December 11, 2023


Food & Travel Enthusiast

Dallas’ most heartbreaking restaurant closures of 2021

We received the poor news a year into the coronavirus pandemic: 2,500 places to eat in North Texas shut due to the fact of financial difficulties. That was 18% of the dining places in our area. Even though the numbers have been devastating, they were far better than the projection, which was that 30% of restaurants in Texas would fail.

Mari Gomez serves some of her last customers at Luna’s Tortillas in Dallas in October 2021.
Mari Gomez serves some of her final customers at Luna’s Tortillas in Dallas in Oct 2021.(Emil Lippe / Specific Contributor)

Some 9 months right after that anniversary, some restaurant operators in Dallas-Fort Well worth report that they’ve bounced again. But many others did not. The proprietor of Trinity Corridor, an Irish pub, hoped for Cafe Revitalization Fund income that did not come. The owner of Luna’s Tortillas says he’d instead concentrate on his just about 100-year-previous tortilla-building business enterprise than run a restaurant that struggled to come across adequate shoppers in uncertain situations.

Still others were being plagued by troubles that had absolutely nothing to do with the unfold of a virus. In Oak Cliff, two bars will be bulldozed to make space for an condominium complicated. On the outskirts of Deep Ellum, the proprietor of the 66-year-outdated Mac’s Bar-B-Que made a decision 2021 was the 12 months to eventually retire.

Let us consider a instant of silence for all the dining establishments in Dallas-Fort Well worth that closed in 2021.

Restaurant closures shown in chronological order.

Buddy Valastro, the star of 'Cake Boss,' famously made an appearance at Carlo's Bakery when it opened in Dallas in 2016.
Buddy Valastro, the star of ‘Cake Manager,’ famously designed an visual appearance at Carlo’s Bakery when it opened in Dallas in 2016.(David Woo)

Carlo’s Bakery in Dallas: The store manufactured popular by Cake Manager celeb bakery Buddy Valastro shut in Dallas in late 2020, and we were all so wrapped up in other matters that it didn’t go noted until finally early 2021. It was an anticlimactic conclude for a brand name that the moment enticed Texans to stand in line for 18 hours.

Luby’s in North Texas: Due to the fact information landed in February 2021 that “liquidation is imminent” for Luby’s, most of the cafeterias in Dallas-Fort Truly worth are gone by now. A number of even now keep on being in Dallas, DeSoto, Fort Worth and Plano. The only remaining Fuddruckers cafe in D-FW — in Rockwall — shut this 12 months, as well.

The Ginger Man had lots of corners to tuck into: the bar, the booths, the tree-lined patio and that cozy upstairs area.
The Ginger Person experienced a lot of corners to tuck into: the bar, the booths, the tree-lined patio and that cozy upstairs space.(Allison Slomowitz)

The Ginger Person in Uptown Dallas: A bulldozer designed swift function of the Ginger Guy, the pub that experienced more beers on tap than we’d ever found, crammed on to the wall guiding the bar. It opened in the early ‘90s. The assets will be crafted upon someday, as part of the Quandrangle redo across the avenue.

Zoës Kitchens in North Texas: The operators of the Mediterranean-inflected Cava manufacturer purchased Plano-primarily based Zoës in 2018 and are quickly changing several of the present dining establishments in 2021. Lots of of the current Zoës Kitchens in North Texas will develop into a restaurant named Cava — if they haven’t previously.

Cava is a Mediterranean restaurant that is proliferating across the United States, including in North Texas.

Kozy Kitchen in Dallas: Regulars loved Kozy Kitchen area for its gluten-free of charge and other wellness-forward possibilities, available for 16 many years on McKinney Avenue. But the past several yrs have been tumultuous just after it moved to Lakewood, then uprooted to Uptown. The restaurant shut immediately after Mother Day 2021.

Royal Blue Grocery in Dallas: The market in Highland Park Village closed for good and will be changed with a brunch spot from New York City named Sadelle’s. The other Royal Blues, in downtown Dallas and in Oak Cliff, took on the identify Berkley’s Sector.

Wild About Harry’s in Dallas: The custard store that captivated Troy Aikman, Ross Perot, Tom Landry and T. Boone Pickens shut right after 25 years in enterprise on July 4, 2021. Namesake Harry Mead Coley Jr. died in 2014, and the loved ones ongoing selling custard and sizzling canines in his honor, though they ended up compelled to transfer the small business 2 times in 3 a long time. “There is nowhere to go,” mentioned Sydney Coley-Berglund, daughter of the late founder, in summer months 2021.

Mac's Bar-B-Que owner Billy McDonald's inherited the restaurant from his dad. It was open for his whole life.
Mac’s Bar-B-Que owner Billy McDonald’s inherited the cafe from his dad. It was open up for his entire lifetime.(Ben Torres / Specific Contributor)

Mac’s Bar-B-Que in Dallas: Pour a person out for Mac’s, the 66-yr-old restaurant on the fringes of Deep Ellum that smoked meat in advance of smoked meat was neat. The McDonald spouse and children had operated the cafe at 3 Dallas addresses for proprietor Billy McDonald’s total life.

Oak in the Dallas Style and design District: For a time, Oak was just one of the very best dining places in the town. It was a revolving doorway for talented cooks and an alluring incubator for great eating. But the community improved in the decade it was open, and Oak hadn’t developed with it, claims proprietor Richard Ellman. It is now Wits, a steakhouse with sushi.

Revolver Taco Lounge in Fort Worth: Just after two months open in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square, Revolver Taco Lounge closed. How could this occur — especially considering the fact that Cowtown was Revolver’s authentic house? The owner suggests he’s now focused on Dallas.

After the owners of Legends Diner in Denton posted a sign on the restaurant, the restaurant made the national news.
Soon after the homeowners of Legends Diner in Denton posted a indicator on the restaurant, the cafe built the nationwide news.(Wayne LaCombe)

Legends Diner in Denton: All those outdoors of the Denton place may well not have even listened to of Legends Diner until eventually it created national information. Its owners threatened to charge consumers a $50 fee if they complained about donning masks. Then, just 5 months afterwards, the entrepreneurs declared Legends’ closure, indicating they didn’t want to endure through another time of the coronavirus pandemic. The information of this tiny diner’s increase to fame was one particular of The Dallas Early morning News’ most well-known food-news stories of the yr.

Trinity Hall in Dallas: Right after nearly 20 yrs of serving whiskey, beer and Irish foodstuff, Trinity Corridor pub closed in Dallas’ Mockingbird Station. Proprietor Marius Hall counts it as 19 yrs, simply because the pub was shut for almost an entire calendar year — and for two St. Patrick’s Days — for the duration of the pandemic. His goodbye tale is a heartbreaker.

Sweet Daze made 'designer doughnuts.'
Sweet Daze created ‘designer doughnuts.’(Ryan Michalesko / Team Photographer)

Sweet Daze in Richardson: Just one of D-FW’s most creative dessert stores, Sweet Daze, closed in September 2021. Operator Holly Nguyen began the business enterprise when she was just 24 decades aged. “As a youthful, minority girl, no one would enable me have a lease, with no experience,” she told The Information. Her small business soared in Richardson for 4 many years, but these a long time of earning intricate cakes, doughnuts and ice lotions ended up tough with a little employees, Nguyen suggests.

Cosmic Cafe in Dallas: Soon after 26 yrs of serving vegetarian foods on Oak Garden Avenue in Dallas, the owners of Cosmic Cafe give up the restaurant organization. The constructing is now a meditation place.

In 2021, Salt Bae opened a restaurant in Dallas. Remember that? You might be trying to forget.
Fernando Luna served his last lunches at Luna's in late-October 2021.
Fernando Luna served his final lunches at Luna’s in late-Oct 2021.(Emil Lippe / Exclusive Contributor)

Luna’s Tortillas y Hacienda in Dallas: On Halloween, Fernando Luna closed his relatives restaurant around the Health-related District in Dallas, stating that the coronavirus pandemic definitely hurt his organization. But, some very good news: They’re even now functioning their a long time-previous tortilla manufacturing facility. “There’s no way I’m likely to let this die out two yrs from hitting 100 a long time,” Luna tells The Information.

Bavarian Grill in Plano: Listen to this: Beloved German restaurant Bavarian Grill in Plano is not closing completely. It is just closing and shifting a fifty percent-mile away.

Metropolitan Cafe in downtown Dallas: This welcoming cafe was well known among attorneys, regulation students and downtown Dallas commuters. Michael Vouras and his family members ran it for 20 several years. “I really don’t really feel like I’m dropping prospects. I come to feel like I’m shedding about a thousand fantastic mates,” he explained.

The Nearby Oak and 10 Bells Tavern, both in Oak Cliff: The operators of these bars did not have a alternative: A developer is razing their qualities and developing a $43 million condominium advanced. 10 Bells will relocate. The Area Oak will not.

One of the new Mi Cocinas is already open, in Dallas' Klyde Warren Park.
Just one of the new Mi Cocinas is by now open up, in Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park.(Ben Torres / Unique Contributor)

Mi Cocina and Taco Diner in Dallas’ West Village: At the close of 2021, Mi Cocina in West Village will end out just about 20 a long time in Uptown Dallas and close. Its West Village neighbor Taco Diner already closed, in September 2021. (Taco Diners closed in other regions of D-FW as perfectly this yr, which include Irving and Fort Well worth.) But never cry into your Mambo Taxi just however: Mi Cocina is relocating a number of blocks south on McKinney Avenue, to the previous dwelling of Del Frisco’s Grille, and is anticipated to open there in 2022. A further Mi Cocina opened in October 2021 in Klyde Warren Park. For people mourning Taco Diner, some of the menu favorites are offered at La Parada, the seize-and-go portion on the again of the cafe at Klyde Warren Park.

Fred’s Texas Cafe in Fort Truly worth: The authentic Fred’s — the one with people legendary yellow bar stools and the glittery, gold booths — is closing right after 43 decades. Get there by New Year’s Eve to toast with a burger and a beer.

And a fleet of Deep Ellum bars: Cover shut in 2021 and is relocating to Dallas’ Greenville Avenue. The bar we termed an “old soul” in Deep Ellum, Anvil Pub, shut on Halloween. And then BrainDead Brewing served its last beers in late-November 2021.

  • Other noteworthy closures in 2021: Dream Cafe remaining the Quadrangle following 33 a long time (nevertheless it relocated nearby, on McKinney Avenue) Cafe Gecko closed in Addison just after 30 several years (but will relocate to downtown Plano shortly) and Jonathon’s Oak Cliff referred to as it quits in the Bishop Arts District (but has options to reopen in the old Kel’s diner in North Dallas). In addition: Lada in Richardson shut so did Nick & Sam’s Grille Park Cities Snowbaby and Lakewood Smokehouse, equally in Lakewood Burguesa Burger in Oak Cliff Berry Street Ice Property in Fort Really worth and Jasper’s and Del Frisco’s Grille in Uptown Dallas.
  • Short-term closures: Heim Barbecue in Dallas (close to Really like Field Airport) stays shut following a hearth and Gigi’s Cupcakes on Fans Lane in Dallas is not open up just after a car drove into the bakery.

For extra meals news, observe Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.