Klyde Warren Park news as of late tends to ruffle feathers. At the end of last year, the downtown Dallas park announced a forthcoming multimillion dollar water fountain, drawing mixed reactions and hefty criticism. The latest dispatch from the downtown park: Dallas chain Mi Cocina will serve its Tex-Mex and Mambo Taxis to park goers and nearby urbanites this fall.
Known henceforth as Mi Cocina on the Park, it replaces the glass-walled Savor, which closed in August after seven years at Klyde Warren. Mi Cocina’s newest outpost has a target opening date of September 1.
As with philanthropist Nancy Best’s fountain announcement, Mi Cocina at Klyde Warren has its share of skeptics already. Some folks online have called the team-up disappointing and predicable. Park boosters liken it to an addition to Central Park; others say it’s more like an Olive Garden in New York City’s Times Square. Klyde Warren Park president Kit Sawers isn’t deterred. “One of the things that, frankly, is most exciting to me, especially being from Dallas, is that people care about this place so much. When people care about a place, they’re going to express their opinions,” she told SideDish.
There were several contenders, including over a dozen local operators, that Klyde Warren’s powers-at-be had considered. Sawers says there were myriad reasons they eventually went with M Crowd restaurant group’s Mi Cocina.
“It’s an iconic Dallas brand and so is Klyde Warren Park. So that was a good fit. We liked the fact that Mi Cocina was so family focused across all generations, and frankly, across all different socio-economic brackets; people go to the Mi Cocina throughout the community. We also liked the fact that it was a bigger company who could expand when we had events in the park and be able to serve cocktails or little snacks in addition to what our food trucks have during our larger events. Also, probably the biggest reason is we did a lot of surveys of parkgoers and via our newsletter and with our friends groups, and Mi Cocina was the one restaurant that was mentioned over and over again by name as being a perfect fit…because of the price point and for all different reasons. So we feel like a lot of ways we’re just providing with the community requested.”