Scott Jones Entertains the Idea of Opening Cafe Italia in Dallas Again

Scott Jones (photography by Kevin Marple)
Scott Jones (photography by Kevin Marple)

Scott Jones is a busy man. First and foremost – as the owner of Jack’s Southern Comfort – he’s been looking for a new spot that’ll solve the bad parking situation his restaurant is facing on lower Greenville. His priority is to get Jack’s reestablished in a better location. “We’re negotiating a couple different spots right now…looking down the street at Greenville, Lakewood, and Casa Linda.”

But his second biggest project these days is Cafe Italia.

You’ve heard of Cafe Italia. Nancy wrote in this post that Jones “opened Café Italia on Maple Avenue in 1984 and another location on Lovers Lane in 2002.” Neighborhood people loved the Tex-Italian spot, and when both locations were closed by 2010, everyone wore black and started mourning. The Lovers building, says Jones, had been beaten down from wear and tear. “It needed so much – a roof… It needed a lot of redo work, I offered to buy the place as a free standing location and my landlord wouldn’t sell it, and wouldn’t contribute to changes or upgrades. It was nothing I could rationalize doing. So I decided to move on.”

Cafe Italia turned into Cafe Italiano, and Jones kept working on Screen Door (now closed) and Cowtown Diner (which he sold in 2008 or 2009). But Jack’s Southern Comfort is taking up most of his time these days.

And here’s where I tell you the good news: A landlord on North Henderson Avenue recently approached Jones about re-opening another Cafe Italia.

“I loved [Cafe Italia],” says Jones. “I miss the whole restaurant. It was charming and the clientele was amazing.” Jones says he is still “entertaining the idea and nothing is final on that front,” but clearly he’s been thinking about his new Cafe Italia a lot. He says the menu will still have all the Southern-influenced Italian classics (the carbonara, spaghetti pomodoro, etc.), but it’ll also be updated with new dishes. A lot of things have happened in the culinary world, and he wants to freshen up the menu a bit.