A rendering of the forthcoming Lucky's Hot Chicken. Courtesy Vandelay Hospitality

News Bites

Nashville Hot Chicken Is Coming to East Dallas and Hand-Pulled Noodles Arrive in Plano

Your weekly digest of Dallas dining news.

Welcome to the third week of January. It’s been a dizzying start to the decade and developments in Dallas’ food and drink scene are no different. So each week, SideDish will dispatch a round-up of need-to-know News Bites, from quiet closures to opening updates and everything in between. Allow us take you away from international conflict and presidential primaries and zoom into what you need to know about where you choose to take a break from all of it. 

Ring, Ring. Hello? AT&T’s Discovery District Has a New Tenant.
With a James Beard nod and a resume of working with big-name chefs like Stephan Pyles, chef David Gilbert will helm Jaxon Texas Kitchen and Beer Garden, the latest restaurant to plot an opening at  AT&T’s Discovery District in southern portion of downtown. Jaxon will sling “modern Texas fare” (green chile brisket mac and cheese balls, tamarind pork ribs, a Texas wagyu burger) with 34 beers on tap at 311 South Akard Street. Word is Texas barbecue will also be an important component on the menu. And yes, brace your retinas because the Hospitality Alliance project will have a view of that giant 104-foot-tall video board.

A New Noodle Shop Softly Opens in Plano
Uncle Zhou, a restaurant that specializes in Henan cuisine from Central China, originally hails from New York City. But in 2018 owner Quan Zhou shuttered his Queens eatery and decamped to Texas to be closer to family, he told Dallas Morning News last month. Now, reports Eater Dallas, Uncle Zhou has arrived in Plano (it softly opened over the weekend at 8200 Preston Road) with hand-stretched noodles, lamb dumplings, and Henanese specialties like da pan ji (literally “big tray of chicken”) in tow.

Market Matters in Oak Cliff
Royal Blue Grocery, the Austin-based chainlet with three locations in Dallas, has officially secured a fourth outpost. With an economic development loan totaling $350,000 from the city of Dallas, the store should open by the spring at 634 West Davis Street in Bishop Arts, a neighborhood with many a mart nearby. That there’s greater need elsewhere and Royal Blue isn’t the most affordable purveyor in town are among some of the reasons the proposal initially drew ire from some Council members and Oak Cliff residents, as we reported late last year. But the grocery store’s parent company P3 Holdings agreed to new requirements that flipped the support around the horseshoe, according to the Dallas Morning News. It will now offer internships, host a fundraiser for a community garden, and organize a job fair.

From Whippersnapper to Dunder Whiplin Inc. Beverage Company
No, this isn’t an elaborate Jim Halpert prank or an event that the Party Planning Committee would certainly never approve of. Leave your office and enter The Office, or at least a boozy pop-up of its likeness. The Henderson Avenue bar has indeed transformed, as it’s occasionally known to do, into a place with food and drinks based on NBC’s  popular mockumentary sitcom TV series. This entails, per the Dallas Observer, Kevin’s Famous Chili, Scott’s Tots, and cocktails  with cheeky names like That’s What She Said! The themed pop-up runs until February 15.

Forthcoming Fiery Poultry Outposts
Lucky’s Hot Chicken, a Nashville hot chicken restaurant with a sizable team behind it, should open early this year in East Dallas. The property once housed Norman Brinker’s very first restaurant when it opened back in 1964. (One of the fathers of Lucky’s building owners helmed Brinker International in the early aughts.) This year, though, chef Josh Bonee, a Nashville native who’s worked under James Beard Award winner Sean Brock (Husk) and most recently at a few Stephan Pyles spots, has been pegged to run the restaurant. The Lucky’s announcement comes after the same hospitality group’s recent debut of Drake’s Hollywood, which opened last month in the Park Cities.

The Fiesta Is Over for 19 Taco Cabanas
Fiesta Restaurant Group announced on January 13 that it’s closed 19 of its “underperforming” Taco Cabana locations, all in Texas, effectively immediately. Of those, seven are located in the Dallas area. The most notable is the location on Lower Greenville, which has served drunks for decades. Pecan Lodge is calling dibs on the famous frogs that live on top of the restaurant:

This article was updated on January 15 to reflect that Lucky’s building owners, not restaurant owners, have connections to Brinker International.

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