It's out with one Dallas entertainment district and in with a new: Hide Bar, the former Deep Ellum cocktail bar and restaurant, has reopened on Greenville Avenue, plying cocktails, a full menu of food, and something bright and early: breakfast every day at 8 am.

They're now at 1928 Greenville Ave., in the space most recently occupied by Eastside Social, and before that Nora, and way before that, Whisky Bar. (Thank god for Google Maps.)

The new space is much larger with 400 seats, a 24-seat bar, and an epic rooftop space.

Hide opened in Deep Ellum in 2017 and earned acclaim for its food and craft cocktails, but closed in June 2020 during the pandemic.

During that time, they opened an interim bar in the old Hide space called RoPo & Logan which had a Windy City theme. It has since closed, and they are out of Deep Ellum entirely.

"When COVID hit and we were shut down in Deep Ellum, we decided it was time to move," Backlund says. "Our top choice for a new location was Lower Greenville because we saw it as the safest and best entertainment district in Dallas. Fortunately an operator left the space in mid-construction when COVID hit and it became available."

Did it seem like they were under construction forever?

"The journey to get open was challenging in part due to the vagaries of the permitting process and construction during COVID," Backlund says. "We also gave the space a significant makeover, including infrastructure upgrades that were time consuming. In the end, the space is beautiful, functional and worth the time and effort."

Backlund is enthusiastic about the streetlife scene on Greenville Avenue and creating a place that's not only about drinking at night but open early in the morning, as well.

"We see an opportunity where people can connect over a cup of coffee at 10 am or a cocktail at 10 pm," he says.

The drink menu features 17 of their most popular cocktails, including an Old Fashioned served in a flask with a HIDE branded orange peel, plus 15 new creations with vodka, tequila, gin, and whiskey, something for everyone.

They've also expanded their food menu with a new selection of thin-crust pizzas including BBQ pork and a cheeseburger pizza, joining popular originals including a fried chicken sandwich, loaded tots, and a Double Cheeseburger, which is available at Happy Hour for $7, Monday-Friday 3-6 pm.

Zero Gradi

Italian gelato dessert shop in downtown Dallas whips up 2 new locations

Pizza News

Award-winning Italian restaurant 400 Gradi, founded in Melbourne, Australia by famed chef Johnny Di Francesco, is expanding its DFW presence with a second location, plus two new locations of its acclaimed dessert shop/gelateria Zero Gradi.

The restaurant will open in McKinney, at District 121, a $250 million mixed-use development at the northeast corner of State Highway 121 and Alma Road, adjacent to Craig Ranch.

The original 400 Gradi is in downtown Dallas. Di Francesco -- a regular on Australian TV shows such as MasterChef Australia, The Mentor, and Everyday Gourmet -- opened the restaurant at the 2000 Ross Ave. building in 2019, also the first in the U.S.

Its authentic, Neapolitan-style ingredients such as San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, and flour imported from Italy, earned not only a loyal following but an award for best pizza in CultureMap's annual Tastemaker Awards in 2022.

I mean, consider the Suprema pizza with fior di latte, pumpkin, arugula, pine nuts, and goat cheese. What is not to like.

Dessert expansion
In 2021, they opened a sweet spinoff next door to their downtown restaurant: Zero Gradi, with espresso, Italian-inspired pastries, and a gelateria with traditional gelato and sorbetto.

Now there will be two more Zero Gradis:

  • McKinney, also at District 121, at 6107 Alma Rd. in McKinney, adjoining 400 Gradi, just like the original in Dallas.
  • Frisco, at the Shops at Starwood, at 6975 Lebanon Rd. #307, in a former jewelry and perfume shop called Trends. This location will be a standalone shop.

400 Gradi principal Igor Stevovic says that the expansion north was prompted by demand from customers. That included David Craig, founder of District 121, who encouraged them to join the lineup at Craig Ranch, his mixed-use development at SH-121 and Alma Road.

"It was a natural expansion because we saw many customers coming from that area," Stevovic says. "These were people traveling 30 minutes to downtown Dallas."

However, their goal is not to have a 400 Gradi on every block.

"We care about producing high quality food from scratch, with hand made pasta and pizza dough that's as authentic as possible," Stevovic says. "That's what is important to us. We're the only restaurant in the U.S. that filtrates its water to achieve same degree of softness as in Napoli."

"But we do feel like there’s an audience for a second Zero Gradi," he says. "Our gelato, pastries, and bakery products are magnificent and people downtown have shown they appreciate that tremendously."

Zero Gradi made CultureMap's list of Best Desserts for Valentine's Day 2022, where it was praised for its ice cream cakes and luscious almond croissant filled with almond custard and blueberry preserves, as well as its propensity for using pistachio nuts (instead of bottled paste) and hazelnuts from Piedmont, Italy, hailed by experts as the best hazelnuts in the world.

The shop also earned a nomination in CultureMap's 2022 Tastemaker Awards for Best Pastry Chef Lizbeth "Lizzie" Ramirez.

Construction on the Frisco shop is just beginning, with a hoped-for opening by the end of the year; McKinney opens in early 2023.

"The population in Dallas is growing exponentially, with an increasingly sophisticated palate awareness," Stevovic says. "For us, that's good, since our food has an imcomparable authenticity."

Courtesy of Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza

Wood-fired pizza chain with cool pour-your-own taproom smokes into Frisco

Pizza News

A new pizza concept is making its Texas debut: Called Smokin' Oak Wood-Fired Pizza & Taproom, it's a fast-casual chain founded in Minnesota endowing Frisco with a location in a 5,000-square-foot space at the Stonebriar Mall. According to a release, it'll open in fall 2022.

Smokin' Oak specializes in pizza, with dough made in house. Their ovens reach about 900 degrees to produce pizzas in about two minutes.

But their other signature is their self-pour tap wall, with beer, wine, and cider. Diners get an RFID (radio-frequency identification) bracelet with a built-in chip that identifies the wearer. You tap your wristband against the drink of your choice to activate the tap. Pour size ranges from one to 16 ounces, allowing the opportunity to try different beverages.

According to Franchising Magazine, this self-serve model is convenient for customers who don't like waiting for refills, with up to 20 percent of their guests coming just to have a drink.

Another plus is flexibility: You can be in and out in 15 minutes or linger at the self-pour taproom as long as you like.

Their culinary profile has only the mildest hint of gourmet, with a heavy emphasis on meat. For example, their "Classic" pizza has sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, red onion, and mozzarella. Five of their 13 options have bacon.

Other pizza options include:

  • San Marino: prosciutto, goat cheese, mozzarella, spinach, garlic, crushed red pepper, crushed tomato sauce
  • Smokey Dokey: BBQ sauce, chicken, applewood bacon, red onion, cilantro, mozzarella
  • Buffalo Chicken: chicken, buffalo sauce, banana pepper, mozzarella, green onion, bleu cheese dressing, raspberry sauce

There are a couple of sandwiches and salads, and two "starters": stuffed cheese bread or garlic cheese bread.

The chain currently has five locations open, with five more in the works, including Austin, which will open in early fall, and another penciled in for Dallas, location still TBD.

Mister 01

Acclaimed Miami concept with star-shaped pizza is coming to Dallas

Pizza News

Pizza from Miami is coming to Dallas: Called Mister O1 Pizza, it's an acclaimed pizza concept from Miami Beach whose signature is pizza shaped like a star.

According to a release, it's opening in the fall at 3838 Oak Lawn Ave. #P175, in Two Turtle Creek building, in the same center as Jalisco Norte.

Mister O1 was founded in 2014 by Renato Viola, a chef and native of Italy whose so-called "extraordinary pizza" earned him a U.S. visa. (The restaurant was originally called Visa-O1 but they changed the name after Visa threatened a lawsuit for trademark infringement.)

There are currently 13 locations, including several other cities in Florida plus three international locations: two in Spain and one in Saudi Arabia.

The star-shaped crusts have pockets of ricotta within each star point and have been dubbed the most Instagrammable pizzas in Florida, which is truly an accomplishment.

Ingredients are from Italy and the dough for the crust ferments for at least 72 hours, which is what gives crust good flavor.

Their pizzas include:

  • Alessandra Jalapeño pizza (mozzarella, fresh mushrooms, jalapeño, Italian tomato sauce)
  • Star Luca (personal-size, star-shaped pizza topped with spicy Calabrese salami, mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil)
  • Coffee Paolo (gorgonzola, mozzarella, tomato sauce, honey, coffee and spicy Calabrese salami)
  • Claudio pizza (fresh burrata stracciatella cheese, tomato sauce, white truffle oil and basil)

There are 13-inch pizzas ranging from $12-$20, and 8-inch pies ranging from $7-$10.

Other dishes include Italian meats such as prosciutto, speck, mortadella, and bresaola served with focaccia bread; and calzone onju, with San Marzano sauce, mozzarella, salami Calabrese, and basil.

The bar program will include red, white, and sparkling Italian wines by the glass and bottle, as well as the Italian beer Peroni.

Mister O1 is coming to Dallas via a franchise group with extensive restaurant and franchise backgrounds that includes former Corner Bakery Cafe VP John LaBarge.

"I worked for Corner Bakery for 20 years," LaBarge says. "I never thought I'd get into pizza, until I met with Renato and had Mister O1's product."

Dallas has become a favorite market for Miami concepts in the past few years including restaurants such as Villa Azur, The Salty Donut, and Azucar Ice Cream, as well as Markowicz Gallery, which opened in the Design District in 2020.

In a statement, Viola says that they think the concept will be a great fit for Dallas. "We love the lifestyle and strong community feel here and are looking forward to being a part of it," he says.

Courtesy photo

New restaurant with pizza and martinis set for Dallas' Harwood District

Pizza News

A festively named restaurant serving pizza and martinis is coming to Dallas' busy, ever-thriving Harwood District: Called Poco Fiasco, it's the latest concept from Harwood Hospitality Group, and will open at 2828 N. Harwood St., in the fall.

According to a release, Poco will bring "elevated" Brooklyn-inspired pizza as well as a robust martini program.

Food and drink
The pizzas will consist of large, foldable slices but with a crispy outer crust; Dallas likes the crisp. Signature pies include:

  • Quattro Formaggi - mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, roasted garlic, oregano
  • The Texan - HWD brisket, house bbq sauce, cheddar, pickled red onion, ranch-cotta
  • Grandma’s Margherita - focaccia style with tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil
  • Bacon & Egg - smoked mozzarella, bacon marmalade, roasted tomatoes, cracked eggs, arugula

Starters will have a theme of "Italian with a twist" such as calamari, garlic knots, and beef tartare.

Entrees will include classics such as chicken parm, plus a variety of sandwiches such as The Italian Panino.

Cocktails will be Poco Fiasco's unique versions of classics such as a Vesper, Sidecar, Espresso Martini, and The Cosmopolitan.

There will also be a Build-Your-Own martini program where patrons can customize their drink with a wide variety of vodka, gin, vermouth and olive options to experiment with.

The restaurant will comprise a 3,332-square-foot space with seating for 68 inside and 86 on the patio. It's located on the district's quaint La Rue Perdue, near Harwood Arms and Elephant East.

The restaurant will also feature a walkup window for to-go orders with a pizza by-the-slice menu.

Harwood's interior design studio manager Melinda Clark has something to say about the decor, calling the interiors "a clash of relaxed sophistication with a rowdy elegance that continue onto the covered patio." Wow, she gives good quote.

"Just like its martinis, with every sip and every visit you'll notice something new — especially if you look up at the custom whimsical illustration," Clark says. "The unique installation perfectly ties together all the experiences within the Harwood District."

Poco Fiasco will be open this fall for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. It's the 11th concept from Harwood Hospitality Group, a big family that includes Mercat Bistro, Te Deseo, Dolce Riviera, Happiest Hour, Harwood Arms, Elephant East, Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar, Marie Gabrielle Restaurant & Gardens, The Grove at Harwood, and Magnolias: Sous Le Pont.

Photo courtesy of Cane Rosso

Dallas pizza chain Cane Rosso opens first location since heinous pandemic

Pizza News

Dallas' popular pizza chain Cane Rosso has opened a new location in North Dallas, at the revitalized Hillcrest Village neighborhood center at 6959 Arapaho Rd., with trademark elements that include Neapolitan-style pizza and a sprawling patio.

A release says that Cane Rosso founder and owner Jay Jerrier is a fan of the center, which is home to a number of other restaurants including Haystack Burgers, The Brass Tap, and a coming-soon location of the Howard Wang's chain, opening in the former Lada space.

"The landlord had a vision for this center that looked really promising, and we could feel that the surrounding neighborhoods were looking for somewhere new to go out," Jerrier says.

Hillcrest Village will be their seventh location, and fills a geographical gap between Carrollton and Frisco. (Other locations are in Deep Ellum, Lakewood, Fort Worth, and Arlington.) At 3,200 square feet, it's among their smallest, which fits with what's happening in this post-pandemic takeout world.

"We've obviously seen a huge turn towards takeout and delivery in the past couple of years, and we've built this restaurant with that in mind," Jerrier says.

The location boasts a walk-up window near the entrance where guests can place or pick up to-go orders.

Outdoor space is a big deal: The restaurant has not one but TWO patios that include a 3,000-square-foot patio with games, picnic tables, and fire pits, and a separate 800-square-foot patio with seating. Hillcrest Village also has a 1.5-acre greenspace/park.

Menu items include basics like the Margherita pizza with San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella made in-house daily, and the Honey Bastard pizza, a once off-menu specialty pizza with mozzarella, hot soppressata, bacon marmalade, and a habanero-infused honey drizzle at the end.

New menu items for the North Dallas location include one new pizza and two new pastas:

  • Straight Fire pizza, a previous pizza of the month with mozzarella, Calabrian chile béchamel, hot soppressata, mushrooms, and fresh jalapeños
  • Cavateppi Vesuvio, with sausage, peppers, red pepper pesto, kale, sugo, and parmesan cheese
  • Ziti Alla Bolognese, with brisket bolognese, ricotta, and parmesan cheese

There are also appetizers, salads, and desserts.

Discount days include Half Price Wine Nights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays where every glass and bottle of wine is half price; and Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 3-6 pm with discounts on drinks, appetizers, and select pizzas for $7-$9.

They're open now for dinner only on weekdays and full days Friday-Sunday, but will eventually open for weekday lunch.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Top-ranked high schools make the grade 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. 2 distinguished Dallas high schools sit at head of the class as Texas' best in 2022. Two campuses in Dallas have earned extra credit as the best high schools in Texas. In the latest rankings from education review website Niche, Dallas ISD’s School for the Talented & Gifted tops the list of the state’s best public high schools, and St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas leads the list of the state’s best private high schools.

2. NFL legend Terry Bradshaw's ranch north of Dallas listed for $22.5 million. An Oklahoma ranch around 70 miles north of Dallas-Fort Worth that’s owned by NFL Hall of Famer and Fox Sports analyst Terry Bradshaw is back on the market for $22.5 million. The 744-acre ranch was relisted after a deal with a would-be buyer fell through.

3. Dallas grilled cheese restaurant abruptly closes location in Oak Cliff. A Bishop Arts restaurant dedicated to making grilled cheese sandwiches has closed: The aptly named Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. closed its original location at 310 W. 7th St., after nearly eight years. According to co-owner Diana Ezzell, the closure was prompted by problems with the location.

4. Best vegan grocer in Denton relocates to market-deli space. An acclaimed market in Denton specializing in all things vegan is making a move: Mashup Market, the plant-based specialty grocer that debuted at 316 Oak St. in 2020, is closing that original location and making its new headquarters at 1302 W. Hickory St., its second location that opened in 2021.

5. Dallas man allegedly scammed $26M from Chinese real estate investors. A Dallas-area man has been charged for allegedly scamming Chinese investors out of more than $26 million in a real estate scheme. Timothy Lynch Barton, the 59-year-old president of real estate development firm JMJ and CEO of real estate investment firm Carnegie Development, has been indicted on seven counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of securities fraud.

Beto to visit Dallas college campuses following debate on TV with Abbott

Campaign News

On November 8, Texas will vote for its next governor — choosing from either incumbent Republican Greg Abbott or Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.

In anticipation, the two will participate in a debate on September 30, which takes place at 7 pm at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg. It's hosted by KXAN news anchor Britt Moreno and will feature questions from a panel of journalists.

The debate will air on Nexstar television stations which in Dallas is KDAF Channel 33; the Texas Tribune will also livestream.

It's their only scheduled debate and according to the Associated Press, Abbott conditioned his participation on the debate taking place without an audience.

"Sources tell me Abbott would only agree to face Beto with no audience in the room," said journalist Scott Braddock, in a tweet which is right here:

This will be first time Abbott and O'Rourke meet since the May 25 press conference where O’Rourke confronted Abbott after the shooting in Uvalde.

O'Rourke, who previously undertook a summer tour across Texas, holding 70 public events in more than 65 counties, is now launching a College Tour focused on young voters. It includes visits to two Dallas-area campuses, with only one open to the public, as follows:

  • Monday October 3, 10 am: Town Hall at University of North Texas, at the University of North Texas - Gateway Center Ballroom, 801 N. Texas Blvd., Denton. Open to UNT students only.
  • Monday October 3, 12:30 pm: College Tour Town Hall at Dallas College El Centro Campus, 801 Main St., Dallas. Open to the public.

During the College Tour, he'll hold more than a dozen public events at colleges and universities around the state, affording an opportunity not only for him to share his platform — reproductive freedom, reducing gun violence, raising minimum wage, legalizing marijuana — but also an opportunity to get students and young people registered before the October 11 deadline.

'Wide-awake' Dallas neighbor is 2nd best U.S city for families, says Fortune

No place like home

Fortune advises readers to not let Wylie’s “picturesque, historic downtown fool you.” And for good reason. The magazine hails the North Texas city as “a fast-growing, modern community that doesn’t skimp on the amenities.”

Thanks in large part to those amenities, Fortune puts Wylie at No. 2 on its list of the 25 best places in the U.S. for families to live. Ann Arbor, Michigan, takes the top spot.

In recognizing Wylie, the magazine cites the city’s well-above-average public schools, numerous facilities for older residents, and events such as the Bluegrass on Ballard festival and Wylie 500 Pedal Car Race.

"With its start as a stop on the Santa Fe Railway in the 1880s, Wylie has always been a gathering place," the magazine writes. "In fact, because shops stayed open late to accommodate the railway visitors and business, one of the town’s nicknames became 'Wide-Awake Wylie.' The historic downtown continues that tradition of community today..."

Fortune lists the median home price in Wylie as $399,838 and the median household income as $96,845. The booming suburb is home to nearly 60,000 residents. It now stretches across Dallas, Collin, and Rockwall counties.

To come up with its ranking, Fortune combed through mounds of data for almost 2,000 communities in the U.S.

The only other Texas city in the top 25 is the Houston suburb of Sugar Land, ranked 17th.

“Residents have a sweet spot for this Houston suburb that brings the community together through its lively downtown hub, local events, and even a ball game or two,” Fortune says.

Among other highlights, Fortune notes Sugar Land’s “outstanding schools,” the Sugar Land Space Cowboys minor-league baseball team, Sugar Land Town Square, and high-quality health care at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital.

In Sugar Land, the median home price is $399,250 and the median household income is $121,665, according to Fortune. The suburb is home to around 110,000 people.