Photo by Tamytha Cameron

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Dallas' most VIP couple leads all-star gala for Perot Museum 10th anniversary. The 10th anniversary of a Dallas landmark deserves a star-studded party and a few fireworks, too — and that's exactly what the Perot Museum of Nature and Science did to celebrate its milestone birthday. Dallas' most VIP couple led the festivities. Dirk and Jessica Nowitzki co-chaired the 10th anniversary Night at the Museum Gala on Saturday, November 12.

2. Dallas hires Martine Elyse Philippe as new director of arts and culture. The city of Dallas has a new Arts boss: Martine Elyse Philippe, who has worked in arts administration and the nonprofit world, has been appointed Director of the Office of Arts & Culture, a division of the City Manager's Office that fosters partnerships and support with arts and cultural organizations.

3. Record store in Dallas' Oak Cliff to spin off hip new restaurant-lounge. There's a hip new lounge bar restaurant opening in Dallas' Bishop Arts: Called Ladylove, it's going into the favorably located space previously occupied by Dallas Grilled Cheese Co., and is forecast to open in early 2023. Ladylove, whose subhead is "Lounge & Sound," is from David Grover and Kate Siamro, the same amazing team who own Spinster Records, the vinyl record store in Bishop Arts.

4. New Uptown Dallas movie theater sets opening date in time for the holidays. A little over a year after it was first announced, Violet Crown Cinema will open its first Dallas theater in West Village in early December. The theater is located in the former Magnolia Theater, which closed when the pandemic hit in March 2020 and never reopened.

5. Dallas university among best in U.S. for entrepreneurship programs, says Princeton Review. Dallas entrepreneurs, take note. The University of Texas at Dallas is near the top of its class among the country's best entrepreneurship programs. UTD's Naveen Jindal School of Management appears at No. 12 for best graduate entrepreneurship program and No. 25 for best undergraduate entrepreneurship program on new lists from The Princeton Review.

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H-E-B opening date tops this week's 5 hottest Dallas headlines

This Week's Hot Headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. H-E-B sets opening date for first supermarket in Dallas-Fort Worth. Mark it on your calendar in red: Texas supermarket chain H-E-B has finally set a date for the opening of its new store in Frisco, which will also be the first H-E-B location in the Dallas area. Drumroll: It will open on Wednesday, September 21 at 6 am.

2. The 11 glitziest galas no Dallas social butterfly should miss in fall 2022. Philanthropic Dallasites are ready to flex some fundraising muscle again, if this season's schedule of glamorous galas is any indication. For the first time since the onset of the pandemic, fall is filled with black-tie balls and benefits. Here are 11 not to miss.

3. Newest bar on Dallas' Henderson Ave: A South Texas-style ice house. A new ice-house-style restaurant and bar has sprung up on Dallas' Henderson Avenue. Called Willie D's, it's said to pay homage to a classic South Texas icehouse, but with an elevated twist, of course. It opened on Friday, September 9.

4. These are the 17 hottest concerts rocking Dallas-Fort Worth in September. If you thought there were a lot of concerts to choose from in summer, just wait until you see what's in store for the last four months of the year. Here are some of the most-anticipated concerts taking place in September.

5. 3 Dallas-Fort Worth universities make the grade on list of top Texas schools for 2022. Back-to-school time means back-to-college-rankings time, and here they are. Neighborhood review site Niche.com has just released this year's college rankings, and three Dallas-Fort Worth universities have made the grade among top 10 Texas schools this year.

At long last, an H-E-B.

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At long last, an H-E-B.
Photo courtesy of Ferris Wheelers

SMU to start serving brisket from Dallas BBQ restaurant at football games

Campus News

A Dallas restaurant is going to start serving BBQ at SMU football games and sporting events.

This and That Hospitality, parent of restaurants and bars such as The Whippersnapper, Tiny Victories, Alice Dallas, and Sfuzzi, has forged a partnership with SMU Athletics. Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ, the barbecue restaurant in Dallas' Design District, will serve barbecue at home games inside Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

It begins September 10, at a game between SMU and Lamar University, when Ferris Wheelers will set up a stand inside Ford Stadium in the south end zone.

The menu will feature basics as well as rotating items, including brisket and pork sandwiches, pork belly on a stick, and mac & cheese with brisket - similar to Ferris Wheelers' State Fair-themed special menu.

They'll also establish a second station on The Boulevard, at a newly created spot called The Refill Station, where attendees can order Ferris Wheelers' food before or after the game. The Refill Station will approximate a Texas beer garden, with high-top tables set up.

Since The Refill Station is outside the stadium, it'll be open to non-game attendees, as well.

Ferris Wheelers, which won a CultureMap Tastemaker Award in 2018 for Best New Restaurant, will also serve BBQ at SMU basketball games starting in November.

The arrangement establishes This & That Hospitality as the Official BBQ of SMU Athletics and The Official Post Game Destination for all SMU Sports.

Sfuzzi, the iconic Italian restaurant that This and That revived in 2021 in the former Capitol Pub space at 2401 Henderson Ave., will become the designated Post-Game Destination, with game-specific events including hosting away game viewing parties.

The partnership won't stop at football and basketball, but will extend through the spring with other sports such as tennis.

"We have a lot of customers from SMU, and wanted to keep building that relationship," say This and That co-owners Phil Schanbaum and Brandon Hays in a statement.

3 Dallas-Fort Worth universities make the grade on list of top Texas schools for 2022

Report card time

Back-to-school time means back-to-college-rankings time, and here they are.

Neighborhood review site Niche.com has just released this year's college rankings, which rely on U.S. Department of Education data coupled with reviews from current students, alumni, and parents to judge American colleges on 12 factors, including academics, campus, dorm life, and professors.

In results that look strikingly similar to last year's list, three Dallas-Fort Worth universities have made the grade among top 10 Texas schools this year.

Southern Methodist University came in at No. 4 (same as 2021), Fort Worth's Texas Christian University ranked No. 6 (same as 2021), and University of Texas at Dallas landed at No. 9 (up one spot from No. 10 in 2021).

Once again, Houston's Rice University was named the best school in Texas (and sixth best in the United States, up from No. 7 last year).

The complete top 10 in Texas (with national rankings included) looks like this:

  1. Rice University, No. 6 in U.S.
  2. University of Texas at Austin, No. 46 in the U.S. UT also ranks eighth on the list of best public colleges in the U.S. and first in Texas.
  3. Texas A&M University in College Station, No. 75 in the U.S.
  4. Southern Methodist University in Dallas, No. 82 in the U.S.
  5. Trinity University in San Antonio, No. 99 in the U.S.
  6. Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, No. 104 in the U.S.
  7. Texas Tech University in Lubbock, No. 148 in the U.S.
  8. Baylor University in Waco, No. 172 in the U.S.
  9. University of Texas at Dallas, No. 220 in the U.S.
  10. University of Houston, No. 232 in the U.S.

Proving that the Mustangs can pony up and then get down to work, SMU earned an A+ in both "Party Scene" and Academics. It also earned an A+ in Campus, A in Athletics, A- in Diversity, and A- in Value. Find the school's complete ranking here.

Crosstown rival TCU earned an A (behind SMU's A+) in Academics and Party Scene. It did, however, get an A+ for Campus, A in Athletics, A- for Diversity, and B+ for Value. Find its whole report card here.

University of Texas at Dallas' highest grade was an A, in the category of Diversity. It earned an A- in Academics and Value; B- in Campus, and a C in both Party Scene and Athletics. Complete rankings are here.

The rankings compare more than 1,000 colleges and universities across the country.

“We know that choosing where to go to college is a major life decision, and we’ve always been committed to helping students and their families make their choice with as much information as possible,” says Luke Skurman, founder and CEO of Niche. “With a mix of comprehensive data and millions of reviews, our 2023 best colleges rankings are a guide to the thousands of excellent institutions across the country.”

So, what is the best college in the United States this year? The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston holds the top spot nationally.


Landmark bar with patio & games is opening on Dallas' SMU Boulevard

SMU News

There's a new bar opening on Dallas' SMU Boulevard with patio and games galore. Called Landmark Bar & Kitchen, it's a spinoff of a successful Fort Worth bar, and it's opening on the ground floor of the Shelby Residences building at 5609 SMU Blvd., in late July.

Landmark is from One Entertainment Group, whose portfolio includes Theory Nightclub, Playground Bar, and Texas Republic; but One Entertainment founder/principal Sam Sameni felt like the Landmark Bar & Kitchen was the right concept for the space.

It'll be a relaxed concept with an enclosed patio boasting arcade and backyard games, better-than-bar food, cheap drinks, and a crazy-big TV screen measuring 130 square feet.

"We wanted to give people in the neighborhood a laid back place to hang out and have fun," Sameni says.

The space will comprise 7,000 square feet with a serious commitment to pets that includes a dog-friendly patio, dog toys, chews, and a special doggie food menu.

"We feel like we'll complement legendary bars already in the area such as Milo's Butterfingers and Barley House," he says.

The original Landmark Bar & Kitchen opened in in 2013 in Fort Worth's West Seventh area, where it's become a landmark in its neighborhood thanks to its broadly welcoming vibe and varied programming for a variety of tastes, be that karaoke, music bingo, steak night ($15 steak and loaded potato on Wednesdays), boozy brunch, and live music.

"There's always something going on, and it doesn't feel like the same thing every night," Sameni says. "We also usually offer the best happy hour in the neighborhood."

At the Dallas location, that'll mean $4 Titos, Jack, frozen drinks, and beers Monday-Fridays 4-7 pm, with a free nacho bar to sweeten the deal. (Speaking of, Landmark is offering $1 drinks during opening week; go to LandmarkBars.com and sign up to get the special.)

One Entertainment Group also owns Cutie Pies Pizza, The Yard, and Hot Chicks Chicken, which has a location right next door to the space.

Photo courtesy of University of Houston

Texas university powers up futuristic robotic device to help stroke patients

next-gen RECOVERY

Almost 800,000 people in the United States suffer from a stroke annually — and the affliction affects each patient differently. One Texas researcher has created a device that could greatly improve the lives of patients whose strokes have affected motor skills.

University of Houston engineering professor Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal developed a next-generation robotic arm that can be controlled by the user's brainwaves. The portable device uses a brain-computer interface (BCI) developed by Contreras-Vidal. Stroke patient Oswald Reedus, 66, is the first person to use a device of this kind.

Reedus lost the use of his left arm following a stroke that also caused aphasia, or difficulty speaking. While he's been able to recover his ability to speak clearly, the new exoskeleton will help rehabilitate his arm.

When strapped into the noninvasive device, the user's brain activity is translated into motor commands to power upper-limb robotics. As patients like Reedus use the device, more data is collected to improve the experience.

“If I can pass along anything to help a stroke person’s life, I will do it. For me it’s my purpose in life now,” says Reedus in a news release from UH. His mother and younger brother both died of strokes, and Reedus is set on helping the device that can help other stroke patients recover.

Contreras-Vidal, a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen distinguished professor, has led his device from ideation to in-home use, like with Reedus, as well as clinical trials at TIRR Memorial Hermann. The project is funded in part from an $813,999 grant from the National Science Foundation’s newly created Division of Translational Impacts.

"Our project addresses a pressing need for accessible, safe, and effective stroke rehabilitation devices for in-clinic and at-home use for sustainable long-term therapy, a global market size expected to currently be $31 billion," Contreras-Vidal says in the release. "Unfortunately, current devices fail to engage the patients, are hard to match to their needs and capabilities, are costly to use and maintain, or are limited to clinical settings."

Dr. Gerard E. Francisco, chief medical officer and director of the Neuro Recovery Research Center at TIRR Memorial Hermann, is leading the clinical trials for the device. He's also chair and professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. He explains that TIRR's partnership with engineering schools such as the Cullen College of Engineering at UH and others around the nation is strategic.

“This is truly exciting because what we know now is there are so many ways we can induce neuroplasticity or how we can boost recovery,” says Francisco in the release. “That collaboration is going to give birth to many of these groundbreaking technologies and innovations we can offer our patients.”


This story originally ran on our sister site InnovationMap.

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Elegant new coffee shop from Dallas influencer blooms in Garland

Coffee News

There's a cool new coffee shop in Garland, opened by a Dallas influencer and her family. Called Bloom Café, it's in a small center just north of George Bush Turnpike, at 1815 Campbell Rd., where it's doing coffees, breakfast goods, and desserts.

Bloom is owned and operated by Saria Almaktabi, famous for her Dallas Food Wanderer Instagram page, and her entire family.

A UTD graduate who now works in healthcare management, she and her family have lived in the area for more than 20 years, which is how she knew it was missing a boutique coffee shop.

"I was hoping that somebody would open something different beyond a chain coffee shop, it was always on my mind," she says. "It ended up being us."

They serve coffee from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters and have a selection of innovative signature drinks that include:

  • Bloom Latte: rose, vanilla, espresso, milk
  • Dreamy Latte: vanilla, espresso, milk, cream, and caramel drizzle
  • Judy Moody Latte: toffee crunch, caramel, espresso milk
  • Pistachio Latte: Pistachio, espresso, milk

They rotate in seasonal drinks such as peppermint hot chocolate and pumpkin latte. Almond and oat milk are available as alternative options for an extra charge.

They also offer baked goods including croissants, muffins, pumpkin bread, chocolate-chip cookies, cranberry & blueberry scones, Danishes, and cake pops from New York Bagel and Bakery, also family-owned.

Eventually, they'll expand the menu, adding specialty teas and chai, plus gluten-free and savory food items.

Everybody in Saria’s family is involved. Her dad and brother worked on the site construction, and her siblings are baristas. Her mom and sister worked on menu and design alongside Saria.

The atmosphere is warm, elegant, open, and airy. Colors are bright and luxurious, a mix of rose, gold, and black. Tables have marble tops. The cups, done in a tasteful black, have inspirational quotes.

Beyond meeting the coffee needs of their neighborhood, they hope to cater to the Arab and Muslim community in North Garland, with late-night hours during Ramadan, for example.

"We're getting requests to use the space for women groups, and I'm also thinking about hosting monthly events and pop-ups," Saria says. She wants to bring events that are typically found in Dallas right to her shop.

"The drive can be too long to Dallas. I want to bring the same experiences to Garland," she says.

Dallas-Fort Worth jingles all the way to a top spot on new list of most festive U.S. places

Holiday Best

As Dallas-Fort Worth residents start to decorate their homes and view spectacular Christmas lights all around town, we might take for granted that our Yuletide cheer is one of the best in the country. In fact, one recent study names DFW the No. 2 most festive metro area in the U.S.

Is it any wonder, with blockbuster holiday displays and experiences like Lightscape, Enchant, Prairie Lights, and all the happenings in Grapevine, "the Christmas capital of Texas?" Even Hallmark Channel chose DFW as one of eight cities for its "Countdown to Christmas" pop-up.

This survey, though, was about homes and neighborhoods. Thumbtack, an app helping millions of homeowners care for their homes, compiled data from millions of home projects across all 50 states to reveal their list of the Most Festive Cities in the U.S.

The company used data from consumer requests on their platform between January 2022 to November 2022 for holiday lighting installations and removals. Basing their rankings on the relative frequency of such requests adjusted for the population of state and metropolitan areas, four Texas cities made the list, with three in the top five.

Austin was deemed most festive city of all.

The most festive cities in the U.S. based on Thumbtack’s findings are:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  3. Seattle, Washington
  4. Houston, Texas
  5. Denver, Colorado
  6. Phoenix, Arizona
  7. Atlanta, Georgia
  8. San Francisco, California
  9. Kansas City, Missouri
  10. San Antonio, Texas

According to the release, the average cost to hire a holiday lighting pro is $168-$300 and wrapping outdoor trees with holiday lights can cost $60-plus, depending on the type, shape, and height of the tree.

So, when should you book your holiday lights installation? The second to last week of November (21-27) is the most popular time of year. (Oops, better get on that.)

“Christmas light installers book very quickly once the holiday season is in gear, so plan to call and schedule your installation as early as possible,” states David Steckel, home expert at Thumbtack, in a release.

To read more about the most festive U.S. cities and a list of tips and tricks to save money on home holiday decorations this year, check out the full report at Thumbtack.

JSX launches new flights from Dallas to Cabo in time for a Feliz Navidad on the beach

Viva Mexico

Dreaming of a warm Christmas on the beach? Open the closet and dig out the bikini: JSX, the Dallas-based hop-on jet service, is introducing new flights to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and holiday cocktails in cabanas are waiting.

Nonstop international flights from Dallas to Cabo will launch Friday, December 16, with fares starting from $599 one-way. While these are considered seasonal flights, there's no end date and they're expected to run through spring, the company says.

Details are:

  • Flights between Dallas (DAL) and Cabo San Lucas (CSL) will begin Friday, December 16, 2022, and will operate Monday, Friday, and Saturday.
  • Introductory fares start at $599 one-way and include at least two checked bags (weight/size restrictions apply), complimentary onboard cocktails, and business-class legroom.
  • Customers may check in just 40 minutes before their flight from JSX’s private terminal located at 8555 Lemmon Ave., Dallas. (Note that check-in for JSX domestic flights is 20 minutes prior, but 40 minutes for international flights.)
  • Arrive at and return from Cabo San Lucas Airport (CSL), Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico at a private terminal, free of crowds and lines.

The new route comes after a successful test-run of pop-up flights to Los Cabos in spring 2021.

"We are steadfast in our commitment to easing access to vacation-worthy destinations by offering the most convenient and hassle-free travel possible,” says JSX CEO Alex Wilcox in a release. “We are thrilled to now offer a seasonal international flight service that provides an opportunity for Customers to enjoy the warm sandy beaches of Mexico this holiday season and skip long lines, unfriendly airports, and packed planes.”

JSX continues to tout its "no crowds, no lines, and no fuss" travel experience that made them especially popular during the pandemic. Dallas travelers fly out of a private terminal at Love Field and can arrive less than an hour before "hopping on" their flight. Passengers have access to valet parking, touchless check-in, Wi-Fi lounges, and speedy baggage retrieval.

The 30-seat planes will beam up to SpaceX's Starlink Wifi soon, they say, and there's a pet-friendly policy that allows small dogs and cats to fly for free.

A new partnership with United Airlines also now allows JSX travelers the opportunity to book directly through United and earn coveted United MileagePlus miles. According to a November 29 release, customers may now:

  • Book most JSX public charter seats directly on United.com via a special sales channel.
  • Earn MileagePlus miles when flying on JSX public charter flights purchased via JSX or United.

To receive mileage credit, travelers should present their MileagePlus number when they make reservations. Read more about the benefits, terms, and procedures here.

“This new partnership with United Airlines allows our Customers the opportunity to reap the rewards of flying JSX public charters with one of the most respected airlines in the world,” says Wilcox.

Founded in 2016, JSX relocated its headquarters from Irvine, California to Dallas in 2018. JSX debuted service from Love Field in June 2020, with introductory flights to Las Vegas and North Carolina, then added service to Houston and Austin, the West Texas golf resort Lajitas, Las Vegas, and special routes to Los Cabos, Mexico, Miami, and Destin, Florida.

New daily nonstop flights from Dallas to Orlando, Florida will begin December 15, and new nonstop winter-seasonal service from Dallas to Rifle/Aspen, Colorado will start December 16.

The new Cabo San Lucas flight is JSX's only regular international flight service from Dallas Love Field currently.

Customers can book tickets online at www.jsx.com, via its mobile app, or by calling 800-435-9579.