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Photo courtesy of WRC

Beloved indie Dallas coffee shop White Rock Coffee has opened its newest location. The chain founded in 2005 by husband-and-wife Bob and Nancy Baker has softly opened its shop in Uptown Dallas at the Rosewood Court office tower.

Located at 2101 Cedar Springs Rd. #130, between Ocean Prime and Flower Child, the shop will serve coffee, pastries, lunches, and treats to tenants and the surrounding community. It'll mark its official opening on Tuesday January 31.

This is the sixth for the small chain, joining the original in Lake Highlands, plus Lakewood Express/drive-thru, Preston Royal, Preston Center, and University Park.

The company had been looking for a downtown space, and were "picky and patient to find the right fit," says Wesley Ballard, Executive Manager of Coffee Education.

They stayed true to their goal to connect each location to its neighborhood, which for Uptown meant incorporating modern, upscale details such as the walnut honeycomb hex tile bar front, quartz counter, and mid-century seating and light fixtures.

Food & drink
The coffee menu features bestsellers such as the White Rocker, a double espresso with white mocha, caramel, and steamed milk; and the Adam Bomb, a double espresso with vanilla syrup, white mocha, and cinnamon powder with steamed milk.

But exclusive to this location will be the Rosewood Blossom Latte, featuring syrup infused with rose and orange blossom tea.

For food, White Rock Coffee has a central commissary that provides food for all six stores daily. The menu includes pastries, grab-and-go salads & wraps, and breakfast sandwiches and strata with choice of sausage and vegetarian.

Two customer favorites come from Nancy’s family recipes: Texas pecan coffeecake muffin, and chicken salad with rotating flavors such as their current Spring Citrus.

Hours are 6 am-6 pm weekdays, 7 am-3 pm on Saturdays, and closed Sundays.

The Uptown shop opens in a heavily saturated coffee market. Ascension and Starbucks both have locations across the street at Crescent Court, and Magnolias Sous Le Pont in the Harwood District is just a couple of blocks away.

But the White Rock team feels confident that their emphasis on customer service will keep them in good stead.

"Our hiring process is centered on authentic people," Ballard says. "Coffee, we can teach. I’d rather train people that I enjoy being around."

Photo courtesy of Public School

Restaurant with cute school theme at Dallas' West Village closes after 7 years

School's Out

School's out at the West Village in Uptown Dallas with the sad closure of PS 214, the catchy school-themed restaurant located in the 3700M building at 3700 McKinney Ave.

Also known as Public School 214, the restaurant, which opened in early 2015 during the then-emerging craft beer trend, closed in late November, after seven years in the space. A spokesperson for Grill Concepts, the parent company, said that they were unable to come to an agreement on the lease, which was up for renewal.

Originating from Southern California, Public School 214 was part of the Grill Concepts family, which owns the Daily Grill and Grill on the Alley chains. It was a big proponent of craft beer with gastropub-style food, plus a scholastic theme manifested in elements such as the black-&-white composition notebook menus, featuring trendy dishes such as bacon cheddar tots with Sriracha ketchup, and shrimp & cheddar grits.

But the company hit a rocky patch during its time in Dallas.

Things started to take a turn when Grill Concepts' dynamic director Bob Spivak, who was still at the helm when Uptown opened, retired a year later, taking some of the driving energy with him.

Grill Concepts also got hit hard by the pandemic and was forced into a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in April 2021.

In 2017, a second DFW Public School was announced for Addison, called PS 972. But costly construction issues delayed its opening by two years, and they finally pulled the plug on that location in 2021. (It's now home to TK's Place, a comedy club.)

In addition to Public School, Grill Concepts also had another presence in Dallas: a location of its high-end Beverly Hills restaurant Grill on the Alley at Galleria Dallas, which closed in the 2021 bankruptcy fallout, after 15 years.

Darin Botelho, president of McLemmon Group, which manages the property at 3700 McKinney Ave. where PS 214 was located, says that its departure is unfortunate, but they are already in talks with a few operators.

"We're hoping to replace it with another American tavern concept," Botelho says. "It's sad because they tried to keep it open, but had so many challenges."

Two Hands

The Quad in Uptown Dallas signs on buzzy restaurant with Australian flair

Uptown News

There's an exciting new restaurant concept coming to Uptown Dallas: Called Two Hands, it draws its inspiration from Australian café culture and will open its first Dallas location at The Quad, the development at 2699 Howell St. that's undergoing a big renovation, where it will occupy one of the five retail spaces in a new office tower.

A release describes it as a casual restaurant featuring fusion cuisine, sharable plates, and "well-traveled classics." It'll be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a coffee program and full-service bar, plus indoor-outdoor dining.

It'll open in early 2024.

Two Hands was founded in 2014 (no relation to the Los Angeles-based Korean hot dog chain) by husband-and-wife Henry and Tara Roberts, who opened their first location as a coffee shop/cafe in New York. There are now six, including four in New York, one in Nashville, and one in Austin, which opened in 2020. Two more will open in 2023, in Denver and Franklin, Tennessee.

"Dallas is filled with so many unique, diverse neighborhoods, and The Quad development in Uptown is the perfect opportunity for Two Hands to enter the market,” says Henry Roberts, a native of Australia, in a statement. “Following our success in Austin, our expansion into Dallas will continue our growth in Texas and help establish our brand here."

Culinary Director and Chef Barney Hannagan follows what the release calls "a conscious approach" to health and lifestyle with bright, flavorful dishes, bold flavors, and locally sourced ingredients that vary by season and location. Being conscious is far preferable to being unconscious when you are creating a menu.

Popular items include:

  • salmon quinoa bowl with salmon, egg, turmeric quinoa, hummus, crunchy shaved veggies, avocado, cucumber, seeds, and puffed rice
  • tamarind chicken, a glazed half-chicken served with whiskey shoyu, sesame chili crunch, and ginger sauce.

Coffee options include a lavender matcha latte, while the bar will serve natural wines, local beers, and specialty cocktails.

Two Hands is the first retail lease signed at The Quad, with additional restaurant announcements anticipated by mid-2023.

Dallas-based Stream Realty is developing the a state-of-the-art office building and surrounding retail on the space formerly known as the Quadrangle, Dallas' first mixed-use development dating back to 1966. Chicago Title was the first office tenant to commit to the project in September 2022.

Amenities will include a penthouse tenant lounge and conference center, fitness studio with floor-to-ceiling windows, dedicated underground parking, bike valet, and outdoor seating and green space.

“We envision a collection of restaurants at The Quad that will engage not only the employees of our office tenants but also the thousands of residents in our neighborhood,” says Ramsey March, Executive Managing Director and Partner of Stream’s development group. “Two Hands has a devoted following in some of the country’s most sophisticated dining scenes and exemplifies the kind of offering we know will excite the Uptown market.”

Courtesy photo

Dallas chef Kent Rathbun partners on innovative restaurant on the Katy Trail

BBQ News

Dallas diners have a surprising new place to find chef Kent Rathbun: on the Katy Trail.

The acclaimed chef is holding court at a new concept called the Katy Trail Station, located in an offbeat segment on the northern edge of of the popular jogging/bicycling path. The address is 4825 Cole Ave., at Monticello, right at the 122 KT mark and a few feet south of Javier’s.

The restaurant is an unusual partnership between Rathbun and Prescott Realty Group, who wanted to bring something new for neighbors and visitors of the Katy Trail. Rathbun describes it as "a place for people to take a little break from their run or walk."

It'll open softly on October 28.

It consists of a 300-foot trailer tacked onto the back of a parking garage (owned by Prescott Realty), plus an expansive umbrella-covered patio with seating for about 30.

They'll serve breakfast and lunch, with a menu that includes:

  • breakfast tacos with choices from cheese, potatoes, sausage, brisket, and pork
  • pastries and biscuit sandwiches
  • fruits and parfaits
  • Lavazza coffee, including cold brew and nitro
  • Wagyu beef burgers
  • cilantro jalapeño grilled chicken sandwiches
  • pulled pork sandwiches
  • barbecued brisket
  • pecan smoked pork ribs
  • sides and salads

Beverages will incorporate a variety of sports drinks and flavored waters and sodas for those running and walking on the trail.

Initially, they'll be open weekends only from 11 am-4 pm, but plan to open daily from 7 am to late dinner, with an extension of the lunch menu as well as grilled steaks and seafood items. They also hope to offer catering to area businesses, and host catered parties on a soon-to-be-built deck.

Prescott Realty, which has a track record of doing interesting urban projects such as SMU Boulevard and University Crossing., owns the building at 3100 Monticello Ave. and saw a gap to be filled, says Prescott CEO Jud Pankey who approached the award-winning Rathbun about the concept.

"We looked up and saw Katy Trail and Glencoe Park across 75, but no place for breakfast, lunch, or coffee," he says. "Two Sisters Catering had shut down, and other restaurants in the area like Javier's and Chelsea Corner weren't open."

"We wanted to figure out something that would be good for building tenants and neighbors, and also for people using Katy Trail," he says. "The garage that comes with the building backs right up to the Katy Trail, so we turned it into a platform for Kent’s trailer."

Rathbun already co-owns Shinsei, Lovers Seafood & Market, and the recently-opened Dea along with his wife Tracy and partner Lynae Fearing. During the pandemic, he launched Catering by Chef Kent Rathbun and his Curbside BBQ venture, which surfaces at the Lovers Seafood parking lot at weekends. He's also set up his trailer at 4825 Cole monthly during the summer to do a test run. A portion of the current BBQ menu will be included at the Katy Trail Station.

The restaurant is part of a pilot program Pankey forged with the Dallas City Council and the Park Board to build a deck that would lead into the park. They'll donate a percentage of sales to the Friends of Katy Trail and the White Rock Conservancy.

“We're grateful to council members Paul Ridley and Paula Blackmon for their help," Pankey says. "Anybody that operates this has got to be able to give money back to the park. We could do it at other parks and generate lot of revenue."

"It's been a labor of love but I also want to be able to go down there and get a breakfast taco and a coffee," he says.

Courtesy photo

Asian chain from London Wagamama will noodle into Uptown Dallas

Uptown News

An international restaurant name specializing in Asian-inspired dishes is coming to Dallas: Wagamama is opening a location at 2601 Olive St., occupying one of two restaurant spaces on the street level of The Link at Uptown, a new 25-story office tower situated between Uptown Dallas and Victory Park.

According to a representative from the company, the goal is to open by the end of 2022.

Wagamama was founded in 1992 in London, where it built a reputation for Asian food in a vibrant, egalitarian environment. They currently have more than 200 locations in 27 countries, including six locations in the U.S.

The concept pulls flavors from Japan, China, and Korea to create a fresh take on Asian-fusion food, including noodle and rice dishes, salads, juice, tea, wine, sake, and Asian beers.

Highlights include:

  • Shiok chicken, a collaborative dish with Shu Han Lee featuring chicken marinated in turmeric, garlic, and ginger, with coconut-lemongrass rice
  • Pad thai
  • Chicken katsu curry, panko-crusted fried chicken in a signature curry sauce
  • Short rib ramen
  • Asian bao buns with pork pork belly and panko apple
  • Avant Gard'n, vegan barbecue-glazed seitan with coconut and Sriracha vegan egg, shiitake mushrooms, and asparagus, showcasing Wagamama's vegan flair
  • Steak bulgogi, marinated sirloin steak and miso-fried baby eggplant on soba noodles, with sesame-bulgogi sauce
  • Banana katsu, banana in panko breadcrumbs with salted caramel ice cream

In England, the chain has a serious commitment to plant-based eating, with about 50 percent of its menu vegan, as part of an effort to mitigate the effects of climate change, which is worsened by consumption of meat and dairy.

This is not the first time Wagamama has come to Dallas. The chain once had an outlet located at NorthPark Center, now closed.

But in 2020, Wagamama entered a partnership with Conversion Venture Capital as financial partners and Robert Cornog Jr. and Richard Flaherty as operating partners.

Cornog and Flaherty, who run the Punch Bowl Social chain, are plotting a major Wagamama expansion across the U.S., especially in the South and Southeast, the most recent opening being Atlanta, and more locations penciled in for Tampa, Florida and Arlington, Virginia.

Photo courtesy of WRC

Dallas' ultimate local coffee shop to bring indie vibe to Uptown tower

Coffee News

A coffee shop that's been firmly ensconced in East Dallas is expanding to chi-chi Uptown: White Rock Coffee, the local coffee house and roaster, will open a location at the Rosewood Court office tower, where it will serve coffee, pastries, lunches, and treats to tenants and the surrounding community.

According to a release, the shop will open in early fall 2022, at 2101 Cedar Springs Rd. #130, next to the main Rosewood Court lobby.

Rick Perdue, President of Rosewood Property, the owner of the building says that the location's audience of business, local, and international clients as well as neighbors from Uptown will give White Rock Coffee a new kind of exposure.

"White Rock Coffee has quickly become a local Dallas favorite, and we are ecstatic to add it to the other restaurants and offerings at Rosewood Court," Perdue says. "Rosewood Court's outstanding location in the heart of Uptown will be a great opportunity for White Rock Coffee to bring its coffee and treats to a larger audience."

Other restaurants and offerings at the location include healthy restaurant Flower Child and Tipsy Alchemist, the hip cocktail bar.

White Rock Coffee was founded in 2005 by Nancy and Bob Baker, who opened their first location on Memorial Day weekend in a former Church's Chicken at 10105 E. Northwest Hwy. in Lake Highlands. They've since opened a drive-thru in Lakewood, a location in Preston Hollow at 5930D Royal Ln., and also founded a coffee roasting operation called the Brew Lab, where they host informative classes on topics like how to taste coffee.

Later this summer, they're opening a shop in University Park across from SMU at 6715 Hillcrest Ave., in the former Pearl Cup Coffee space.

They've become the benchmark in Dallas for what "local coffee shop" means, as in, every time a chain opens a location, people inevitably say, "I'd rather have had a White Rock Coffee there."

They'll bring that local vibe to Rosewood Court, where their space will feature a variety of seating areas and drinks, both espresso-based and cold brew. They will also serve breakfast, lunch, and dessert, made at their commercial bakery.

"Rosewood Court is a fantastic destination for office tenants and the community alike, and we think it is a great fit for our coffee and culture," the couple says in a statement.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Nickelback's upcoming tour stop rocks 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. Juggernaut rock band Nickelback is touring summer 2023 with stop in Dallas. Nickelback is back: Canadian-born rock juggernaut Nickelback is going on tour in summer 2023 to support their new album, Get Rollin'. Called the "Get Rollin’ Tour," it'll hit 38 cities, including Dallas on July 22 at Dos Equis Pavilion.

2. Behind the wall of greenery and other Dallas restaurant must-haves. If you're a Dallas restaurant in 2023, you're nowhere without a wall of greenery. Walls covered with greenery are among the features restaurants are deploying these days to lure in diners. Food is still the official reason people go out to eat, but restaurants these days are more experience-oriented. Here are few features being rolled out at restaurants around town.

3. Affluent Dallas neighbor cashes in as the richest city in Texas for 2023. North Texans wanting a glimpse into the lives of the 1 percent won't have to travel far to get a peek. Southlake has been named the richest city in Texas for 2023 in a recent study.

4. South Polk Pizzeria in Dallas' Oak Cliff slings perfect pies in pizza desert. Dallas has plenty of pretty pizza these days — but nearly all of it is found north of I-30. So let's hear it for South Polk Pizzeria, a new shop that opened in late December in Oak Cliff, at 3939 S. Polk St #527, just off US-67 and north of Loop 12, slinging the same kind of artisanal pies that are being slung across Deep Ellum, Oak Lawn, and North Dallas.

5. 12 Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants score coveted James Beard Award nominations. The James Beard Foundation has revealed the semifinalists for its 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards. A dozen Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants have been included in both national and regional categories. Here are the nominees.

Event celebrating Dallas' Braniff Airways a must for fashion & flying buffs

Fashion News

Dallas' original hometown airline is having a moment: Braniff International will celebrate its 95th anniversary with an event that promises to be a must for fashion and airline buffs alike.

Called The Braniff Style Tour & Fashion Show, it'll take place on March 11 at the Alexander Mansion, with David Preziosi, Braniff Airways Foundation Board Member and Executive Director of Texas Historical Foundation, presenting a program on what a release calls one of the most revolutionary airlines in history.

The event will include lunch and a mini fashion show featuring Braniff’s epochal flight attendant uniforms created by haute couture fashion designers Emilio Pucci and Halston.

Braniff International began in June 1928 with a small Stinson Detroiter single-engine six-passenger airplane that flew its first flight from Oklahoma City to Tulsa. It operated as an airline until 1982.


braniff airlines stewardess Braniff Airlines flight attendants decked out in stylish uniforms.Courtesy photo

Braniff Airways is now a branding/marketing, online retail and historic airliner tour firm with a portfolio of licensing agreements worldwide. Its history has been preserved by Braniff Airways Foundation, an organization created by Richard Ben Cass, a former pilot and Braniff collector and expert whose book Braniff Airways: Flying Colors was published in 2015.

The Foundation curates the Braniff International Heritage Archives, formerly Braniff Flying Colors Collection, which contains Cass' lifetime collection, and includes original Braniff Airways Advertising Department records and archives.

The collection was founded in 1972, and has become the largest and most comprehensive collection of Braniff memorabilia that includes more than 1000 crew uniforms.

The Foundation also acts as an advocacy group for Braniff buildings in danger of demolition, including the mid-century themed Braniff Operations and Maintenance Base in conjunction with lead Flying Crown Land Group.

In 2014, they authored a nomination for the Braniff Hostess College to determine its eligibility for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The Hostess College is undergoing a complete restoration and will become a public use facility in the future.

The fashion show promises lots of stretchy fabrics and zowie colors, while the lunch menu is a fun throwback, inspired by vintage Braniff flight menu, with chicken Romanoff, a garden vegetable medley, and strawberry cheesecake.

The Braniff Style Tour & Fashion Show is March 11. Doors open at 10:30 am, with the style show beginning promptly at 11 am, and lunch at 12 pm. Tickets are $60 for "First Class" (includes lunch) and $20 for "Coach" (style show only). Tickets are available online. Proceeds benefit the restoration of the Alexander Mansion.

New play about Uvalde shooting takes the stage at DFW university

#UvaldeStrong

A TCU faculty member has written a new play called For the Love of Uvalde: A Play Inspired by the Robb Elementary School, and it's premiering January 28 both in-person on-campus and online via streaming.

Playwright Ayvaunn Penn, who is part of the Theatre TCU faculty, also wrote a play in 2020 inspired by the Botham Jean shooting by police officer Amber Guyger.

The premiere staged reading of For the Love of Uvalde promises a similar evening of art for social change, paired with a panel-led community discussion. This staged reading will feature select songs and monologues from the show.

The original play uses testimonies to explore the aftermath and varying viewpoints of the families, politicians, and medical professionals affected by the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde last May. Nineteen children and two adults were killed in the deadliest shooting ever at a Texas public school.

Panel members for the discussion include Dr. Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, TCU Chief Inclusion Officer; James McQuillen, director of Theatre for Youth at Casa Mañana; Professor Lisa Devine, UNT Theatre for Social Change professor; and Shania Tari, M.S, LMFT-A & EMDR trained.

A collaboration between Theatre TCU, TCU School of Music, and El Progreso Memorial Library in Uvalde, the event is free to attend, though tickets are required and may be reserved here. It begins at 6:30 pm at PepsiCo Recital Hall at the Mary D. and F. Howard Walsh Center for Performing Arts on the TCU campus.

El Progreso Memorial Library will also stream the event on YouTube so that community members may join and participate in the discussion and reflection.