Photo courtesy of ilume Park

Go dog, or go home. If you don’t have a four-legged friend, that’s probably the message you’re receiving, because Dallas has an ever-growing legion of dog-friendly restaurants, bars, shops, communities and activities. Spending time with your pup is always a priority — yours and his. After all, your dog never says no to cuddling, never passes on playtime or turns away from adventure.

So grab the smartphone (for snaps, of course) and your best friend’s leash and head out to experience eight exciting things to do with your dog in Dallas.

No. 1: Dog Dinner Date
The number of al fresco dining establishments has grown by leaps and bounds across the city, partly because restaurant owners and operators recognize how much humans love to bring their canine counterparts along.

As such, Bread Winners, Eatzi’s, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Ginger Man, Gloria’s, Henry’s Majestic, Twisted Root Burgers and The Quarter bar are among many area restaurants that invite dogs to dine on the outdoor patio. Bread Winners even bakes its own line of housemade dog treats called Sole Mates that you can purchase onsite. (Tip: The staff gives out samples to your pooch for free when dining there.)

No. 2: Hang Out in Harmony
All children need to be taught manners – even your canine kids. Dog trainer Art Ortiz holds training classes every fourth Saturday at Klyde Warren Park that teach you and your BFF (best furry friend) tips for building an even better relationship.

After the lesson, hang out in the park for some fun in the sun. Learn more about the free DogFit classes here.

No. 3: Sip and See
Your pup’s the cutest/cuddliest/smartest/silliest/most obedient one in the pack, and you absolutely have the right to brag about it.

Get your chance to boast and mingle with other proud parents at Mutts Cantina, where pups can strut their stuff in the off-leash dog park. (There are separate areas for large and small breeds.) And don’t forget you can enjoy a cocktail and bites while you watch.

No. 4: Let Him Eat Cake
Sprinkles Cupcakes are the definition of decadence. While you’re enjoying your favorite, your pup can too, with a selection made especially for canines. Doggy cupcakes are available in stores during business hours, or 24-7 at the cupcake ATM at the Plaza at Preston Center.

No. 5: Dog’s Perfect Dwelling
ilume Park offers the ultimate in pet-friendly living. Pups lucky enough to live in this luxury apartment community get to hang out in the bone-shaped dog pool and two off-leash play areas. ilume Park also pampers pooches with a washing/grooming studio and dog lounge, and helps owners out with pet sitting services.

Humans get the luxe treatment too — each residence offers fine finishes, great views and spacious rooms. Community amenities include a 4,000-square-foot fitness center, dry cleaning and housekeeping services, onsite handyman, and more.

No. 6: Your Own Caddy
In Dallas, leashed pups can critique your golf game by joining you on municipal courses and driving ranges. Just don’t be upset if his game is better than yours. Your dog will love watching you show off, and you’ll love the guaranteed audience. Get a list of city-run locations at Golf In Dallas.

No. 7: Join in Worship
Your pup wants to be a part of every facet of your life, so bring him (on a leash) to Sunday services at Rafter J Cowboy Church. Services take place in a covered riding area, so you don’t have to worry about formality. People and pups of all denominations are welcome. Amen.

No. 8: Yappy Hour
RAW by Canines First is an organic dog food retailer with an awesome treat bar. Bring your pal by either of its two locations to sample a wide variety of dog treats and see which goodies garner the biggest wags.

After they graze their way through various flavors — including bison, venison, duck, chicken and beef — you’ll know exactly which snacks to purchase to show your appreciation at home for a trick well done.

Do you have a favorite dog-friendly adventure? Let us know in the comments below.

Dogs and humans both feel pampered at ilume Park.

Dog drinking at a fire hydrant at ilume Park
Photo courtesy of ilume Park
Dogs and humans both feel pampered at ilume Park.
Photo by Sylvia Elzafon

The best social scene in Dallas could be happening at your apartment community

Get Social At Home

Survey suburban home owners and you’ll be surprised how many confess they don’t even know their neighbor’s last name. Neighborhood “events” may be the occasional multifamily garage sale or the driveway cocktail hour attended by a few homeowners who live on the same street. There isn’t that sense of fellowship you had when you lived in the college dorm, or the camaraderie you felt when you played a team sport.

If you’re looking for a close-knit community and opportunity to network and socialize, apartment living is king. Here are four reasons why an apartment community fosters fellowship, belonging and a sense you’re a part of something bigger than yourself.

Proximity to others
Living next door to someone doesn’t mean you’ll be best friends, but the odds of meeting like-minded people increase when you factor in density and location. Apartments are built for density, so there are many people living in a relatively small footprint. Oftentimes, people select the apartment based on a certain metro, community or even street.

The Cedar Springs area, for example, appeals to young urban professionals who gravitate to the work-live-play lifestyle. In this neighborhood, you’ll find a bevy of restaurants, bars and retail, many of which are frequented by the people who live in the area. Cedar Springs is also conveniently located near Uptown (but benefits from less noise and traffic) and is in proximity to the Dallas North Tollway and work centers.

Common area congeniality
Fitness centers, pools, green spaces and elevators give you the opportunity to meet and mingle with others. By and large, these are the amenities of apartment living, and although they are included to provide convenience and fun, common areas also help people get to know who lives down the hall.

Common areas are a place to converse, hang out and relax, and they provide residents with a go-to area for meeting up, sharing ideas, giving support and building relationships.

Onsite interests
One of the signs of an apartment community’s success is that people talk about how much fun it is to live there. A community that gets rave reviews is ilume Park, which was created for discriminating residents and their furry friends.

Here, canines are catered to. The community includes a dog walk, enclosed dog play area, bone-shaped splash pool with fire hydrant fountain, Pawspa® (which features professional groomers and grooming equipment), and dog sitting. ilume Park has mastered the art of appealing to residents’ interests with onsite amenities that transcend the expected. (There are even dog treat vending machines.)

Fun and games
Many apartment communities encourage resident activities where you can meet others who share your interests and passions. Again, ilume Park has the ideal setup.

The apartment community features a Grand Lounge that was designed to feel just like an enormous living room. Inside there are five flat-screen TVs, board games, poker table, media room and movie library; there is a complimentary happy hour every evening. Grand Lounge is designed to encourage residents to mingle and have fun.

The community also offers a complimentary brunch each month, cigar night and holiday events. You won’t find this kind of social mixer in a single-family home community.

Whether you’re looking for new activities or want to expand your inner circle, apartments are designed to foster the work-live-play lifestyle.

Whom have you met in your apartment community? Please use the space below to share your story.


To learn more about where luxury living meets your pet’s paradise on Cedar Springs, visit the ilume Park website.

ilume Park provides plenty of fun opportunities to get to know the neighbors.

CM Dallas Social at ilume
Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
ilume Park provides plenty of fun opportunities to get to know the neighbors.
Photo courtesy of ilume Park

Dog-friendly Dallas caters to Generation Rex with luxury live-play community

Dog-friendly Living

As a society of canine-obsessed humans, we spend a lot of time and cash when it comes to our dogs. Today in the United States, somewhere between 70 million to 80 million homes have at least one canine resident, according to the ASPCA.

Our dogs lead lives of loving privilege: They shop with us, dine with us, and hang out as we relax and unwind. This year, it’s estimated by American Pet Products Association that Americans will spend nearly $60 billion on products for our four-legged friends.

As the bona fide group affectionately known as Generation Rex, it’s a fact that Americans are unabashedly pet-crazy. Dallas is on board with this trend, as many retailers, restaurants and even luxury apartment communities cater to our city’s canine population.

The place for dog lovers
For those who love their furry friends, finding a home with pet-friendly amenities is often one of the strongest factors in deciding what apartment community will earn their residency. After all, they’re not just seeking an apartment complex that allows pets; they want a community that loves animals as much as they do.

All around the city, dog owners rejoiced when ilume Park® was constructed in the Cedar Springs neighborhood earlier this year. This luxury boutique apartment community was specifically designed for discriminating residents and their pets. (Or maybe it’s the other way around.) In addition to stylish design and beautiful décor, ilume Park® prioritizes canine-friendly perks, such as enclosed walking trails that wind through a 700-foot private dog walk and park that has two off-leash play areas and a bone-shaped splash lagoon created exclusively for dogs.

ilume Park® also offers a professional dog wash/groom studio and dog lounge. For people who pamper their pets, ilume Park® has it all. And for humans, plenty of details are taken care of too. From everyday wants such as a high-end gym, community lounge, media room and dry cleaning services to proximity to five-star dining and salon services, ilume Park® was built as a place for residents and their furry housemates to live, relax and indulge.

For people who adore pets, ilume Park® is not only the place to live, it’s the place to be.

Out and about
Bread Winners
is one of many restaurants around the city that allows al fresco dining with your pet at the Inwood Village and Uptown locations. Here, the servers will even bring your pet a water dish upon your request.

And if your dog has gourmet tastes, he’s in luck: Bread Winners makes and sells its own line of organic dog treats called SoleMates. Other dog-and-dine patio hot spots around town include The Quarter Bar, Henry’s Majestic, Katy Trail Ice House, Cafe Brazil (Cedar Springs), Dish and restaurant/dog park Mutts Cantina.

Canine couture
Dallas boasts an impressive array of dog-focused stores and online boutiques, including Jack & Jill Pet Market, located in Uptown, and DallasDogs.com, which features canine accessories such as sweaters, scarves and hats. Baby Bow Tie, an online retailer that initially designed and sold bow ties for children, branched out to handsome hounds by popular demand. Each bow tie has a magnetic closure to ensure a fur-friendly experience.

As more people insist on being tailed around town by their favorite companions, retailers and dining establishments have evolved to serve every customer — and that most certainly includes the tail-wagging kind.


To learn more about culturally sophisticated living options on Cedar Springs, visit the ilume Village website.

Tail-wagging residents of ilume Park have plenty of amenities to enjoy.

Dog drinking at a fire hydrant at ilume Park
Photo courtesy of ilume Park
Tail-wagging residents of ilume Park have plenty of amenities to enjoy.
Photo courtesy of ilume Park

The fabulous evolution of Dallas' Cedar Springs

Cedar Springs Evolution

Cedar Springs has been the bustling avant-garde subset of Oak Lawn affectionately known as the “gayborhood” since the 1970s. Over time, new trends have been established. Different style waltzed in. Innovation and ideas came to fruition.

Before anyone could say “fabulous,” this small but mighty community has evolved, defining a true-blue cultural shift where today, sexual orientation is a hot button of the same magnitude as, say, how many olives one prefers in a martini.

In a nutshell: The gayborhood put out the welcome mat, and it has become the place everyone wants to be.

ilume Park meets the lifestyle needs of the modern Cedar Springs, which today represents the influences of a young professional urban community.

Popular for work-live-play
Over the past decade, Cedar Springs has evolved into a coveted live-work-play community for urban professionals of all ilk. Although most of the original retailers have moved out (such as Union Jacks, which had been a clothing staple since 1971, and Buli, a cafe that closed in September), others have moved in, followed by a new demographic of buyers and discretionary income.

As Luke Crosland, developer of the neighborhood’s newest apartment community, ilume Park, puts it, “The recent influx of urban professionals to the area has created a need for the luxury they want and the services they feel they deserve. We developed ilume Park with those thoughts in mind.

“The result is a high-fashion, contemporary setting with every luxury you can think of.”

ilume Park definitely has residential amenities galore, including salon services, housekeeping, dry cleaning and onsite handyman. And for those who are crazy about canines, check this out: ilume Park provides any lifestyle service a dog owner would want — pet sitting and walking, as well as grooming services at the Pawspa® — and even has an onsite dog track with agility equipment, bone-shaped splash pool and dog-washing area.

ilume Park is located across from its sister community, ilume, a mixed-use development with dining and retail on the ground floor. Collectively, these two communities are referred to as ilume Village. The properties reflect the new demographic and scene of Cedar Springs and also help to define it.

Signs of the evolution
Proof of the area’s evolution is newcomer Cedar Springs Tap House, a sports bar offering plenty of big-screen TVs, a robust menu featuring American cuisine and craft beers on tap. As Silver Gordon, Tap House’s managing member, explains, the new bar addresses “something that is in short supply in the area.”

The sports bar has been so popular that Gordon says the team has worked hard to keep up with the volume. “It’s an absolutely beautiful neighborhood, and we have been well-received,” he reports. “Everybody’s been great. It’s a very friendly and open crowd.”

Another entrepreneur, Shane Walker, opened his floral and gift boutique, Flower Reign, two months ago and targeted Cedar Springs specifically for the great location.

“Having the store located on Cedar Springs gives me access to our existing customers in Highland Park and Turtle Creek, but it opened up a whole new window of opportunity to downtown and the Uptown community,” Walker says. “I love being surrounded by an artistic and creative community. There’s just a great energy here!”

As Cedar Springs continues to thrive as a leader in high fashion, influential art, and dining and retail, you can expect the community of ilume Park to meet the lifestyle needs of the modern Cedar Springs, which today represents the influences of a young professional urban community.

Says Crosland, “As the neighborhood continues to evolve and transform, we certainly hope that the sense of community we feel today continues into the future.”


To learn more about culturally sophisticated living options on Cedar Springs, visit the ilume Village website.

Dogs love the bone-shaped splash pool at ilume Park.

dog splash, ilume
Photo courtesy of ilume Park
Dogs love the bone-shaped splash pool at ilume Park.
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Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 best new happy hours

Where to Drink

Maybe because it's fall or maybe because we're just lucky, but it's an especially rich time right now for happy hour offerings, with five spots that have either just debuted new happy hours (or are about to debut). There's a chef take at a restaurant-bar on Greenville Avenue; a fun music bar in Bishop Arts; a chance to sneak into a upscale steakhouse in a Dallas high-rise; and a restaurant-bar overlooking a tranquil golf course in Frisco.

Here's five hot new happy hours for our latest installment of Where to Drink:

Quarter Acre
Greenville Avenue restaurant has a new “Garden Hour” happy hour program Tuesday-Friday from 5-6:30 pm on the patio or at the bar, featuring snacks, three for $11, such as the Watermelon Bite, Crispy Pork Belly with avocado whip and sour lime, Half Shell Oyster with kiwi bubbles and rosé mignonette, and Mushroom Croquette with goat cheese. Select cocktails are $8 including the Front Deck Spritz with Aperol, passionfruit, and bubbles; and Bumble Bee’s Knees with Ford’s Gin, honey, and lemon. Three bottles of wine are $40: Pierre Sparr “Brut” Cremant d’Alsace, Mahua Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2022, or Black Cottage Pinot Noir, Marlborough 2021.

Revelers Hall
New Orleans-style bar in Bishop Arts has a new summer happy hour Monday-Friday from 4-7 pm, with good deals: half-price food, $6 wines, $5 well drinks, and $4 beers. They also have live music daily, featuring a variety of genres including jazz, bebop, Cumbia, and Latin jazz. Plus indoor and outdoor seating, and now is the time of year for that.

Ryder Cup Grille
Restaurant-bar at the Omni PGA Frisco Resort — one of 13 restaurants and bars at the resort — has a new happy hour with postcard-worthy views overlooking the Fields Ranch golf courses. It's an early one, running Monday-Friday from 2-5 pm and includes some domestic beers for $6, house wines for $10, and Ranch Water for $13. Food specials include Parmesan fries ($7), a guacamole and salsa flight ($9), chicken tenders with Buffalo sauce, Deep Ellum blue cheese dressing, and ranch ($11), nachos with brisket and refried beans ($12), and Cobb salad ($12).

SER Steak & Spirits
Steakhouse on the 27th floor of the Hilton Anatole has a Social Hour Tuesday-Thursday from 5-6:30 pm with $10 cocktails, $10 wines by the glass. A new bar menu features oysters, beef tartare, and gochujang chicken, priced from $9 to $23. They also have two new cocktails: Fall Berry Bush with tequila, Chambord, lime, rosemary, and sage; and a boozy lemonade with vodka, lavender, dill, lemon juice, and soda water.

Whiskey Cake
A new $7 Social Hour begins September 26, and runs Monday-Friday 3-6 pm with cocktails like the Old Fashioned, Margarita, Daiquiri, and a CYOM (create your own martini) with vodka or gin, clean or dirty, wet or dry, shaken or stirred, with a twist of lemon or olives, all for $7. House wines are also $7 and beers are $5. A menu of bar bites includes Wagyu corn dogs, BBQ spiced pork rinds, and blue cheese kettle chips.

Famous doner kebab restaurant makes Dallas debut with location in Frisco

Kebab News

A big name in doner kebabs is coming to Dallas-Fort Worth: German Doner Kebab, famous for pioneering gourmet doner kebabs in the UK and worldwide, will open its first location in Frisco, at 12025 E. University Dr. #100.

According to a release, it'll open on September 25, with seating for 77, making it the brand’s largest North American restaurant in terms of capacity.

Doner kebabs are a street food, centered on meat cooked on a rotating vertical spit. The name comes from two Turkish words: 'Doner' meaning rotate, and 'Kebap' meaning grilled meat. It's similar to a gyro, but döner meat is made from lamb or pork, while gyros are lamb or chicken.

German Doner Kebab, abbreviated GDK, is known for its distinctive waffle bread, in which the pita-like bread is imprinted with a waffle pattern. The company opened its first restaurant in Berlin in 1989 and is headquartered in Scotland. There are now 100-plus locations across UK, Europe, and the Middle East.

They made their U.S. debut in 2021 and have locations in New Jersey, Astoria, Queens, New York, and Sugar Land, Texas, outside Houston, which opened in 2022.

Their menu features doner kebabs made with toasted waffle bread, halal meat, vegetables, and signature sauces. GDK locations have an open kitchen so you can see the food being prepared to order.

In addition to the waffle bread, you can get the doner as a wrap, a panini, or in quesadilla form. Other items include a burger topped with Doritos and cheese sauce - like chips & salsa on top of doner meat, but all inside a bun; a black bean veggie burger; spring rolls; jalapeno poppers; and fries in a quartet of options including cheese fries, flaming fries, and curry fries.

“Many Americans are familiar with gyro, shawarma, and shish kebabs, however our ‘doner kebabs’ will be a new experience in both taste and format to most," says GDK North America managing director Nigel Belton in a statement.

Secret find market in North Dallas sells exclusive Italian foodstuffs

Shopping News

There's a food market in North Dallas that's like a secret find for shoppers seeking Italian victuals.

Called Olio & Olive, it's an online gourmet store specializing in high-end Italian gastronomic products — with a retail outlet located off the beaten path at 14217 Proton Rd. It's a minimalist space, open Wednesday-Friday from 1-6 pm, featuring shelves stocked with olive oil, crackers, tomatoes, pesto, antipasti, sauces, truffle products, pasta, cheese, vinegar, olives, candy, and chocolates.

The store is a unique addition to Dallas' Italian market scene, alongside institutions Jimmy's Food Store in East Dallas and Eataly at NorthPark Center.

"We call it a showroom,” says Marco Filippi, who founded Olio & Olive in 2004 with his wife Gaia Guidi Filippi. “It is not a typical grocery store or a shopping center, but more boutique."

Olio & Olive started out as a warehouse based in California, fulfilling mail orders and servicing L.A. restaurants seeking cured meats, Italian cheeses, and other rare specialty goods. The Filippis relocated from Los Angeles to Dallas in 2014.

"We moved here for the business and to live, and I am very glad we did it," Marco says. "The cost of living there was very high and we saw a growing market in Dallas."

Marco is a native of Italy who's able to leverage his connections to European suppliers, expanding his pursuit of unique offerings by attending trade shows in Italy. Gaia, who recently founded Dallas-based interior design company Gaia G Interiors, grew up in the business: Her Italian-American family owns Guidi Marcello Ltd., a longtime import, wholesale, and Italian market in Los Angeles.

The store's allure lies in its deep bench of hard-to-find treasures: Castelvetrano olives, Caciocavallo Irpino cheese, chestnut spread, and chocolates by Caffarel.

"We get unusual requests, like someone who wanted to buy raw olives," Marco says. "Unless you have an olive tree in your backyard, you aren’t going to be able to acquire something like that."

About half of Olio & Olive’s business comes from wholesale and service to restaurants, which range from mom and pops in Venice, California to Las Vegas resorts. The other half of its commerce is online and retail, which brings one back to the on-the-ground chase for specialty cravings.

Among the top sellers on the retail side is their private-label line of fresh frozen ravioli, with fillings such as butternut squash, braised short rib, five-cheese, and mushroom.

The benefit of having a retail outlet is that customers might come in for one thing and learn about another.

“They see the products on the website and appreciate when they come here and see something unique,” he says.