Tacos a la Chido Taco Lounge, opening in Frisco March 12. Courtesy Chido Taco Lounge

News Bites

News Bites: Restaurants Can Soon Operate at Full Capacity and Celebration Turns 50

SideDish’s weekly digest of need-to-know dining happenings in Dallas.

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.

Restaurants Can Operate at 100 Percent Capacity Next Week

From a restaurant in Lubbock on Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that businesses will be able to operate at full capacity beginning next Wednesday, March 10. “If businesses want to limit capacity, it is their business, and they can operate the way they want to,” he said, adding that “businesses don’t need the state to tell them how to operate.” This goes for restaurants and now bars, too. When Abbott allowed dining rooms to increase their capacities, some restaurants took it slow and waited to allow more diners inside. For smaller footprints, some restaurants have kept occupancy to about 50 percent or less. Also next Wednesday, he will be lifting the statewide mask mandate. That puts businesses, yet again, in the familiar quagmire of enforcing mask wearing without a statewide mandate to back them up. It also risks conflict between restaurant staff and guests, the likes of which we saw prior to the statewide mandate. 

Two Pop-Up Dinners Support AllGood Cafe This Weekend

Deep Ellum wants to ensure the neighborhood fixture at the corner of Main and South Walton sticks around for another 20 years. With that in mind, AllGood is hosting a two-night event at the cafe on March 5 and 6. Owner Mike Snider will cook alongside guest chef Brian Hennington, AllGood’s original chef-owner. Musical ambiance provided by multi-instrumentalist Paul Slavens. Tickets are $10 and include one cocktail or dessert (dinner menu is a la carte). 

Local Palatero Died in Last Month’s Winter Storms

A palatero who sold cotton candy, popsicles, and caramel apples in Deep Ellum and South Dallas has died. Leobardo Torres Sánchez, also known as the Cotton Candy Man, sold treats to passersby for years, bringing cheer with his dancing wherever he went. Money made was money sent back to his family in Mexico City (he lived in Dallas, alone). Dallas Morning News reported that he was found dead “in an armchair, covered in quilts and sitting beside two heaters that had stopped working because of power outages.” His family is now raising funds to repatriate his remains back to Mexico.

Hawaiian Bros Plots Huge DFW Expansion

The Kansas-based chain is moving into North Texas, opening 14 locations this year alone. Hawaiian Bros—founded by brothers, yes, but not specifically Hawaiian brothers, to be precise—is a fast casual concept that focuses on a dining style from Hawaii called plate lunch. It’s usually a scoop or two of white rice, a side of mac salad, and a protein such as kalua pork or barbecue chicken. Hawaiian Bros will have such food in abundance when it opens in the late spring or early summer inside a former Wendy’s at 6011 Greenville Avenue. Other locations around Fort Worth (4732 Bryant Irvin Road and 2301 N. Tarrant Pkwy), in Denton (2220 South Loop 288), and in Frisco (11560 Dallas Parkway) are also forthcoming.

Two Restaurants Celebrate Big Anniversaries This Month

Gorji, a fine dining favorite among Addison denizens, will clock 18 years of serving contemporary Mediterranean cuisine on March 1. In honor of such a milestone, you can get two complimentary desserts or a bottle of brut sparkling wine with a purchase of two three-course takeout dinners. Then there’s the big 5-0. Celebration turns 50 this year. (Erykah Badu, by the way, also celebrated 50 this year.) For their 50th birthday, Celebration has an anniversary menu with throwback, homestyle dishes at throwback prices—entrees are less than nine bucks now through March 5. Plus, 50 percent off certain drinks all throughout the month. Take a stroll down memory lane with Celebration, which has set up an archive of photos and moments in the restaurant’s long history on its website.

Heads Up: Uchi Is Closed for Repairs

According to its recent social media post, Uchi “will be temporarily closed for repairs due to damage caused to our home by the recent winter storm.” Patio seating is still up for grabs with a reservation and Uchi is still offering takeout for March 5–7. Otherwise it’s sibling restaurant Uchiba for your nigiri needs during Uchi’s closure. The restaurant will be closed at least one week. 

Bam’s Vegan Smoothies and Wraps Opens in Irving

Brandon Waller made a name for himself among vegans and non alike with his plant-based cookery infused with soul—portobello steak, fried oyster mushroom sandwiches, his “bomb-ass black bean burgers.” Now the vegan chef has gone from Dallas Farmers Market stand to a casual spot at 2301 North O’Connor Road in Irving. The focus here will be more grab-and-go, which makes sense in these careful times. Last summer Waller released a series of e-cookbooks, perfect for quarantine cooking at home.

Chido Taco Lounge Debuts in Frisco on March 12

Blaine McGowan, who previously honed his culinary talents at underground dinner parties he hosted from his home in Frisco, will finally open a proper brick-and-mortar restaurant at 6959 Lebanon Road. Word of Chido Taco Lounge came last November, per Dallas CultureMap. Now McGowan, with chef Jerry de la Riva, will serve up tacos—with Thai, Caribbean, and Japanese twists—and cocktails at the lounge located in The Shops at Starwood. Also on the menu: A Bar N Ranch wagyu carne asada, short ribs, and fried chicken—an eclectic mix!

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