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Photo courtesy of Sabal

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 designer launches uplifting swimwear for women with itty bitty fit issue. Highland Park native and TCU grad Hartley Lynn launched SABAL, a new brand of swimwear for women with smaller chests, on August 22. Designed for AA to C cups, SABAL swimsuits are specially designed to retain their shape and feel in and out of the water. The line currently includes two bikini top styles and two bottom piece styles, plus one style of one-pieces.

2. Kroger reboots in Frisco just in time for great supermarket battle of 2022. The supermarket throwdown is on in Frisco, and Kroger is readying for battle. The grocery store chain just celebrated the reopening its store at 3205 Main St. The renovation was completed in the nick of time to preempt the earth-shattering imminent arrival of H-E-B, which will open on September 21.

3. New restaurant with affordable Japanese-style comfort food warms up Plano. A new Japanese restaurant has come to Plano with a unique and authentic approach to dining. Called Tokyo Shokudo, its goal is to offer the Japanese "Teishoku" experience, said to be reminiscent of everyday dining in Tokyo. It officially opened at 4709 Parker Rd. #450 on September 15.

4. Fashionistas live la dolce vita at Ten Best Dressed Women of Dallas events. Known as the unofficial opener of fall gala season in Dallas, Crystal Charity Ball's Ten Best Dressed Women of Dallas event has become so popular that this year it was done in shifts. The traditional morning gathering at Neiman Marcus NorthPark Center was followed by an evening assembly, both of which began with a Champagne and Aperol spritz reception and finished with a daring fashion show from Dolce & Gabbana.

5. Audacious over-the-top brunch spot from the Northeast debuts in Dallas. A New England-based brunch restaurant with some crazy, over-the-top food and drink is headed for Dallas: Called The Place 2 Be, it's a small chain from Connecticut opening its first location outside of the Northeast in Dallas' Victory Park, at 2401 Victory Park Ln., the space that used to be Dibs on Victory.

SABAL currently consists of two bikini top styles and two bottom piece styles, plus one style of one-pieces.

Photo courtesy of Sabal
SABAL currently consists of two bikini top styles and two bottom piece styles, plus one style of one-pieces.
Photo courtesy of Dwell with Dignity

Where to shop in Dallas right now: 9 must-hit stores for September

Where to Shop Now

Dallas is back in business after a hot hiatus of a summer. The stores are bustling and the people are out shopping. Here are nine shops that you need to stop by — in person or virtually — sometime this month to escape the lingering warm temps while simultaneously stepping up your fall wardrobe.

Clover
Mary Voss has opened the latest and greatest women's boutique that is the perfect mix of contemporary and elegant. This highly selective shop features brands such as Acacia, AGolde, American Vintage, Koch, Place Nationale, and S/W/F. If you aren't able to pop in to the store, call or text them to purchase something that caught your eye from the store's very active Instagram account.

Dwell with Dignity Thrift Studio
Want to pick up some seriously swoon-worthy items from your home that are already approved by some of the hottest designers in town? Shop the charitable Dwell with Dignity Thrift Studio now through September 24. The store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am-5 pm, in the Dallas Design District, 1506 Market Center Blvd. This year's line up of designers includes Javier Burkle, The Loveliest Home, Todd Fiscus, and more, and inventory gets replenished regularly. Read more about the Thrift Studio's mission here.

Jack Mason
Dallas' West Village recently welcomed a new watch boutique that features a full-size watch bar where the owners will walk you through the entire collection and provide a personalized watch-fitting experience. Regardless of your budget or your preference in style, this brand has something that will get you telling time in sophisticated style.

Luxury Lab Pop-Up at Galleria Dallas
Join one of Dallas' favorite North Dallas shopping destinations for a pop-up featuring more than a dozen of Mexico's top designers and artisans. The event is set for September 22-25 on level one across from Gucci. LuxuryLab Global, which is thought by many to be one of the most important travel summits in Latin America, is popping up in time to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and will be marked by a special VIP event on Thursday. Meet the designers and shop Friday-Sunday from 12-6 pm.

SABAL
Highland Park native and TCU grad Hartley Lynn launched SABAL, a new brand of swimwear for women with smaller chests, on August 22. Designed for AA to C cups, SABAL swimsuits are specially designed to retain their shape and feel in and out of the water. The line currently includes two bikini top styles and two bottom piece styles, plus one style of one-pieces. Read more about the designer and brand here.

Sarah Flint
After serious success at a Dallas pop-up last year, this fashionable shoe brand opened a permanent boutique on level two of NorthPark Center, between Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. The Dallas location marks Sarah Flint's second permanent storefront opening behind its store in Nashville. This brand is booming in Dallas because it doesn't make women choose between style and comfort. The best of both worlds? Yes, we'll take two.

Sette
Dallas-born designer (and Highland Park High School grad) Monica Millington created a new loungewear brand that, she hopes, will provide an ethical alternative to fast fashion while playing on millennial nostalgia. It's a line of sustainable, unisex loungewear that officially launched online August 27. Millington was inspired by the wildly popular Juicy Couture sweatpants and track suits of the early 2000s, which have been making a comeback. Read more about the designer and brand here.

Do not confuse it with...

Sette Collective
It's finally time to shop the Dallas-based activewear destination offering a refreshing selection of sporty sets. Co-founders Jodi Pratt and Melissa Pastora believe that the clothing people wear impacts the way they feel. They saw a need for a space that offered fashionable, flattering, and functional styles that instantly boost confidence. Shop the collection here and hit their West Village pop-up store at 4438 McKinney St. #200, from September 15-25.

St. John
This brand built on the art of executing simple, elegant, and versatile knit dresses has opened a beautiful new boutique on level one of NorthPark Center between Neiman Marcus and Dillard's. The boutique features dresses, suiting, separates, evening and even accessories. This is the only location of St. John in North Texas.

The charitable Dwell with Dignity Thrift Studio runs through September 24.

Photo courtesy of Dwell with Dignity
The charitable Dwell with Dignity Thrift Studio runs through September 24.
Photo courtesy of Sabal

Dallas designer launches uplifting swimwear for women with itty bitty fit issue

Making a splash

Growing up in Dallas, where she spent summers at the University Park Elementary School pool, Hartley Lynn basically lived in a swimsuit. As she grew older, she continued spending summers in the sun and in the pool, but she could never find well-fitting swimsuits that made her feel confident, fun, and feminine.

So Lynn, now 31, a Highland Park High School and TCU graduate, took it upon herself to create form-flattering swimwear for women like her. Her new brand, SABAL, launched August 22 and is aimed at women with smaller chests, from AA to C cups.

SABAL currently consists of two bikini top styles and two bottom piece styles, plus one style of one-pieces. The company also sells swim cover-ups, scrunchies, hair clips, sunscreen, and sheet masks. Prices range from $30 to $98.

As a self-proclaimed member of the “Itty Bitty Titty Committee,” Lynn wanted to design swimsuits that wouldn’t “fake it” but simply enhance what she had without lumpy padding or inserts. Lynn says she shopped everywhere looking for the perfect fit and found a gap in the market for swimwear designed for small-chested women. There were so many brands for full busts, but none for the opposite side of the spectrum.

“I just never found bikinis that were made for me,” she says. “They were either too big, awkwardly fitting, too much padding, or just straight up unflattering.”

Before starting SABAL, Lynn considered “going under the knife” to enhance her bust, she says, but she decided she didn’t want to alter her natural body. She simply wanted swimsuits that would make her feel good about herself.

SABAL uses custom, waterproof silicone inserts to create a pushup feel without acting like a typical pushup top. Most pushups that swimsuits lose shape or become lumpy when they leave the water, but SABAL swimsuits are specially designed to retain their shape and feel in and out of the water, Lynn says.

“I really just want our customers to feel comfortable in their own skin,” Lynn says. “If [SABAL] can help any one person feel that way, then I will feel great at night going to bed.”

As for the brand’s name, Lynn says she named the line after the “small but mighty” Sabal palm tree. The first plant she and her husband planted in their Dallas home was a Sabal palm because she wanted a constant reminder of her happy place, the beach. When creating SABAL, she wanted the brand to remind customers of a happy, warm and sunny place.

Lynn says the company planned to launch at the beginning of the summer, not at the end, but she wanted to make sure she perfected the brand before launching. But she feels confident despite the late summer launch. The designer says she has already seen repeat customers in the first week of business and feels encouraged by the sales so far.

In the future, SABAL may branch into women’s active wear and lingerie, Lynn says. For now, the swimwear line is available online only, but Lynn hopes to eventually get the brand into local stores.

SABAL currently consists of two bikini top styles and two bottom piece styles, plus one style of one-pieces.

Photo courtesy of Sabal
SABAL currently consists of two bikini top styles and two bottom piece styles, plus one style of one-pieces.
Photo by Ashley Gongora

Fashionistas live la dolce vita at Ten Best Dressed Women of Dallas events

10 Best Dressed

Known as the unofficial opener of fall gala season in Dallas, Crystal Charity Ball's Ten Best Dressed Women of Dallas event has become so popular that this year it was done in shifts.

The traditional morning gathering at Neiman Marcus NorthPark Center was followed by an evening assembly, both of which began with a Champagne and Aperol spritz reception and finished with a daring fashion show from Dolce & Gabbana.

Fashion show chair Jennifer Dix joined various brand representatives to welcome the large crowds to the third floor, which had been transformed to highlight D&G's breezy blue and white summer collection and new Casa home line, which is exclusively available at this particular location until November 1.

We also got to see the designs on this year's Ten Best Dressed honorees, who — besides being incredibly stylish — have displayed impressive philanthropic chops over the past year.

Strutting the runway were Marybeth Conlon, Tiffany Divis, Monica Eastin, Libby Hegi, Kim Hext, Meredith Land, Karla McKinley, Anne McPherson, Amy Prestidge, and Kim Quinn.

This year's Hall of Fame honoree is Pat McEvoy, and the event's honorary chair Gene Jones walked on the arm of her husband, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Supporters in the crowd included Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Maria Netzer, Dana Edwards, Lara Osler, Emma Pate, Jenise Young, Lianne Bernstein, Barbie Cordier, Louise LaManna, Elva Firstenberg, Karen Pancorvo, Jordan Ramirez, Brooke Noffsinger, Taylor Angulo, Molly Ray, Amanda Markwald, Luane McWhorter, Michaela Dyer, Layne Pitzer, and Joan Eleazer.

Then it was time for a glimpse at Dolce & Gabbana's fall 2022 ready to wear collection, which sported sharp silhouettes, playful faux fur, and futuristic vibes.

A light meal leaned into the designers' Italian roots, with bottles of olive oil on each table and bruschetta, focaccia, and cannoli on the plates.

As guests departed, they were encouraged to take home a D&G candle from the new home line.

The independent nonprofit's grand finale, the Crystal Charity Ball, is set for December 3 at the Hilton Anatole.

Chaired by Susan Farris, the ball is both an opportunity for Dallasites to dress to the nines and a reason to celebrate the independent nonprofit's beneficiaries.

Since 1952, Crystal Charity Ball has distributed more than $175 million to the children of Dallas County. The 2022 fundraising goal of $7,180,555 will benefit eight beneficiaries in the areas of health, education, and social services.

The 2022 recipients include:

The Agape Clinic ($550,000)
Baylor Oral Health Foundation ($1,602,596)
Behind Every Door ($692,244)
Educational First Steps ($500,000)
Family Compass ($899,665)
Hope Supply Co. ($770,028)
Southwestern Medical Foundation for the benefit of UT Southwestern Medical Center ($960,000)
The Crystal Charity Ball 70th Anniversary Project

Amanda Markwald, Luane McWhorter

Photo by Ashley Gongora
Amanda Markwald, Luane McWhorter
Photo courtesy of Ariana Delbar

New cat cafe prowls into this week's 5 most popular 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 list here.

1. New cat cafe will prowl into East Dallas from kitty rescue group. A well-known Dallas cat rescue organization is expanding its reach with a new cat cafe. Called the Cat Café, it's from nonprofit A Voice for All Paws (AVAP), and will provide a home for rescued cats, a sanctuary for cat lovers to grab a coffee, and a place for abandoned cats to get access to veterinary care.

2. Dallas hot rod king Richard Rawlings is clearing out Gas Monkey Garage. There was a double dose of news about Dallas hot rodder Richard Rawlings this week. First came news that the Fast N' Loud reality show star and owner of Gas Monkey Garage was selling off a slew of classic cars — nearly his entire collection. Then came word that he's gearing up to open another bar-restaurant mega-venue in Dallas-Fort Worth.

3. Dallas designer serves up new sustainable loungewear brand inspired by Juicy Couture. Dallas-born designer Monica Millington is launching a new loungewear brand that, she hopes, will provide an ethical alternative to fast fashion while playing on millennial nostalgia. Called Sette, it's a line of sustainable, unisex loungewear officially launching online Saturday, August 27.

4. Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 bars with ultra-hot happy hours. Fall has (almost) arrived, and if there's one thing that a change in seasons always brings to mind, it's happy hours. This August edition of Where to Drink rounds up five new candidates with exciting happy hour programs, some with great drink specials, some with food and drink, and one that's really just all about a cheap martini at lunch.

5. Cirque du Soleil's first-ever Christmas show makes Dallas debut for 2022 holidays. 'Twas four months before Christmas and all through Dallas-Fort Worth, holiday event news was stirring — and now comes a Cirque. Cirque du Soleil’s inaugural Christmas show, "‘Twas the Night Before…" will make its North Texas debut at Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie during the 2022 holiday season.

A new cat cafe is coming to East Dallas.

Photo courtesy of Ariana Delbar
A new cat cafe is coming to East Dallas.
Photo courtesy of Monica Millington

Dallas designer serves up new sustainable loungewear brand inspired by Juicy Couture

Sette-ing new standards

Dallas-born designer Monica Millington is launching a new loungewear brand that, she hopes, will provide an ethical alternative to fast fashion while playing on millennial nostalgia. Called Sette, it's a line of sustainable, unisex loungewear officially launching online Saturday, August 27.

The brand consists of two collections: the Sweat Sette Collection (a bamboo-cotton blend crewneck pullover, sweatpant, tee, shorts, and socks) and The Towel Boy capsule collection (cabana shirt, tee, bralette, two styles of shorts, and a jogger made of Turkish toweling fabric).

Millington, 31, a Highland Park High School and Baylor University graduate, says she wanted to create a brand for current audiences that was also timeless.

“[Sette] is for someone who is looking to do great things with their life and wanna look fabulous doing it,” Millington says.

She was inspired by the wildly popular Juicy Couture sweatpants and track suits of the early 2000s, she says, which have been making a comeback. She fondly kept her own Juicy tracksuit for 15 years before it frayed apart, and now she wants to appeal to that millennial nostalgia — something wearers could “throw on and live in” and feel proud to keep in their wardrobe for a long time, she says.

Sette's pieces are casual, sporty, and comfortable, and designed to mix and match and dress up or down.

They're high quality, but also affordable, ranging from just $30 to $150.

Millington dreamed up the loungewear line during the pandemic when she, like most people, lived in loungewear daily. But she was disheartened and frustrated by the number of big brands making “crappy” clothes without sustainability in mind. She could spend more than $100 on a pair of sweatpants at a store like Zara, she says, but those sweats wouldn’t last more than a few washes without pilling or falling apart.

Splurging to spend hundreds on a pair of designer sweatpants wasn’t a good alternative because she would be afraid to spill something like spaghetti sauce on them.

“I was looking at this huge gap, thinking, ‘It’s not that hard to create something like this that’s at a reasonable price point, that’s made ethically, that’s made well, that’s made with eco-friendly materials. Why is no one else really doing this well?’” Millington says.

Sette will create garments in limited quantities with a mission to create fewer, better clothes. Each Sette garment is made from 70 percent bamboo and 30 percent cotton. Millington says she uses primarily bamboo because it’s a low-impact resource that is easy to grow and harvest ethically. When bamboo is used to make clothing, it gets softer with age without weakening — meaning it’s perfect for clothing meant to last a long time.

For each garment bought, a tree will be planted in Indonesia through the brand’s partnership with One Tree Planted, an environmental nonprofit that plants trees around the world.

As for the name, "Sette" is Italian for seven, which is Millington's lucky number, and Italy is her favorite place to vacation. Plus, the idea of the brand is that everything is part of a mix-and-matching set. The word also evokes the brand's tennis motif.

Sette loungewear is not the designer’s first foray into the fashion industry. In 2020, she launched Tropick, a men’s performance wear that got her noticed in the fashion world. Shortly after debuting Tropick, she was cast on The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition on Netflix. She was a finalist on the show, which gave her the traction to launch Sette, a brand more personal to her.

Millington now lives in Singapore with her husband, but she has returned to Dallas to launch Sette at a private event on August 24. On August 27, the line will become available online only, but Millington hopes to do some Dallas-area pop-up events and to get the brand into local stores soon; watch for updates on Instagram.

Sette is a new loungewear brand from Dallas native Monica Millington.

Photo courtesy of Monica Millington
Sette is a new loungewear brand from Dallas native Monica Millington.
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Texas hot spot hooks No. 1 ranking as best college city in America

Studies Show, Study Here

It might be a bit reductive to call Austin a college town, but that's what makes it so good. It certainly benefits from the creativity and industry of college living, but there's a lot more to do than go to gentrified lunches and cool, underground shows.

Recognizing this special balance, financial website WalletHub has declared Austin the No. 1 college city in the United States for 2023, beating out some obvious contenders like Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio.

In addition to being the best city overall, Austin also tops the large cities list, and is one of only two Texas locales represented in the top 10 of any category; the other is College Station, No. 6 on the small list.

The most represented state, perhaps not surprisingly, is Florida, with four cities in the overall top 10. The top 10 college cities for 2023, according to WalletHub, are:

1. Austin
2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
3. Orlando, Florida
4. Gainesville, Florida
5. Tampa, Florida
6. Rexburg, Idaho
7. Provo, Utah
8. Scottsdale, Arizona
9. Miami
10. Raleigh, North Carolina

And how did Austin make the grade? WalletHub looked at key metrics across three categories to determine the rankings.

Austin scored best, No. 12, in the “social environment” category, determined by metrics like students per capita; breweries, cafés, and food trucks per capita; and safety issues like vaccination and crime statistics.

Its ranking at No. 21 in the “academic & economic opportunities" category puts it in the 95th percentile, even above Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, famous for their Ivy League prevalence.

And perhaps unsurprising to those who currently reside in Austin, the Capital City ranked worst in "wallet friendliness,” at No. 204 out of 415.

Elsewhere in Texas, El Paso did well on the overall list at No. 36, followed by Houston (No. 64), Dallas (99), Fort Worth (153), and San Antonio (169).

Dallas landed well down the list in every category: wallet friendliness (226), academic & economic opportunities (168), and social environment (147).

Fort Worth fell even farther down the list in the same categories: wallet friendliness (242), academic & economic opportunities (201), and social environment (149).

Notably, cities that tend to fall lower in similar studies ranked relatively well among college towns.

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

This week in gluttony

Christmas spirit is in full swing, with all but one of this week’s events being holiday-themed. Check off pics with Santa for both the family and fur babies; take a Christmas cocktail-making class; sample holiday spirits from around the world; and stroll acres of candlelit walkways while indulging in holiday hors d’oeuvres and drinks – just to name a few. ‘Tis the season.

Tuesday, December 6

Caymus Wine Dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Decadent four-course meal features pairings with wines from award-winning Caymus. Courses include Stuffed Mushrooms with Shrimp, Rigatoni Al Forno with Chicken, Filet & Scallop Spiedino with Mashed Potatoes, and Crème Brulée, paired with Caymus wines including Cabernet Sauvignon and Conundrum Red Blend. The dinner is $75 starts at 6:30 pm. For the Dallas location, reserve here, and for Plano, reserve here.

Fontodi Wine Dinner at La Stella Cucina Verace
The Dallas Arts District Italian restaurant will host a five-course dinner paired with wines from Fontodi, a producer located in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany. Courses will include beef carpaccio, butternut squash cappellacci with brown butter and sage, porchetta di Pienza with marble potatoes, Wagyu New York strip tagliata with porcini mushroom and butternut squash, and apple crostata. Dinner begins at 7 pm and is $175 plus tax and gratuity.

Thursday, December 8

Santa Paws at Texican Court Hotel
The Irving hotel invites furry friends and their humans to pop by for photos with Santa and complimentary hot apple cider and s’mores by the fire. Santa will be available for pet photos from 5-7 pm. Also enter to win a “Pups Night Away” overnight stay. Don’t miss the hotel’s pocket tequila bar, Salt, for new holiday cocktails in jolly keepsake glassware.

Reindeer Games Bar Crawl
Here’s a holiday bar crawl that spans beyond just drink specials. Participants get their money’s worth with a night of mini golf, axe throwing, unlimited video games, a chartered “sleigh bus,” and a pizza buffet. Start at Another Round and make stops at Flashback Retro Pub, LoneStar Axe Dallas, and Sylvan Avenue Tavern. Participants will also get a beer or seltzer at each stop. Tickets are $150 per duo, and the crawl will run from 6:15-10:30 pm.

Holiday Spirits Around the World at Hotel Vin
Sample an array of global spirits during this tasting experience at Grapevine’s Hotel Vin. Spirits to be served include Montenegro Italian liqueur, The Dalmore Scottish whiskey, Komo tequila, and Horse Soldier bourbon. Each spirit will be paired with globally-inspired bites. The tasting is $50 and will begin at 7 pm.

Friday, December 9

Cocktails by Candlelight at Old City Park
Candlelight will feature more than 13 acres of holiday cheer with decorated buildings, carolers, craft vendors, and candlelit walkways in Old City Park. Its 50th edition is set to begin on December 10, but adults only can get a sneak peek the night before during Cocktails by Candlelight, which comes with heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Tickets are $100 per person or $175 per couple, and the event begins at 6 pm.

Saturday, December 10

Shaken, Not Stirred, Holiday Cocktail Class at Elm & Good
The modern American restaurant inside the Kimpton Pittman Hotel will host a holiday cocktail class great for groups looking to make spirits bright. Elm & Good’s lead mixologist Indy Acevedo-Fowler will guide guests through creating three cocktails: a cranberry margarita, peppermint espresso martini, and sangria rosa. Guests will also receive a branded take-away gift. The class is $35 and will begin at 2 pm.

Sunday, December 11

Brunch with Santa at the AC Hotel Dallas by the Galleria
Meet the big guy himself while indulging in brunch dishes during this family-friendly Sunday Funday. Tickets are $25 for adults (includes one mimosa) and $15 for kids 3-12. Children will get to meet Santa and take family photos. Brunch will run from 11:30 am-1:30 pm.

Monday, December 12

12 Days of Thompson
The Thompson Hotel Dallas will spread Christmas cheer with 12 days of daily holiday activations. The festivities start Monday with Home Alone, S’mores & Sips, a movie night with cocktails themed after the Christmas classic, a s’mores bar, and movie screening amid downtown views. The price is a $15 charitable donation. Doors opens at 5 pm with the movie to start at 6 pm. Other 12 Days of Thompson events range from a pie-baking class and cookie decorating to brunch with Santa and Holiday High Tea. See the complete calendar of events here.

Dedicated volunteers extract Spaghetti Warehouse trolley from Dallas' West End

Trolley News

Thanks to a dedicated team of conservation-minded folks, the vintage trolley from the Spaghetti Warehouse in Dallas' West End has been moved to a temporary new home: in a warehouse at Orr-Reed Architectural Co., the salvage store just south of downtown Dallas, which will provide a safe space for the vehicle while it undergoes a restoration.

A permanent home is still TBD, but Orr-Reed will be housing the trolley for at least the next 12 months.

The trolley was one of the original streetcars that ran through East Dallas nearly a century ago. It surged to fame in 2019 when Spaghetti Warehouse closed after 47 years, and the company held a giant auction of its extensive collection of memorabilia.

The streetcar got a bid from an anonymous buyer, but that buyer bailed once they encountered the difficulties of removing the trolley from the location.

The trolley was donated to the Junius Heights Historic District, a neighborhood association in Old East Dallas who wanted to save the trolley because of its role in the original streetcar program that was key to the establishment of Junius Heights.

Orr-Reed is providing the space and backup manpower for free.

"The first time it went on the auction block, I wanted to buy it because I'm obsessed with keeping the city’s history," says Orr-Reed owner Hannah Hargrove. "Dallas is known for tearing things down and replacing it with bigger and better things, but 'bigger and better' only lasts 50 years. Since we have the space, we wanted to be helpful in providing the trolley's next chapter of life."


spaghetti warehouse trolley A team unloads the Spaghetti Warehouse trolley into a warehouse at Orr-Reed.Johann Huebschmann

The move
JD Middleton, who builds out restaurants and bars for his "day job," oversaw a team of volunteers who broke the trolley down into pieces and transported it to the new location.

"My buddy JJ Velez and I saw it in the news, we both had a personal connection," Middleton says. "My grandfather drove the trolley, it's possible he drove that one, while JJ had seen it when he was a little kid, after the Christmas parade in downtown Dallas."

With another friend, Randy Lasiter, assisting, they volunteered to do it on a 100 percent volunteer basis. For the past six months, they've been going there in the early morning, before heading to their regular job sites.

"We do a lot of crazy things for customer requests, and this was right up our alley," Middleton says.

This entailed cutting the exterior into parts: removing the front and back "nose pieces," breaking down the body of the trolley into panels, then splitting up the chassis foundation — like a vertebrae that they cut up, to be reassembled by a welder.

Middleton says that Uncle Dan’s Pawn Shop donated saw blades and trailers and other equipment, as did Frida's Social Club on McKinney Avenue, who provided a big trailer and truck to haul it over to Orr-Reed.

Middleton assembled a group of friends who spent four hours on December 3, loading the trolley piece-by-piece onto trailers, then unloading it at Orr-Reed. He's also volunteered to help restore it.

"There's some rusting on the inside, it's like an old Ford Model-T that's been sitting in a garage," he says. "We'll get it sand-blasted and primed and painted, then put it back together again."

Their work is saving the Junius Heights Historic District hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"It's like an art project for us, and we're getting the opportunity to help take care of history," Middleton says. "JJ ate there when he was a little kid, and he'd like to take his kid to see it when it's finished. That’s why we're doing it."


Spaghetti Warehouse trolley Spaghetti Warehouse trolley, in pieces.Johann Huebschmann

The new home
The Junius Heights group does not yet have a permanent home for the trolley, nor a plan for how it will be managed or maintained. Details details.

For now, it resides in Orr-Reed's "dry house" — a warehouse they've used for overflow and for items that need to be kept out of the elements such as big furniture items, casement windows, and things that cannot get wet.

Hargrove and her staff built shelving and redesigned the warehouse to make it work.

"It'll definitely affect our day-to-day routine — there's a giant cumbersome trolley that's taking up space — but it’s worth it," Hargrove says. "If we hadn't done it, they would have had to spend a lot of money on storing it rather than restoring it. I'm a keeper of history, it’s my duty, although I've never done anything on this scale."

"We're not doing it for the money, we're doing it because someone has to," she says. "I feel like I'm doing the right thing."