The Mercantile and Dog House is No Longer Opening Inside Bishop Arts

About seven months ago, El Padrino, the little taco stand, was kicked out of its space in November 2012 to make room for a new Lombardi restaurant. Word came that Sarah Lombardi was opening a hot dogs and frozen custard place called the Dog House, which would’ve taken over the El Padrino space. Go Oak Cliff’s Rob Shearer said The Mercantile had the tagline of “eatery, taproom, and commons.”

But now none of that is happening. A spokesperson for the restaurant sent out a release yesterday that says, “As construction progressed on the Mercantile, a restaurant in the Bishop Arts District to be developed by Sarah Lombardi, a decision was made to cancel the plans to open the concept.  A combination of budgets and costs associated with retrofitting and renovating a historic structure was the basis for the decision.”

Will the Mercantile and Dog House find a new home? Nobody knows. All we know is that the Lombardis are abandoning their project in Oak Cliff… for now.

We also know for sure that El Padrino was removed from Bishop Arts for nothing, basically. Poor Juan Contreras. He could still be operating his taco stand in Bishop Arts right now. Instead, his building remains empty. The lot around it is empty. And that space is going to waste.

P.S. Taverna (another Lombardi restaurant) is moving next to Toulouse on Knox Street at the end of June.



  • Marcus

    Lombardi would never force a business out of a location to open a new concept that would finally open after several delays and then have to change course prematurely.



    • Carol Shih

      I don’t think so, either. I’m sure there was a good reason to abandon the project. It just sucks for El Padrino.

  • Amy

    “As construction progressed”? There was never any construction to that building…ever.

  • Andrew Plock

    Good. God.

  • Juan Contreras

    It is very unfortunate that Ms. Lombardi was not able to continue her project in Oak Cliff. I wish her the best of luck on her future endeavors.

  • JShu68

    The owner of the building was not willing to fork out the necessary renovation costs for the building.

    • Carol Shih

      Yes. I’ve heard the same thing. I don’t think this is actually a Lombardi issue.

  • botavious

    Maybe they bought the place behind cafe brazil. Its under contract.

  • Carl

    Landlords generally don’t pay to renovate buildings…that’s not how it works.
    You should have a good idea and a business plan in place to figure that out. Not sign a lease, kick another business out of its space and THEN think about how much all this will cost.

  • Mike

    Actually it is common for building owners to pay for things like finish out for new tenants. Who knows what happened here, but it’s not automatically Lombardi’s fault.

  • CRE

    You are correct MIke…it is pretty common and landlords putting money into their buildings to make property improvements is EXACTLY how it works. Carl, you have a very solid point as well…they absolutely knew what the landlord was willing to contribute and agreed to that by signing the lease document. Either they did not do their due diligence prior to signing a lease without any landlord contribution or something happened that caused them to reconsider spending that much on infrastructure improvements to convert that space to restaurant use. It is pretty well known that landlord will not put any money into her building though.