form of themed pairing dinners and tasting flights. Hatch chiles are featured in a four-course cocktail dinner. By week’s end, a big food and wine festival brings sips from around the world to Dallas, and a birthday bar crawl will celebrate one of Dallas’ most popular home-grown brews.

Monday, August 21

Belgian Beer Week at Meddlesome Moth
Design District gastropub will celebrate Belgian Beer Week with tappings all week long. Featured brews will include Tripel Karmeliet, Delirium Black, Chimay White, La Trappe Quad, and more. Flights will be $20 for four five-ounce pours. Save room for weekend brunch specials on Saturday and Sunday, including a savory Belgian waffle with spinach, ham, and cheese, and mussels with frites. Or visit after 5 pm for sausage-wrapped grilled leek served with beer cheese soup.

Tuesday, August 22

Hatch Chile Cocktail Dinner at Urban Rio
The Plano cantina and grill will heat things up with a Hatch chile-infused dinner. The piquant pepper will be featured in four courses and paired cocktails. Tickets are $54.90, plus tax and gratuity, and the dinner will begin at 6:30 pm.

Wednesday, August 23

Sazerac Tasting Dinner at District Dallas
District Dallas’ next pairing dinner will feature Sazerac brands like Buffalo Trace, Weller, Stagg, and Eagle Rare. Guests will be greeted with an old fashioned and tray-passed candied bacon crostinis followed by four courses. Menu items include gumbo, glazed pork loin, black pepper juniper venison, and rye flour beignets. All courses will be paired with neat pours. Dinner is $95, plus tax and a service fee, and begins at 6:30 pm.

Thursday, August 24

Tequila Tipples at the Tango Room
If the basic margarita is your tequila go-to, this tasting is for you. Experience three adventurous tequila cocktails during this Tango Room guided flight, including a brown sugar rosemary paloma, spiced pear margarita, and anejo Manhattan. The $115 price also includes chef’s small bites and gratuity. Guests also get 20 percent off dinner reservations afterward. The hour-long tasting begins at 6 pm.

Art of Agave: An Immersive Tequila Pairing Dinner at Haywire
The Uptown ranch-to-table restaurant will showcase premium tequilas during this five-course pairing dinner with a surprise menu. Tequilas will include Yeyo Blanco, Fortaleza Reposado, Siete Leguas Anejo Tears of Llorona Extra Anejo, and Tequila Ocho Widow Jane Finish. Dinner is $125, plus tax and gratuity, and begins at 6:30 pm.

Friday, August 25

Dallas Symphony Wine & Food Festival
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra will celebrate local restaurants at its annual three-day Wine & Food Festival at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Events begin Friday with a multicourse Wine Down Dinner. Saturday is the Grand Tasting, featuring bites from more than 15 Dallas restaurants and samples of wine, beer, and spirits from around the world. The festival ends Sunday with Bubbles & Brunch Bites. Prices vary by event; more information and tickets are on the website.

Saturday, August 26

Dallas Blonde Bar Crawl
Celebrate the 11th birthday of Deep Ellum Brewing Company’s most popular beer with a bar crawl. Check in at the brewery to pick up your swag bag, map, and first pint. Then visit participating neighborhood bars for beer and shot specials. Tickets are $25, plus tax, and check-in is between 2-4 pm. Blonde wigs encouraged.

Guided Craft Beer Tasting at Autonomous Society Brewpub
As part of its one-year anniversary celebration, the South Akard Street brewpub will host a tasting led by brewmaster and founder Dean Weaver. Tickets are $32, plus tax. While the tasting will run from 2-4 pm, there’ll be more anniversary festivities throughout the entire day, including live music, a new menu debut, and anniversary specials.

Monday, August 28

Tiki Cocktail Dinnner at Urban Seafood Company
Four island-inspired courses will be paired with four tropical cocktails during the Plano seafood destination’s tiki dinner. Tickets are $75, plus tax and gratuity, and dinner begins at 6:30 pm.

Photo courtesy of Urban Seafood

These are the 9 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

It’s a week to treat yourself – caviar, poolside cocktails, free iced tea, and tequila are all on the list. Also, break out the holiday flair because Christmas in July is here.

Tuesday, July 18

Caviar Dinner at Monarch
An exclusive five-course dinner at the downtown Dallas restaurant will feature caviar in every bite. Menu highlights include Wagyu tartare with black truffle and caviar, and scallop and uni beurre blanc with elite reserve Osetra caviar. Fine sake and wine will be paired with each course. Tickets are $350, plus tax and gratuity, and dinner begins at 6 pm.

Wednesday, July 19

The Joule Blonde Ale Launch at CBD Provisions
Manhattan Project Beer Co. (recently named CultureMap Tastemaker Awards' Brewery of the Year) has partnered with The Joule to launch The Joule Blonde Ale exclusively for its hotel restaurant, CBD Provisions. To celebrate, CBD Provisions will offer $3 draft pours of the new brew and complimentary bites from 5-7 pm. Or indulge in a burger pairing with the ale for $16, which comes with the Southern Juicy Lucy burger, made with 44 Farms beer, Swiss cheese, jalapenos, applewood smoked bacon, barbecue sauce, and a poppyseed bun topped with onion rings. The burger pairing is available all summer.

Thursday, July 20

Free Tea Day at McAlister’s Deli
The national sandwich chain will celebrate its 15th annual Free Tea Day by offering customers a free, 32-ounce iced tea all day long at all locations. Choose from sweet, unsweet, half-and-half, half tea-half lemonade, tea with one flavor shot, or the new limited-time flavor, PassionBerry. Limit one per person in-store and four per online or app order.

Friday, July 21

National Tequila Day at Mexican Test Kitchen
UPDATE 7-18-2022: Organizers have canceled this event.
Celebrate National Tequila Day a little early with a pop-up at West Village’s new upscale pop-up, Mexican Test Kitchen, led by chef Matt McCallister. Open for a short window from 5:30-8:30 pm, the pop-up will feature a sneak peek of what the concept will serve when fully opening later this year. Enjoy light bites like mini enchilada bowls, mini caramelized mushroom sopes, and chilled corn soup shooters with shrimp elote relish along with $1 margaritas, $1 tequila shots, and live music. It's located at 3699 McKinney Ave., #307.

Saturday, July 22

Christmas in July at Isla & Co.
The weather outside is frightful. But that’s not stopping this Australian-inspired Bishops Arts restaurant from getting into the Christmas spirit – Aussie style. Celebrate Christmas in July with a traditional Aussie family-style Christmas lunch including Australian wine and beer, outdoor games, DJ music, and a visit from Santa himself. The holiday party is $110 ($39 for kids) and also includes welcome bites and an open bar. Wear something Christmas-themed for a chance to win prizes. The event will run from 3-7 pm.

Sunburn Lounge Pool Party with 818 Tequila at Canvas Hotel Dallas
Dallas hotel pool parties are on trend this summer with their bumping DJ music, pretty cocktails, and pretty people-watching. The Canvas Hotel Dallas is jumping on board with a rooftop soiree featuring Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila. (But alas, Kendall won’t be present.) Purchase the 818 Summer Vacation cocktail and get a free bottle of Vacation Sunscreen (while supplies last). The partnership is one of only seven happening across the country, and the only one in Texas and the South. Tickets are $35 in advance, or $50 at the door.

Monday, July 24

National Tequila Day at Cantina Laredo
Create your own tequila flight at Cantina Laredo. For $15, guests can choose any three anejo, reposado, or joven tequilas, or any mezcal to build their own personalized tasting flight. Take your time, as there are more than 40 tequilas and mezcals to choose from. The tasting experience will be offered at Cantina Laredo locations in Addison and Frisco.

Tequila & Tacos at Omni PGA Frisco Resort
Sip and stroll The Monument Realty PGA District at the brand new hotel resort in Frisco while sampling Casamigos cocktails, including margaritas, ranch waters, and more. Tickets start at $50 and include 10 tequila cocktail tastings and a souvenir tasting glass. Or pay $65 and get a taco plate, too. The event will run from 6-8:30 pm.

Road Trip Wine Dinner at Urban Seafood
Take a tasty trip around the country without leaving Plano. Urban Seafood will host a four-course wine pairing dinner featuring dishes and wines from around the US. Tickets are $75, plus tax and gratuity, and dinner begins at 6:30 pm.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Art Institutes college chain shuts down all campuses, including Dallas

Education News

In tragic news for higher education, the Art Institutes, a network of colleges in eight cities around the U.S. including Dallas, is shutting down all campuses as of September 30.

The organization announced its closure with short notice on September 22 via an email sent out to staff and students, attributing the close to "external and internal" events over the past 10 years, including COVID-19.

They called the closure the result of "a culmination of events over the past decade, both external and internal to the campus operations. ... The colleges, which already were dealing with the legacy challenges that arose under prior ownership, were unable to absorb the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on schools teaching hands-on and equipment-intensive programs such as culinary arts and fashion design.”

Students were advised to review their contact information on the institute's portal and update mailing addresses if needed, as well as download their student ledger and unofficial transcript.

Academic and financial aid staff will be available on campus through the end of 2023.

"Due to the timing of this decision, The Art Institutes have not had sufficient time to engage with other colleges and universities in their respective markets to sign formal agreements for students to transfer and continue their studies elsewhere," they said in a statement. "The Art Institutes are working with state agencies and The Art Institutes' accrediting agency, Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, to identify appropriate academic transfer opportunities for students affected by this closure."

The closures affect all of the remaining eight campuses:

  • Miami International University of Art & Design
  • The Art Institute of Atlanta
  • The Art Institute of Austin, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston
  • The Art Institute of Dallas, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design
  • The Art Institute of Houston
  • The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston
  • The Art Institute of Tampa, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design
  • The Art Institute of Virginia Beach, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta

Although the announcement was abrupt, the Atlanta campus had been listed for lease on September 5, according to CoStar.

At one point, the organization had dozens of campuses across the U.S., but the current and previous owners have been involved in litigation over student debt from education loans, and some struggled to retain accreditation.

The email further states that "The Art Institute colleges were once were part of one of the largest providers of career education in the U.S. and were an important source of design, media arts, fashion, and culinary professionals to fulfill the needs of the local and national employers who sought out Art Institute graduates. Since its founding, The Art Institutes, individually and collectively, provided an academic experience for students who sought education in academic disciplines based in creativity, innovation, and emerging technology. This closure does not diminish the many and varied contributions that The Art Institutes have made to higher education and the knowledge and skills that alumni have taken into their respective fields of culinary, design, fashion, and media following graduation."

Dallas nonprofit Art Conspiracy calls it quits after nearly 20 years

ArtCon is Gone

After nearly 20 years, Dallas nonprofit arts group Art Conspiracy (ArtCon) has ceased operations. In a release, the organization blamed the pandemic.

“Before the pandemic, ArtCon was facing mounting pressures in the search for event spaces and navigating growing costs that were hindering our model, which was already challenged by its all-volunteer structure and role as a ‘pass-through’ organization that donates all the funds it raises,” said Geoff Barry, president of the board, in a statement.

“COVID-19 effectively ended our ability to evolve around these limitations, stopping us from not only putting on our signature annual fundraisers, but also from building a steady pipeline of volunteer leadership to execute them. It saddens us to end this important work, and we’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish over the years - not just the money raised, but also the many connections made and collaborations that have been born from them, which live on. We know we’ve made a positive and lasting difference in North Texas, among our community of artists, our audience, and our beneficiaries.”

The group was known for its annual live auction featuring the work of local artists plus performances by local musicians. The proceeds were donated to beneficiaries such as Children’s Health Fund, Volunteers of America’s Resolana program, W.T. White High School, Girls Rock Dallas, Anita M. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, and Cry Havoc Theater Company.

In closing, ArtCon made a final donation of $6,000 to Foundation 45, which provides mental health and recovery services to the Dallas-Fort Worth creative community. They were supposed to be the beneficiary for ArtCon 15, which was to have taken place in fall 2019 but was postponed due to staffing issues.

Although ArtCon no longer exists, they are encouraging support of Foundation 45's next fundraising event, “Art of the Guitar” on Saturday, October 21, a live auction of over 45 local artist-decorated guitars.

The iOS app Art Con remains available in the Apple Store for anyone wishing to seek out and connect with the artists and musicians who have participated in ArtCon over its history.

These are the 8 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This Week in Gluttony

There are two anniversary parties this week and both feature food and drink specials along with live music – one from '80s cover bands and the other from a powerhouse in Texas country music.

Meanwhile, Oktoberfest season is winding down, but there are two opportunities this week enjoy German-inspired eats and beer before the festival ends.

Tuesday, September 26

Lori’s Day at Newk’s Eatery
Mississippi-based sandwich, salad, and soup will celebrate its third annual ovarian cancer fundraiser in honor of Lori Newcomb, wife of Newk’s founder Chris Newcomb, who lost her battle with the disease in 2019. Through Newk’s Cares, founded by Lori in 2014 after her diagnosis, all locations will donate 20 percent of sales to Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance. Newk’s has locations in Frisco and Plano.

Wednesday, September 27

Cheers to 10 Years at The Rustic with Pat Green
Dallas bar, restaurant, and live music venue owned in part by Texas country music icon Pat Green will throw a 10th anniversary party featuring the superstar himself in concert. There’ll be drink specials and giveaways from Espolon Tequila and Eight Elite Light Lager, with a special appearance by Eight founder Troy Aikman. Doors open at 5:30 pm and concert opener Dalton Torres will take the stage at 8 pm. Tickets are $27 per person, plus a fee.

Laurent-Perrier Champagne Pop-Up Dinner at Knife Plano
Four-course dinner with Naomi Smith from the Champagne House of Laurent-Perrier features some of their new and exclusive offerings paired with Knife's classic seafood dishes. Courses include Yellowtail Crudo, paired with Laurent Perrier La Cuvee Brut; Arugula Salad and Iberico Ham with Laurent Perrier Brut 2012; Snapper, Asparagus, and Fingerling Potato with Laurent Pierrier Rose; and Banana, Bourbon & Dulce Dessert with Laurent Perrier Harmony Demi Sec. It starts at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $150, book at Resy.

Thursday, September 28

40th Anniversary Party at Aw Shucks
All five locations of the Aw Shucks and Big Shucks oyster bar chain (Dallas, Richardson, Lewisville, and Frisco) will host a throwback Thursday 80s-themed anniversary party featuring discounted menu items. Specials include a $19.83 platter of crab and shrimp boil, $19.83 dozen oysters on the half shell, $3.83 margaritas, and $2.83 draft beers. Born in 1983? You get a free slice of key lime pie. There’ll also be 80s cover bands at all locations from 5–9 pm. Break out the big hair and leg warmers because there’ll be costume contests for prizes, too.

Yappy Hour at Ellie’s
The terrace at Ellie’s inside the Hall Arts Hotel will welcome four-legged friends and their humans during this rooftop happy hour. Visit from 5–7 pm for specialty drinks and bites and to meet other Dallas-area dog lovers. Admission is free and valet parking is $5.

Basil Hayden Whiskey Dinner at Bourbon & Banter
Statler Dallas restaurant will host a four-course bourbon-pairing dinner featuring Kentucky-based Basil Hayden whiskey. Menu items include spinach & roasted red pepper-stuffed chicken, steelhead trout en papillote, grilled flat iron steak with truffle potatoes, and Basil Hayden chocolate pot de crème. The dinner is $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and begins at 7 pm.

Friday, September 29

Oktoberfest at Harwood Arms
The party will start early at 11 am for all-day specials including $22 beer steins ($8 refills) and German cuisine including Bavarian sausages, chicken schnitzel sandwiches, and potato pancakes. There’ll be live music starting at 6 pm along with two stein-holding competitions at 5 pm and 8 pm. Admission is free.

Monday, October 2

Oktoberfest Beer Dinner at Urban Crust
Plano wood-fired pizza kitchen will celebrate Oktoberfest with a four-course German-themed beer dinner. Tickets are $65 per person, including tax and gratuity, and the dinner will begin at 6:30 pm.

Aw Shucks restaurant on Lower Greenville in Dallas, circa 1983
Photo courtesy of Aw Shucks
A local oyster bar chain will throw it back to the 80s with an anniversary party.