As SideDish reported earlier, Stephan Pyles will move his downtown Dallas restaurant to Craig Hall’s Arts District tower when it opens in 2015. The restaurant has been at Ross Avenue and St. Paul Street since it opened in 2006. Hall’s own company, Hall Financial Group, currently based at Hall Office Park in Frisco, also will relocate to the new building.
Hall and Pyles made the announcements today at a groundbreaking celebration held at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Hall also welcomed the building’s other tenants, UMB Bank (6,000 square feet), Jackson Walker (104,000 square feet), and KPMG (150,000 square feet). Manny Fernandez of KPMG announced the office tower’s new name: KPMG Plaza at Hall Arts.
Pyles is a close friend of the Halls, and a longtime supporter of the North Texas Food Bank, which Craig’s wife, Kathryn, helped launch in 1982. “I cooked for their wedding, and we’re still friends,” he jokes.
They had been talking about doing some kind of concept together in the new Arts District building for a number of years. When it became apparent that the building was going to open in 2015, Pyles told Hall it lined up perfectly with the lease expiration at his current space on Ross Avenue. Moving the flagship became a better option.
The new Stephan Pyles will be smaller than the original. “I have a Texas-style brasserie (Stampede 66) now, so the exciting thing about moving to Craig’s project is that we can down-scale and do a smaller, 90-seat restaurant, and offer a dining experience that you just can’t offer in a 160-seat, plus 40 on the patio restaurant,” Pyles said.
It also will pay tribute to one of his first restaurants—Routh Street Cafe, which was around from 1983-1993. Pyles said he’s often asked if he’ll ever revive the concept. “You can’t recapture that, and I don’t want to,” he said. “But you can pay homage to it, and that’s what I want to do, in terms of design and style. … It will be 30 years this fall, so I think it’s time.”
Hall first acquired the Arts District land back in 1995. The block is bordered by Ross Avenue and Leonard, Crockett, and Flora streets. The first phase was initially planned to be a 14-story office building; it was up-sized to 16 stories and, ultimately, 18 stories, as leasing progressed. It will total 450,000 square feet and include a half-acre sculpture park. Phases II and III, which will be built on an adjacent block, will add residential, hotel, and more office and retail space. (See renderings below.)
Pyles said the Arts District has been transformed since his Ross Avenue restaurant made its debut seven years ago.
“When I first opened Stephan Pyles, there was no Winspear, there was no Wyly, there were no parks,” he said. “It was a different day. I bought into the vision, and the vision is here. … The Arts district has moved the center of gravity. Craig’s project will be the center of the center, and I’m glad to be a part of that.”