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News Bites

Fletcher’s Corny Dogs to Host Pop-Ups and Encina Will Replace Bolsa

SideDish’s weekly digest of need-to-know dining happenings in Dallas.
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Courtesy Fletcher's Original Corny Dogs Courtesy Fletcher's Original Corny Dogs

We’re bringing back SideDish’s weekly dispatch of need-to-know News Bites, from quiet closures to opening updates and everything in between, including coronavirus-related intel.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
With the State Fair of Texas sadly canceled this year, we’ll miss out many a beloved fried food. But the coronavirus isn’t stopping Fletcher’s Original Corny Dogs—the State Fair institution that it is—from sharing their breaded-and-fried treat with Dallas. They’re hosting a serious of pop-ups throughout July all over the city. Its lineup of events for this month include stops at Cane Rosso in Carrollton, Mutt’s Cantina in Uptown, Tyler Station in Oak Cliff, What’s On Tap, and Texas Ale Project.

Former Bolsa Chef Will Open Encina in Its Place
After a decade-plus run, Bolsa closed in January. The space formerly home to the Oak Cliff farm-to-table pioneer will soon house Encina—and some familiar faces. Former Bolsa chef Matt Balke will helm Encina with his life partner and front-of-house restaurant vet Corey McCombs (an alum of FT33 and Stephan Pyles’ Flora Street). The duo will open Encina (Spanish for Holm Oak, connecting to Balke’s hometown roots in Uvalde), a “warm and inviting neighborhood restaurant” at 614 West Davis Street. The food will skew New American, with cocktails, wine and beer influenced by Texas, California, and the South. It should open later this summer, perhaps early fall.

The Loan Star State
The federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program recently released who received some of its largest loans. At least a dozen restaurant groups landed loan amounts that ranged from $5 million to $10 million. Those include Apple Texas Restaurants (which operates around 43 Applebee’s throughout Texas, plus shopping centers, and other real estate), Plano-based Zoe’s Kitchen (around 20 Texas locations, but over 200 across the U.S.), Irving-based Pei Wei Asian Diner restaurant chain, TGI Friday’s, M Crowd Restaurant Group (Mi Cocina, Taco Diner, The Mercury), Local Favorite Restaurant Group (behind El Fenix, Meso Maya, and others), Hielan Restaurant Group based in McKinney (franchises Chili’s), and the Saxton Group behind the prolific McAlister’s Delis. Of course smaller loans went to smaller companies. Out of the 52,150 loans Texas received, more than 6,300 Texas companies received loans greater than $1 million. And restaurants accounted for at least 3,600 of those 52,150 loans worth more than $150,000.

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An extended patio at Encina in Oak Cliff
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