Welcome to SideDish’s weekly dispatch of need-to-know News Bites, from quiet closures to opening updates and everything in between, including coronavirus-related intel.
Encina Announces Opening Date
Not long after Bolsa closed earlier this year, news came of a concept to replace the Oak Cliff restaurant space: Encina. It opens on October 9. Owners Matt Balke (former executive chef at Bolsa) and Corey McCombs (a front of house vet from the Stephan Pyles empire, FT33, and more) promise a New American neighborhood restaurant, with a menu pulling inspiration from Texas, California, and, broadly, the South. That means Bar N Ranch beef cheek pastrami, black-eyed fritters, lamb and pork bratwurst with chili hominy grits, and more. In addition to the roomy dining room, Bolsa’s extended, climate-controlled patio remains outfitted for year-round dining.
The Texas Restaurant Association Is No Longer Optimistic
It didn’t appear that federal aid for restaurants was coming, and now hopes of relief funding are nearly all but dashed. Texas Restaurant Association CEO Emily Knight Williams has communicated closely with legislators on behalf of Texas restaurants since the beginning of this pandemic. The TRA even drafted and partnered with U.S. Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Dean Phillips (D-MN) to pass the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, extending a lifeline to all PPP recipients. Still, Williams tells the Dallas Morning News, “I can no longer string along our restaurants,” Knight says. “There isn’t financial relief coming.” President Donald Trump tweeted that leaders should halt relief negotiations but seemingly reversed course with another tweet that suggested he’s support another round of PPP. The future of the industry and the possibility of timely relief remains unknown.
Bars Could Possibly, Maybe Soon Open Again in Texas
Then there’s the somewhat cryptic tweet from Gov. Greg Abbott that more businesses—very possibly bars, many in the food and drink world have speculated—could reopen soon. Some Texas bar owners have sued the governor. Others have found legitimate loopholes to reopen as restaurants. But all have been fighting to be heard or somehow involved in decision making as they scramble to survive a pandemic.
Pick a Pie, Support Future Chefs
Local chefs are pushing the boundaries of pie this October to support the next generation of culinary talent. From October 12 to 25, you can bid on innovative pie masterpieces like avocado, spaghetti and meatball, and “strawberry and burnt ends” pie. These acts of pastry art are brought to you by DFW culinary stand-outs like Dean Fearing of Fearing’s, Anastacia Quiñones of José, and many others. Bidding starts at $75 and all proceeds go to FestEvents Foundation’s “Chefs of Tomorrow” scholarship program, which helps students pay for culinary educations at local institutions. Moral of the story: open your pie-hole and help young chefs. Head here to bid.