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Restaurant News

News Bites: Mi Cocina Expands to Houston and an Urban Farm Summit in Dallas

Plenty of buzzy new coffee shops are opening in North Texas, Eatzi’s will open at DFW Airport, and Hurtado Barbecue closes up shop in Little Elm.
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The Mambo Taxi marches south to Houston.

Dallas-Based Mi Cocina is Bringing Mambo Taxis to Houston

Tex-Mex chain Mi Cocina announced in a press release Friday that a new location is set to debut this fall in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood in a space formerly occupied by Seasons 52. Mi Cocina Houston will serve the restaurant’s popular menu of brisket tacos, margaritas, and its signature mambo taxi cocktails.

It’ll mark the 24th Mi Cocina location—a 23rd is opening in McKinney this spring—and there are 22 locations throughout North Texas and Oklahoma. This will be the restaurant chain’s first location in Houston area in 15 years, when it was last in the Memorial neighborhood.

Dallas Will Host an Urban Farm Conference This Month

Dallas’ Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability is partnering with Restorative Farms to host the first Dallas Inner-City Growers’ Summit (DIGS), a conference for urban farming. Restorative Farms is an organization dedicated to training communities about farm management, entrepreneurship, and distribution of local foods in South Dallas, a food desert. North Texas has several urban farms, including Bonton Farms in South Dallas and Braga Farms in Irving.

DIGS will be held on February 20 at the Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center at Fair Park. Its theme is “Building Resilient Food Systems” and will explore best practices for farming in urban communities and neighborhoods. Registration is $20 and includes lunch.

Coffee Shops Pop Up All Over North Texas

Ascension Coffee announced an open date of February 18 for its new location by White Rock Lake, according to a press release. The new post, at 9353 Garland Rd., will be in the space of the former White Rock Community chapel that was recently restored. Like its other locations, Ascension White Rock will serve craft coffee and food from an all-day menu in its signature laid-back cafe. On opening day, Ascension White Rock will have free drip coffee with the purchase of food or drink. 9353 Garland Rd.

Local coffee chain White Rock Coffee opened a new location in Uptown on January 31, according to CultureMap, its sixth North Texas location. The shop will be located at 2101 Cedar Springs Rd., Ste. 130, near Ocean Prime and The Tipsy Alchemist. 2101 Cedar Springs Rd., Ste. 130.

U.K.-based Black Sheep Coffee is planning to open a location in Dallas this summer for its first U.S. shop. The Dallas Morning News reported that co-founder Gabriel Shohet said all signs and data pointed to Texas as a prime location. The coffee shop will roast its own beans—specifically robusta beans, which are bitter and more caffeinated than traditional arabica beans. Black Sheep will sell coffee, espresso, and other specialty coffee-based drinks. 6240 E. Mockingbird Ln.

Openings and Closings

Olivella’s Pizza & Wine in Fort Worth recently completed its renovation, growing the restaurant’s footprint to a whopping 3,000 square feet. The restaurant is known for its Roman and Neapolitan-style pizzas, and it was named best pizza by Fort Worth Star-Telegram readers in 2022. 4910 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth.

Hurtado Barbecue closed its Little Elm location this week, according to its Facebook page. The post said after severe water leaks and inclement weather, the location couldn’t recover. The restaurant still operate locations in Arlington and Fort Worth.

Popular “grocerant” Eatzi’s Market and Bakery will open a new convenient location inside Terminal D at DFW Airport. An open date was not announced, but state planning documents said that construction is expected to start March 1 and finish July 31.

Lucky’s Chicken opened its third Dallas location in the Oak Lawn neighborhood this week on Lemmon Avenue, according to a press release. The Nashville hot chicken chain will serve its classic chicken tenders and sandwiches with varying spice levels along with sides like coleslaw and fries. Another location in Richardson will open in March on Belt Line Rd. 3827 Lemmon Ave.; 1545 E. Belt Line Rd., Richardson.

A new barbecue restaurant is headed to EpicCentral, Grand Prairie’s newest entertainment center. Loop 9 BBQ is a new concept from restaurateur Larry Lavine, who founded the original Chili’s on Greenville Avenue. Loop 9’s menu features smoked brisket, ribs, sausages, and more. Sides include Mexican corn, fried okra, cornbread, and fries. The new joint is expected to open March 6. 2951 S. State Hwy. 161, Grand Prairie.

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Nataly Keomoungkhoun

Nataly Keomoungkhoun

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Nataly Keomoungkhoun joined D Magazine as the online dining editor in 2022. She previously worked at the Dallas Morning News,…
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