Those who have been tracking Southern food in Dallas will perhaps find it a cruel irony that just as a new slew of spots have opened, the trend having reached peak saturation (and diners calling mediocre-fried-chicken-and-biscuit fatigue), Sissy’s Southern Bar and Kitchen, the beloved Henderson Avenue spot that started it all, should suddenly close. “But Lisa!” I hear them saying to owner Lisa Garza-Selcer, “Dallas needs you now!”
In an interview with CultureMap, Garza-Selcer cited problems with the building, which she is addressing with the landlord, without a clear sense of whether or not these will be resolvable. The lease is up for renewal. For the time being, the restaurant’s fate hangs in the balance.
Sissy’s fried chicken and Champagne were the stuff of legends, but it’s the Southern-belle charm we won’t get over soon. Recently, Southern-inspired restaurants like Matt McCallister’s recently-closed Filament approached modern-Southern sourcing with an heirloom-roots nostalgia, tracing the arc of benne seeds and heritage Delta Blues rice.
Sissy’s was different. It was Lowcountry and Mississippi Delta food with Southern charm, the kind of joie de vivre you find in lobster etouffée and bourbon balls. Where shrimp and grits and whipped potatoes reach other levels. Drink punch, wear your seersucker, and step into another era. Sissy’s offered that. Garza-Selcer’s trajectory has seen ups and downs recently, including the falling through of a project that was to be housed in LTV Tower. If Sissy’s is gone for good, it will be sorely missed.