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 long Labor Day weekend? Find that listhere.

1. One of Dallas' most highly rated sushi restaurants has closed. One of Dallas' top sushi restaurants is no more: Yutaka Sushi Bistro, the highly ranked sushi restaurant in Uptown Dallas, closed in August, after 17 years.

2. The second Portillo's in Texas preps hot dogs for big opening in Allen. Allen resident can hot dog it over to Portillo’s, the fast-casual restaurant concept known for Chicago street food, because the opening date for the new location in Allen at 1955 Central Expwy. is near: Thursday, September 7, at 10:30 am.

3. 3 dynamic Dallas high schools rank among top 25 in America, says U.S. News. Three Dallas high schools are continuing their A+ streak of appearances on a prestigious annual list of the country's best public high schools. One has inched closer to the very top.

4. Dallas-based JSX introduces breezy hop-on flights to the Bahamas this winter. Christmas cocktails in the Caribbean? Yes, please, Santa. Dallas-based semiprivate jet service JSX is introducing its first-ever seasonal flights to The Bahamas beginning December 14. Meaning: a few more months to make the "nice" list.

5. Restaurant in Dallas' Lakewood closes despite crowd-pleasing hours and brunch. A popular brunch spot in Dallas' Lakewood neighborhood has closed: Buzzbrews Kitchen, the local chain of diner-style restaurants that specializes in both breakfast and late-night hours, has closed its location at 5815 Live Oak St. at the intersection of Skillman.


Transit-oriented development arrives in this week's 5 most-read Dallas stories

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 listhere.

1. Dallas' largest transit-oriented development breaks ground in Carrollton. The City of Carrollton and its partners have broken ground on Eviva Trinity Mills, a mixed-use project going up at Trinity Mills Station, the train station that serves DART Light Rail's Green Line as well as Denton County's A-train commuter rail line. Eviva will be a five-story mixed-use blend of residential, retail, and restaurant spaces, with more than 430 multi-family units and live/work spaces.

2. 15 primers and tips to get your money’s worth at new Meow Wolf in Grapevine. The portal is finally open. After more than a year of build-up, the immersive art sensation Meow Wolf opened its fourth location nationwide and first in Texas at Grapevine Mills mall on Friday, July 14. Here's essential background, tips, and things to know to get the most out of your experience at Meow Wolf “The Real Unreal.”

3. Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 new cocktail specials to beat the heat. The July edition of Where to Drink has arrived in time to distract us from this relentless heat wave. If a cocktail helps take your mind off this endless string of 100-degree-plus days, then that can't be a bad thing. These five places all have new drinks or new specials or new happy hours.

4. Winding Texas Hill Country road tracks as one of the best scenic routes in America. There's nothing like the feeling of being on the wide open road and enjoying the grand beauty of the Texas Hill Country with the windows down, especially if you make it out early enough to watch the sun rise on the drive. Cycle Trader, a classifieds sites for motorcycles, named The Twisted Sisters as one of America's best routes in their recent report called "Top Destinations for Your Next Motorcycle Road Trip."

5. Dallas food explorer tries out 3 hot Korean restaurants in Carrollton. The Dallas area is well known for being home to the largest Korean American population in Texas, and one of the top five in the U.S. One fringe benefit of the bustling Korean population is the fact that DFW has dozens of Korean restaurants — particularly in Carrollton, where you can find entire shopping malls dedicated to Korean-focused goods. Here are a few to try.

Photo courtesy of Estately.com

North Texas' hottest ZIP code tops this week's 5 most-read Dallas stories

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 listhere.

1. North Texas town boasts 5th hottest ZIP code in U.S. for buyers, report says. A small town east of Dallas is a big magnet for homebuyers. Forney, in fact, boasts one of the hottest ZIP codes in the country. According to OpenDoor’s 2022 Hottest ZIP Codes in America report, Forney's 75126 was the fifth most popular ZIP code for buyers around the U.S. last year.

2. 3 surprising Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants make NY Times new best BBQ list. The New York Times has shined its spotlight on the new faces of Texas barbecue. Dallas-Fort Worth spots that make the list include Goldee’s Barbecue, Smoke ‘N Ash Barbecue, and Vaqueros Bar-B-Q.

3. This is what AI thinks a typical home in Dallas looks like. Artificial intelligence and the housing market are two hot-button topics that have been the focus of discussion in 2023. One home services provider has set out to determine what a "typical home" looks like in every state and in the nation's 30 most populated cities using an AI generator, and the results are ... interesting, to say the least.

4. Innovative New York med spa treats Dallas' Preston Hollow to Texas debut. A New York-based med spa has arrived with HydraFacials, Photo Facials, and EmSculpting to help Dallas through the sweaty, sunburned, bikini-wearing month of July. Ever/Body, a boutique cosmetic dermatology center, opened the doors to its very first Texas location, in Preston Hollow, on Friday, June 30.

5. Major vegan restaurant with celebrity ties in downtown Dallas closes. A major Dallas vegan restaurant that was a spinoff from Los Angeles has closed: Belse Restaurant, which had been serving plant-based food in downtown Dallas for more than two years, closed its doors at 1910 Pacific Ave. #1400, next to the Majestic Theatre.


Surf-themed restaurant and bar makes waves in 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. Restaurant-bar to bring big wave surfing to Dallas' landlocked Deep Ellum. Dallas has never been much of a surfing town, what with its lack of ocean or coast, but maybe that will change, thanks to a surf-themed concept coming to town. Called Goodsurf, it combines surfing with a restaurant, bar, and beer garden, and will open a location on the eastern edge of Deep Ellum at 317 S. 2nd Ave.

2. Dallas company named No. 1 employer in Texas for 2023 by Fortune magazine. Dallas-Fort Worth workers looking for their next employment opportunity might want to consider the long list of local companies that were just named the Best Workplaces in Texas for 2023 by Fortune and Great Place to Work. Dallas-based digital marketing agency PMG was named the No. 1 employer in Texas in the "small and medium" market.

3. Warm up to these 8 must-see art exhibitions in Dallas-Fort Worth for June. As the lazy days of summer approach, the frenetic pace of art festivals and exhibits quiets down a bit. But that doesn’t mean artists' voices are hushed; they’re coming through loud and clear. Art lovers ready to welcome (or seek respite from) the warmth of June should put these eight exhibits on their must-see list.

4. Elite Dallas enclave makes bank as 4th richest small town in U.S., report says. University Park packs some new prestige into its compact 3.73 square miles, ranking No. 4 on a new list of the wealthiest small towns in America. With a median income of $247,045, University Park ranked the richest small town in Texas and the fourth richest in the United States.

5. Texas' first beachfront Margaritaville Resort drifts onto South Padre Island. Dallas Parrotheads have a new coastal destination for frozen concoctions and cheeseburgers in paradise: Margaritaville has debuted its first-ever Texas beachfront resort on South Padre Island. Opened June 12, it's the second Margaritaville Resort in Texas.

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These are the 20 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

Weekend Event Planner

The first weekend in December will feature an array of holiday-themed events, from theater to music to festivals. If you're not quite ready to commit to the season, there are a few other choices, including a big comedian, a theater production that pays homage to the Harry Potter series, and a dance production.

Below are more best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, November 30

Dallas Theater Center presents A Christmas Carol
Three spirits have come to visit the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, and to take him on a fantastic journey through Christmases past, present, and future. Brimming with joyful songs, magical spirits, and holiday cheer, the holiday classic embodies a story of joy, redemption, and the spirit of Christmas. The production runs through December 30 at Wyly Theatre.

The Firehouse Theatre presents Miracle on 34th Street
Miracle on 34th Street tells the story of single mother who doesn't want her daughter's head filled with romantic notions. Their neighbor tries to woo the mother by charming her daughter and taking her to see Santa Claus at Macy's. When it turns out that Macy's Santa may, in fact, be the real Kris Kringle, a wave of love spreads across New York City that melts even the most cynical hearts. The production runs through December 17 at The Firehouse Theatre in Farmers Branch.

Bishop Arts Theatre Center presents Black Nativity
Bishop Arts Theatre Center's annual holiday production of Black Nativity, inspired by Langston Hughes's iconic 1960 Broadway show, is back with a mesmerizing display of hand-clapping, toe-tapping, and finger-snapping theatrical wonderment like never before. The production runs through December 17.

Andrea Bocelli in concert
Iconic Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform songs from his extensive repertoire, including music in honor of the holiday season. Selections will include his recent No. 1 album, A Family Christmas, his 2020 solo album, Believe, as well as a variety of arias, crossover hits, and love songs. The concert takes place at American Airlines Center.

Friday, December 1

Majestic Theatre presents Pete Davidson
Comedian Pete Davidson has seen his profile raised immensely from the time he joined Saturday Night Live in 2014. He shot his first one-hour stand-up special for Comedy Central in 2016 and was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 the same year, and was listed as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2022, the same year he left SNL. He also co-wrote and starred in the semi-autobiographical film, The King of Staten Island, and recently wrote and starred in the Peacock comedy, Bupkis. He'll perform two shows of stand-up comedy at Majestic Theatre.

Ballet Ensemble of Texas presents The Nutcracker
There's no shortage of Nutcracker productions to take in this time of year, and Ballet Ensemble of Texas will add their version to the list. Updated in 2022, the production rings in the holiday season with humor, tradition, and splendor. The production will feature Melody Mennite, principal dancer with the Houston Ballet, as guest artist, and more than 200 young dancers from the Ballet Academy of Texas. There will be four performances through Sunday at Irving Arts Center.

Garland Civic Theatre presents Puffs
Puffs gives audiences a new look at a familiar adventure from the perspective of three potential heroes just trying to make it through a magic school that proves to be very dangerous for children. Alongside them are the Puffs, a group of well-meaning, loyal outsiders with a thing for badger. Their epic journey takes the classic story to new places and reimagines what a boy wizard hero can be. The production runs through December 17 at Granville Arts Center.

Art Centre Theatre presents A Christmas Story
A Christmas Story is a beloved holiday classic that follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralphie Parker, who spends most of his time dodging a bully and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a Red Ryder air rifle. Frequently at odds with his cranky dad but comforted by his doting mother, Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact. The production runs through December 17 at Art Centre Theatre in Plano.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents Christmas Pops
The tradition of Christmas Pops continues with the Dallas Symphony Chorus performing anthems, holiday favorites, and sing-along carols. The concert features an appearance by you-know-who, a bit of snow, and the joyous music of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. There will be nine performances through December 10 at Meyerson Symphony Center, as well as Family Christmas Pops, an hour-long, family-friendly version on the next two Saturdays.

Theatre Arlington presents A Christmas Carol: The Radio Show
It’s Christmas Eve, and with the actors snowed in and unable to make it to the studios of WXMS for the live radio performance of A Christmas Carol, the sound effects person decides to take the audience through the classic tale himself. This telling is performed as a 1940s radio play with one person providing all of the characters’ voices and sound effects. The production runs through December 17 at Theatre Arlington.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre presents Black on Black
Audiences can step into a world of creativity and inspiration with Black on Black, an evening of intimate and captivating performances, all produced and choreographed by Dallas Black Dance Theatre company members. There will be performances on both Friday and Saturday at the Dallas Black Dance Theatre Studios.

Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas and Camp Death Productions presents Santa Claus vs. The Martians
Based on the 1964 infamously bad cult movie Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Santa Claus vs. The Martians recreates many of the hilariously bad acting moments and low budget props from the original film, as Martian leader Kimar kidnaps Earth's Santa Claus in order to bring happiness and laughter to the children of Mars. Opposing Kimar in his plan are Martian villain Voldar, as well as two Earth children, Billy and Betty Foster. The production runs through December 17 at Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas.

Theatre Coppell presents The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
In this hilarious tale, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids - probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won’t believe the mayhem - and the fun - when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on. The production runs through December 17 at Coppell Arts Center.

Richardson Theatre Centre presents It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
It’s a Wonderful Life is about the life of George Bailey, a generous and well-meaning man who has become too downcast and tired to continue living. It will take help from a lovable angel to show George what life would be like if he wasn’t born for George to have a change of heart and understand the true spirit of the holidays. The production runs through December 17 at Richardson Theatre Centre.

Saturday, December 2

Dallas Holiday Parade
The Dallas Holiday Parade is the city’s largest one-day, outdoor event and has become a holiday tradition for thousands of families throughout North Texas. The show-stopping parade commonly known as "The Miracle on Commerce Street" begins at Commerce and Houston, and finishes up at Dallas City Hall. After the parade, the fun will continue at Main Street Garden with a festival featuring over 20 vendors, 10 food trucks, and entertainment.

Klyde Warren Park presents Tree Lighting Celebration
Klyde Warren Park's annual Tree Lighting Celebration will feature a festive day of activities and entertainment, including photos with Santa, story time with Mrs. Claus, face painting, crafts, games, and snow flurries. The day culminates with live music from the Emerald City Band, visits from Frosty and Rudolph, and the lighting of The Mayor's Tree. Visitors can then go across the street to...

Reliant Lights Your Holidays
Reliant Lights Your Holidays will feature the illumination of hundreds of thousands of LED lights, with a holiday concert featuring The Poylphonic Spree. There will also be a Christmas-themed drone show, a wintery snow playground, kids craft area, photos with Santa, and miniature golf on the Reliant Putting Green. The event takes place at Sammons Park, outside of Winspear Opera House. (For a longer list of the best Christmas lights in the area, go here.)

The City of Carrollton presents Santa on the Square
The City of Carrollton's annual Santa on the Square features festive lights, face painting, a trackless train around the Downtown Carrollton Square, and holiday crafts. Later in the evening will be the official tree lighting ceremony and Carrollton’s 160-drone light display presented by Sky Elements Drone Shows. The event takes place in Historic Downtown Carrollton.

City of Grapevine presents Merry & Bright Christmas Drone Show
Grapevine’s Merry & Bright Christmas Drone Show takes the Christmas Capital of Texas to new heights, with a fleet of 160 drones creating Christmas magic in the sky over Main Street in front of Grapevine Main Station. There will be shows every Saturday night through December 16.

The Colony Parks & Recreation Department presents The Colony Christmas Spectacular
At the Colony Christmas Spectacular, visitors can enjoy the jolliest hits of the season. 99.9 FM will highlight holiday ballads set to a light show display which visitors can enjoy without leaving the warmth of their cars. The show will take place nightly through January 7 at the Central Fire Station in The Colony.

Dallas Theater Center presents A Christmas Carol
Photo by Jordan Fraker

Dallas Theater Center presents A Christmas Carol at Wyly Theatre through December 30.

TRE is hosting train rides with Santa to 2023 Dallas holiday parade

Holiday News

The Trinity Railway Express (TRE) is running two trains to the Dallas Christmas parade and they've recruited Santa to make an appearance.

The commuter rail service, which runs between Fort Worth and Dallas, is hosting two special train rides on Saturday, December 2, when both Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on board.

The occasion is the 2023 Dallas Holiday Parade, which takes place in downtown Dallas on December 2, starting at 9 am.

The idea is that you take the train to see the parade, and get to hang out with the Clauses along the way.

The TRE has two routes benchmarked that'll get anyone from Fort Worth or the mid-cities to the starting line in time to see the parade begin.

There are two trips where Santa will be aboard. The schedules are as follows:

TRETRE Holiday Train routesTRE

Both routes arrive in time for riders to be in position when the parade begins:

  • Train No. 3904 will be first, departing the T&P Station in downtown Fort Worth at 6:48 am, and arriving one hour later at Union Station in downtown Dallas at 7:50 am.
  • Train No. 3906 will be the second train, departing the T&P Station in downtown Fort Worth at 7:48 am, and arriving at Union Station at 8:50 am, just in time for the parade.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be walking through the train from Fort Worth to Union Station, taking pictures with riders and passing out candy canes. If they were smart, they'd be handing out nips of peppermint schnapps.

The route has stops at 10 stations between Fort Worth and Dallas, so anyone can board and get with the festivities, whether they're coming from North Richland Hills, Irving, or even DFW Airport.

Each train ride will end at Union Station in downtown Dallas, with live musical performances and promotional giveaways, as well as photo opportunities with the Claus Family.

Santa will also be on hand at Union Station from 7:30 am– 9:30 am to give out hot chocolate to riders. Santa will magically be everywhere! (Truthfully, each train will have their own Santa and Mrs. Claus, as well as a separate Santa on the platform at Union Station passing out hot chocolate.)

This is the second year for the TRE “Ride with Santa” program.

White Rhino Coffee buzzes into cool Dallas suburb with newest shop

Coffee News

An expanding coffee chain is adding a cool new Dallas-area location to its pack: White Rhino Coffee will open in Garland on Friday, December 1, according to a release.

The new shop, at 5325 N. President George Bush Hwy., Ste. 200, will be the first in Garland and the 11th location for the concept, which was founded in 2007 in Cedar Hill.

White Rhino is known for craft coffee, pastries, and Southern bistro food such as maple-glazed chicken biscuits. Their drink menu includes drip coffee, espresso shots, cold brew, lattes, Americanos, cappuccinos, matcha lattes, chai, and more.

A December debut means a chance to introduce seasonal sips, too. A full holiday-time menu will feature Peppermint Mochas, Holiday Cookie Lattes, and Caramel Apple Ciders, plus snacks like Sticky Toffee Cake and German Chocolate Whoopie Pie, the release says.

Sampling of these treats and more will be offered during a special grand opening at the Garland store on December 1. It'll be a festive event: Santa will even be on hand to take photos and greet guests, from 11 am-3 pm.

The festive cheer won't stop there. To celebrate the new store opening, free holiday cookies will be offered at all White Rhino locations on December 1, while supplies last.

In addition to being known for high-quality coffee (from its own roastery), White Rhino touts its friendly service and welcoming atmosphere; each location is tailored to the neighborhood it serves.

The company also champions its charitable initiatives, which include donating more than $1 million annually to causes supporting children, the homeless, and the hungry in the communities in which it operates, they say.

“When we launched the first White Rhino 16 years ago, we never imagined we’d be welcoming our 11th location, but here we are and we couldn’t be more pleased to share our concept with Garland,” said company founder Chris Parvin in a statement. “Our goal is always to be good neighbors in each community we operate in, and we’re looking forward to providing a hospitable spot for people to eat, drink and gather.”

It's the latest opening in the suddenly cool Dallas suburb, which is attracting buzzy new restaurants, coffee shops, and more to its newly revitalized downtown area and beyond.

The new Garland White Rhino will be open daily, 6 am-7 pm.