Screen Door in One Arts Plaza Closes This Saturday

Big Mama’s fried chicken, collard greens, baked mac 'n' cheese, and a side of gravy (photos by Carol Shih)

Four days ago, Nancy announced that The Commissary was closed and speculated yesterday that Screen Door might be next. It turns out that she’s right. The Screen Door in One Arts Plaza is closing doors tomorrow. A few friends and I went there for lunch just to capture some Southern comfort food memories before it completely shutters down, and our waiter told us that he and the other employees found out late last night around 10 p.m. that it was official: Screen Door’s last dinner service will be at 7:50 p.m. this Saturday. They’ll open bottles of wine and say goodbye. According to the waiter, The Commissary will re-open as Ziziki’s in approximately three weeks (rather soon, it seems) and Screen Door will re-open as a French concept as part of the Lombardi family in late September early October.  (Still waiting on a call from a Lombardi spokesperson to confirm this fact.)

Free matches. Now a collector's item.

When I asked Chef David McMillan if he was sad to see Screen Door go, he shook his head no. “That’s the way it is when you have a fun economy,” he said. He’s hoping to open something closer to where he lives, either in Colleyville or Southlake.

Jump for updated news.

At the end of our goodbye meal, the waiter sadly said to us, “I’d tell you guys to come back, but we’ll be reincarnated as another restaurant.” This breaks my heart. Tons of old One Arts employees are gearing up to face the job market now, looking for a new place to work.

Update at 4:52 p.m.: Our PR contact has confirmed that Lombardi is moving into the OAP with the French and Californian “Cafe des Artistes.” See the official release below.


French Bistro to Open in Early October in Former Screen Door Location

DALLAS, TX (July 27, 2012) – Noted restaurateur, Alberto Lombardi, has announced that he will open a new restaurant, Café des Artistes, at One Arts Plaza, the signature retail, residential and office development, which anchors the east side of the Dallas Arts District. The restaurant and lounge will feature a brasserie style ambience and menu incorporating a culinary mix of French and California flavors.  The restaurant, scheduled to open early October, will occupy the former Screen Door space.

“With the opening of the City Performance Hall and the Klyde Warren Park this fall, the opportunity to open this restaurant presented itself and was one I could not turn down.  It is an exciting time for the Arts District neighborhood and I knew I had the perfect concept for the neighborhood,” said Mr. Lombardi.

With both indoor and al fresco dining, Café des Artistes will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner with additional menu offerings for Saturday and Sunday brunch.  Perfect for pre or post-theater dining, a romantic evening out, or a weekday business lunch, Café des Artistes will bring a new and unique dining option to the Dallas Arts District.

Billingsley Company partner, Lucy Billingsley states, “We are thrilled to have a long-standing and successful Dallas restaurateur family joining the mix at One Arts Plaza.  Lombardi Family Concepts is a highly-respected organization and we feel that the new concept, Café Des Artistes, will fit in perfectly with the current restaurant mix in the Arts District, giving customers yet another delicious dining option.”

Interiors will be created by Dallas designer Ron Guest who has collaborated with Mr. Lombardi on a number of Lombardi Family Concepts restaurants.

Short rib, gruyere, and horseradish sandwich with a side of greens.
Chicken liver mousse with fig preserves


  • Andrew Plock

    Sad, but glad we could eat there one last time!

  • Shamus

    It’s a shame that One Arts is meeting a similar fate as Victory Park. Someone please expalin to me how a Greek restaurant and a Franko/Cali concept will fare better than a casual burger/wine spot Chef’d by a critically acclaimed five star, former MOTC Chef (forget that he’s an asshole) and a southern kitchen that epitomizes dining in Dallas? It is clear to me (and clearly I know nothing) that the concepts are not the problem, it’s the center in which the concepts reside. How about putting a top notch wine bar there? Forget that, Dali failed. If anyone thinks that these two ‘new’ restaurants are doing anything other than filling empty retail space, we are all kidding ourselves. Desperate times lead to desperate measures. My *guess* is that there is MAJOR rent-relief involved in both of these deals. The Dallas Arts District deserves better. So do the visitors of Dallas. I honestly feel sorry for everyone involved, especially the landlord. What a mess… I would compare it to a great Jackson Pollock piece…

  • Cane Rosso is hiring if anyone is looking for a home. In particular we really need a catering/events manager, hostesses, servers and always looking for someone who can make (or wants to learn to make) pizza.

  • CapGuy

    I agree that it’s the location, not the menus. I also agree that there must be MAJOR rent adjustment.

  • Me

    I think the parking is one of the main issues. If you want to eat at One Arts, you have to pay $5 to self park or $8 to valet. There has to be something there worth the parking sticker to drive people there other than theater.

  • In hand with the new restaurants arriving at One Arts Plaza is the welcome news that the valet situation has been retooled: Lunch valet is now free, and Dinner is $5, far more equitable.

  • Carpe Diem

    How does the Dallas Arts District deserve better than two well known established restauranteurs bringing in new concepts? I’m consistently amazed at some of the asinine comments people make with no actual information about events.

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