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The most iconic Texas pitstop will be building onto a new location in Luling according to a KSAT article from November 4. They say, 

“The popular gas station/convenience store chain announced Thursday that the groundbreaking ceremony for the Luling store will be held on Nov. 16.

It will be built right next to the current Luling store, which opened in 2003 at 10070 Interstate 10 and was the brand’s first family travel center.

The new store will have 120 fueling stations and all those same snack, drink and meal options, like Beaver nuggets and homemade fudge, as well as the brand’s famous clean restrooms.”

What’s especially surprising about this Buc-ee’s location is that it is set to be the largest in all Texas, prompting even local politicians to attend its ground breaking according to a Dallas Observer article. They report, 

“Buc-ee’s is not new to the city of Luling. The Caldwell County city is the site of the first Buc-ee’s travel center, which opened in 2003. This new project will expand the original Buc-ee’s to become a 75,000-square-foot mega store, more than seven times larger than the original, which has been added to through projects in 2006 and 2009.

This expansion will ensure that the largest Buc-ee’s remains in Texas. The company began a trailblazing expansion in 2019 that saw the familiar beaver greeting travelers in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee. Buc-ee’s is also planning to build in Colorado and Missouri soon.

The groundbreaking event on Nov. 16 will be attended by local politicians, including Luling Mayor CJ Watts, and will mark an important step in the company’s continued growth.”

At present, both the company and the developers are looking at employing 200 people for the newest and largest location of the said gas station.  

New H-E-B Store Opens in Plano

November 22, 2022

A new H-E-B branch opened near the intersection of Preston Road and Spring Creek according to a WBAP article. They say,

“The first H-E-B grocery store in Plano opened on Wednesday near the intersection of Preston Road and Spring Creek. 

The opening is one of several planned by the grocery store chain in the DFW metroplex. A Frisco location opened earlier this year, and stores are expected to be built in Fort Worth, Mansfield, and other metroplex cities in coming years.”

A big crowd of shoppers flocked the new store and waited all night for its doors to open according to a KRLD article. They say,

“A big crowd waited all night for the doors to open at H-E-B’s new supermarket in Plano Wednesday morning.

For weeks there has been great buzz about the new store on Preston Road near Spring Creek Parkway. 

The 118,000-square-foot Plano store will have pretty much the same Texas-themed products as other H-E-Bs in Texas, plus a True Texas Barbecue restaurant.”

The company is looking to open new branches in Allen and McKinney in 2023 and Fort Worth and Mansfield by 2024.

STK Dallas opens its doors

November 17, 2022

With the rampant growth and progress of Texas comes with it the flock of restaurants and STK is opening its latest branch in Dallas according to a Business Wire article. They say,

“The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc. (Nasdaq: STKS) today announced the opening of its newest STK Steakhouse in the heart of Dallas. Located at 2000 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, TX 75201, the new restaurant offers Vibe Dining at its finest, with plentiful outdoor space to enjoy elevated culinary selections, world-famous cocktails and live music spun by renowned DJs. The opening of STK Dallas – a company-owned location, the first STK restaurant in the state of Texas, and the Company’s second new restaurant opening in 2022 – marks the next step in The ONE Group Hospitality’s strategic expansion initiatives and long-term nationwide growth strategy.

“They say everything is bigger in Texas, and we cannot wait to make STK’s signature Vibe Dining experience larger than life for residents and visitors alike in Dallas,” said Emanuel “Manny” Hilario, President and CEO of The ONE Group. “STK offers our guests the ultimate dining experience, making every occasion celebrated in our restaurants a memorable one. We know STK will be a great addition to Dallas’ already bustling restaurant scene and are proud to open our doors to share our unmatched culinary offerings with The Lone Star State.”

Their incredible and mouth-watering menu specializes in different kinds of steak but they also include other amazing entrees. 

  • NY Strip
  • Dry-Aged Delmonico
  • Cowgirl Bone-In Ribeye
  • Dry-Aged Porterhouse 28oz
  • Dry-Aged Tomahawk 34oz
  • A5 Strip
  • A5 Filet
  • A5 Spinalis 
  • Roasted Lamb Rack
  • Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass
  • Mushroom & Truffle Tagliatelle
  • Braised Beef Short Rib

STK will be offering Brunch, Lunch, Dinner and Take-out every day but the opening and closing times will vary. 

Heartbreaking news has landed in Dallas as one of its renowned restaurants Modest Rogers closes a year after it opened according to o a Dallas Observer article. They say,

“Modest Rogers on Fairmont Street, just off Oak Lawn Avenue, announced Monday it has closed. Owner and chef Modesto “Mo” Rodriguez made the announcement via Instagram, thanking everyone.

“With a heavy heart we have decided to close Modest Rogers,” the post reads.

But the math didn’t work. Rogers told The Dallas Morning News that even on busy nights, the small space couldn’t turn enough profit to keep up with constant repairs. This summer he expanded to Saturday brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. but that evidently wasn’t enough.”

The small restaurant couldn’t turn enough profit to keep up with the costs and its owner and Chef Modesto Rodriguez somehow expected the outcome as he saw the stagnant progress of the restaurant according to Dallas Morning News article. They say,

“I was kind of already getting the feeling that this is where it was going. The money was going out and just not coming back in in the same amount,” he said. “I think the issue was it was too small of a place, and we didn’t have enough money to begin with to fix that space and its issues. It took so much to fix it that we had no money left to just run as a business.”

“I blindly went into something. I should have studied a little bit more about the space,” he said. “I let my vision blind me and said, ‘We can make it work.’ And we did for a year, but I always said we were cooking out of a food truck. I love the space and I think it still has great potential, but we spent money trying to fix things that weren’t related to the food. What we needed to fix was the size of the kitchen and get a flow down that was able to accommodate larger numbers. It killed us by not being able to accommodate more people.”

But all hope isn’t lost as Modesto Rodriguez promises that he will venture again and make this chapter of his life as his stepping stone to his next successful restaurant. 

Smoothie King CEO teams up with chefs to open a Korean steakhouse in Dallas called Nuri Grill according to an Eater Dallas article. They say,

“The CEO of Smoothie King has teamed up with Michelin Guide-recognized chefs to open a Korean American steakhouse in Dallas’s Koreatown called Nuri Grill. 

Born in Korea, Wan Kim acquired Dallas-based Smoothie King in 2012. For the new restaurant — which opened Tuesday, November 9, at 2254 Royal Lane — Kim sought the help of chefs Minji Kim and Ben Lee, who were previously recognized with Michelin Plates by the Seoul guide for restaurant, Min’s Kitchen. The duo relocated to Dallas in 2020, and have since dedicated their efforts to creating a dynamic menu and dining experience for Nuri Grill. 

In the new restaurant, each table has a grill centerpiece over which various meats are cooked by trained servers. And yes, customers will be allowed the option to cook their own food on the table grill like in a Korean barbecue restaurant.”

The restaurant will be designed by AvroKO and will have a huge seating capacity to accommodate many people according to a Paper City article. They say,

“The space is designed by San Francisco’s AvroKO and will boast indoor seating for 150 and outdoor seating for 50 people. As for the original Dallas Nuri Grill, Kim explains that it was a short-term lease for the Nuri concept and will evolve into something different once Nuri Steakhouse debuts.”

The menu will consist of American steakhouse meat cuts with a Korean touch. It will also have an extensive list of wine and cocktails.

A second location of Partenope Ristorante will be opening in Richardson’s Core District according to a Dallas Morning News article. They say,

“A second location of a downtown Dallas Italian restaurant helmed by a former Cane Rosso pizzaiolo is opening in Richardson. 

Partenope Ristorante, which opened on Main Street in 2019, will start serving pizzas and pasta in Richardson’s burgeoning Core District in summer 2023, as first reported by Culture Map.

Co-owner and chef Dino Santonicola, who helped found Cane Rosso before leaving to open Partenope with his wife Megan Santonicola, said plans for a second location were first laid when the pandemic hit and business in downtown Dallas plummeted.”

The new location will be the first full-service restaurant in the downtown area since the city’s redevelopment efforts according to a Community Impact article which observes, 

“According to a city press release, the Partenope Ristorante location will be the first new full-service, sit-down restaurant slated for the downtown area since the city’s redevelopment planning efforts and major infrastructure investments in the Core District. 

“As evidenced by this new restaurant announcement, the Core’s downtown area is growing, transforming and well-positioned to serve as the eclectic, vibrant, walkable 

heart of our community,” Richardson City Manager Don Magner said in a statement. 

“Years of strategic visioning by stakeholders and thoughtful reinvestment by the city are really beginning to pay off in a big way. We’re excited about this area’s enhanced vitality and what it means for our community as people increasingly come here to live, work, shop, dine and play.”

The new location will have a smaller kitchen and a smaller menu, but the seating will remain about the same. When the new location opens, the original location will remain open.

Husband-wife business partners Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla are opening a restaurant in Reunion Tower named Crown Block according to a Dallas Morning News article which says, 

“A married couple from Las Vegas and Vancouver will partner with the Hunt family in Dallas to open a restaurant in Reunion Tower, one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

Husband-wife business partners Elizabeth Blau and chef Kim Canteenwalla are creating the restaurant, named Crown Block. It will replace Wolfgang Puck’s Five Sixty, a restaurant that closed in May 2020 — a victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

Crown Block is expected to open in spring 2023 and will be a steakhouse with seafood.”

The owners are very much amped as they say that the restaurant will be open for brunch and dinner according to an Eater Dallas article. They say, 

“We are so excited with the location and historical significance of the tower, the space, and what it means to the city,” Blau told Eater Dallas of Crown Block’s opening.

“If that sounds like a stellar brunch item to you, then you’ll be excited to know that Crown Block is going to be open for brunch as well as dinner. Blau sees it as a way to make the restaurant, which has historically been known as a location for special event nights out, a little more accessible at different price points. “It’s just such a beautiful space, and the most dramatic time is during the day when you can see the 360 degree views,” Blau says. “We are passionate about our brunch, [and will bring a] Bloody Mary bar, a mimosa carts, and things like that. We want to have fun with the menu.”

Crown Block is slated to open in the spring of 2023. It will be located at the top of Reunion Tower.

Dave Orr from Australia has built a cafe that share the same atmosphere as his home back in Melbourne, Australia and it is serving cocktails according to a Dallas Morning News article which reports, 

“Isla & Co., a bright, all-day cafe serving coffee, cocktails and food, has opened in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District in place of the beloved longtime Italian restaurant Lucia.

The restaurant is owned by Dave Orr, an Australian from a small town about three hours northeast of Melbourne. “This feels a lot like home,” he says of the Bishop Arts District. He notes that Texans, like Australians, are friendly, and that Oak Cliff seems to have a vibrant food scene.

Isla’s Australian fare is something we have not seen much of in Dallas-Fort Worth. Orr describes it as “European cuisine with Southeast Asian profiles.”

“Australia is a lot like America,” he says. “There have been a lot of waves of immigration,” and the menu reflects that.

Their specialties, although Australian, resemble European cuisine but integrated with Southeast-Asian spices and profiles as indicated in their menu from their website. It lists, 

  •  Isla & Co Burger
  • Spicy Shrimp Vodka Rigatoni
  • Quinoa Grain bowl
  • Grilled Chicken Sandy
  • Brekkie Roll
  • Mushroom Toast 
  • Crispy Halloumi 
  • Spicy Thai Green Curry
  • Roasted Half Chicken
  • Braised Lamb Shoulder
  • Spiced Apple Crumble 
  • Sticky Date Pudding

Accordingly, Lucia is still around in the neighborhood after moving to an Oak Cliff address which can accommodate more people. 

Grapevine Bar to Relocate

October 27, 2022

Grapevine Bar, a 26-year old dive, is looking to move by mid-2023 according to a Dallas Morning News article. They say,

“The Grapevine Bar is looking for a new home in Dallas. The 26-year-old dive will need to move by mid-2023, when its lease is up. 

The recognizable Maple Avenue property was purchased by Crow Holdings, the group that has developed dozens of pockets in Dallas-Fort Worth, including the 12.5-acre Old Parkland campus across the street from the Grapevine. Bar founder Michelle Honea says she didn’t want to sell the property but her business partner did. She plans to relocate the bar somewhere else in Dallas.”

While no new location is set for Grapevine, Michelle Honea is still planning to have the next location just like the original according to a D Magazine article which says,

“Michelle Honea, the bar’s owner, told D Magazine Wednesday the new location hasn’t been scouted yet, but she wants to stay close to the original. An ideal solution for her would be to dig up the current building and place it somewhere else, she says, which would be logistically difficult. But Honea does plan to take bits and pieces of the building with her. 

“There are very distinctive things that we’re known for, things like the neon sign on the basketball court, that’ll come with us,” she says. “The bathroom doors—a lot of people probably don’t notice, but the door handles on them are actually dragons.”

Honea spent the last 26 years displaying things she found on eBay or on the side of the road. Her husband, Ronny, once found a floral iron décor item sitting in front of a house. The couple asked the homeowners if they could have it, and now it sits near the basketball court.”

The bar hasn’t announced any closing dates yet, but they are looking to throw parties in major holidays.

Texas is about to see more and more self-driving trucks after IKEA has partnered with robotics company Kodiak to transport their products according to a Singularity Hub article. They say,

“Thanks to its mild climate, expansive highway network, and lax regulations, Texas has become the country’s proving ground for driverless trucks. From cargo to produce, goods have been traveling the state’s highways partially driver-free (the trucks aim to use autonomous mode on highways, but safety drivers take over to navigate city streets) for a couple of years already. Now there’s another type of cargo traveling through Texas via autonomous trucks: furniture. This week Kodiak Robotics announced a partnership to transport IKEA products using a heavy-duty self-driving truck.

Kodiak has been moving furniture and other IKEA goods since August, but the companies carried out a testing period before making the agreement public. The route runs from an IKEA distribution center in Baytown, east of Houstin, to a store in Frisco, 290 miles away just north of Dallas. It’s mostly a straight shot on highway 45.”

The self-driving trucks, despite their name, still have professional truck drivers behind the wheel according to a Local Profile article.

“While autonomous trucks drive themselves, as their name suggests, they still have professional truck drivers behind the wheel. According to the California-based company, self-driving technology contributes to increasing safety on the road while providing better working conditions to drivers on longer distances at the same time. 

“IKEA and Kodiak share a commitment to putting safety first,” said Don Burnette, founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics. “Adopting autonomous trucking technology can improve drivers’ quality of life by focusing on the local driving jobs most prefer to do. We look forward to working with the IKEA carrier partners to bring these benefits to the IKEA supply chain.”

Kodiak hopes that the pilot with IKEA will develop into a deeper long-term relationship with IKEA and help them expand their delivery routes.

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