USA Today
Written by: Ilene Jacobs

The weather in the Dallas area may be cooling off, but the food scene seems to be getting hotter– with new restaurants opening practically every week.

One of the most exciting developments has been occurring in Victory Park, where a slate of new dining spots are setting up shop, including Billy Can Can, a modern, steak-slinging saloon– and Imoto, an upscale Pan-Asian restaurant and cocktail lounge.

Things are popping in Bishops Arts too. New arrivals include Macellaio, an industrial-chic restaurant devoted to salumi and charcuterie–and Taco Y Vino, an intimate wine bar and taqueria set up in a 1920’s Craftsman bungalow.

Adding to the lineup of stellar restaurants in Deep Ellum is Izkina, a cozy tapas and cocktail joint tucked inside of a hip, new hostel. And then there’s Ruins, an indoor-outdoor eatery featuring Oaxacan and South American fare along with a phenomenal selection of mezcal.

That’s just a sampling of what’s on the plate this season. Read on to find out which new eating establishments you should be trying this fall.

4) Imoto

New to Victory Park is Imoto, a spacious, two-story stunner spotlighting Pan-Asian fare. The restaurant is the latest venture from Dallas culinary

couple, Kent and Tracy Rathbun and features a menu packed with shareables as well as a traditional sushi bar headed up by Nobu alum, Jimmy Duke. Expect to find dishes ranging from honey-soy glazed Korean fried chicken and grilled lamb curry claypots to tempura lobster shooters with kaffir red curry–a fan favorite from Chef Rathbun’s former restaurant, Abacus. Pair everything up with a contemporary cocktail or a selection from the global wine list. Also keep an eye out for weekend DJs and daily specials.

1) Billy Can Can

Cementing Victory Park as Dallas’ coolest new dining destination is Billy Can Can, a handsome, wood and taxidermy adorned eatery modeled after a late-19th-century saloon. The restaurant comes by way of Tristan Simon (the same guy who transformed Henderson Avenue into a dining hotspot) and offers a menu highlighting modern Texas cuisine. We’re talking everything from Texas venison tartare and fried redfish po’boys to red brick chicken mole, skate wing schnitzel and steaks galore. Drink-wise, there’s a stellar lineup of handcrafted cocktails as well as wine, beer and house-made sarsaparilla. Not to be missed are the churros with warm chocolate mole and lime curd.

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Globe Street
Written by: Lisa Brown

DALLAS—Victory Park, the 75-acre mixed-use development in downtown, is in the midst of a district redevelopment led by retail partner Trademark Property Co. and owner Estein USA. Victory is undergoing a full remerchandising, adding 85,000 square feet of new retail space and making key enhancements to evolve into a more walkable urban neighborhood.

Victory Park surrounds the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks and Stars. The park currently features more than 220,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space; 621,000 square feet of class-A office space, the 252-room W Dallas–Victory Hotel, more than 3,300 residential units and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

Victory Station provides access to DART Light Rail and the Trinity Railway Express. The 3.5-mile jogging and bicycle path, The Katy Trail, is also directly accessible.

This year, Victory Park is opening more than 10 food and beverage concepts and has welcomed Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas-Victory Park and WeWork, along with new public art. Orangetheory Fitness Victory Park is also a new tenant, located at 625 High Market St.

“The investments we’ve made to revitalize the district are attracting some of the best-in-class tenants and we look forward to continuing the momentum,” Laura Hale, marketing director at Victory Park, tells “We are excited to welcome Orangetheory Fitness to Victory Park.”

Victory Park’s tenant list continues to expand with the addition of Jinya Ramen Bar, known for its ramen and Japanese-inspired cuisine, new bakery concept Sift + Pour and Biagio Wine & Spirts, all of which are new to the Dallas market.

Victory Park is…

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Dallas Morning News
Written by: Karen Robinson-Jacobs

The menu offerings at the rebounding Victory Park will expand over the next few months with ramen, sweets and booze.

Jinya Ramen Bar will serve more than 10 signature ramen recipes with 20-plus toppings. The menu also will include rice and curry bowls and a variety of Japanese-inspired small plates.

Jinya Ramen Bar’s 3,000-square-foot location, a first for the brand in North Texas, will debut this winter at 625 High Market Road. Hours of operation will be 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

The brand’s website lists eight locations in Texas,  including four in Houston.

Sift + Pour Bakery will feature mini cupcakes, cake pops, brownies, macarons, and made-to-order sweet or savory crepes. The concept also has a full espresso and tea bar and serves wine and beer. Sift + Pour will open its debut location late this year at 2401 Victory Park Lane.

Biagio Wine & Spirits will offer wine and liquor beginning this fall. Its 2,600-square-foot location at 2404 Victory Lane will operate Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Victory Park, adjacent to the American Airlines Center in Uptown, is seeing a rebirth with the opening of restaurants and entertainment options designed to boost traffic in the urban entertainment district that took a hit during and after the recession.

More concepts opening this year include the flagship location for the Mesero brand, wine bar Burgundy Swine and a restaurant by This & That Concepts (the team behind High Fives and The Standard Pour).

Also on tap is a bar by Brooke Humphries (also known for Barcadia, Beauty Bar, and Pints & Quarts); frozen treats from Popbar; a 24,000-square-foot restaurant and entertainment concept in Victory Plaza by Humphries and Elias Pope’s 8020 Hospitality (the team behind HG Sply Co.); and a creative workspace with a day-focused café by Rebees.

Last month, the development saw the opening of its first…

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Dallas Morning News
Written by: Steve Brown

Co-working firm WeWork — already the biggest shared office space provider in North Texas — is growing its footprint with a new location in Victory Park.

The New York-based firm has rented two full floors of offices in the Victory Plaza building at 3090 Olive Street — at the entry to American Airlines Center. The new facility will include everything from private office suites to communal workspaces.

“We are thrilled to be growing within Dallas and meeting the needs of its bustling community,” Nathan Lenahan, general manager for WeWork Texas, said in a statement. “The combination of legacy companies and the newer wave of startups make Victory Park the perfect location for us.”

The 52,000-square-foot Victory Park co-working center opens early next year and will join WeWork’s Dallas-area locations on McKinney Avenue in Uptown, in Thanksgiving Tower in downtown and in Plano’s Legacy business park.

Founded in 2010, WeWork provides office workspaces through more than 100 locations worldwide. WeWork expanded to the Dallas area in 2016.

The co-working company is a high-profile addition to the 75-acre Victory Park project, located…

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On July 27, Uptown’s up-from-the-ashes Victory Park development may finally have found the people magnet it’s longed for during its slog to profitability. And it’s a solution many a dating couple figured out years ago.

If you want to attract regular folks on a regular basis, try serving up dinner and a movie.

At the end of the month, the Mexican-born theater chain Cinépolis will open its first location in the city of Dallas (there’s one in Euless). At 44,000 square feet, it will mark the second largest draw in the district’s main corridor, behind only the American Airlines Center, home to the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars.

Backers of both Victory Park and the theater see it as an especially symbiotic relationship: Cinépolis needs visibility to boost brand awareness with the stateside crowd. And for this current crop of restaurants and retailers to survive, Victory just needs humans, and plenty of them. That’s something the initial Victory Park developers found elusive.

Creating a “destination dining district was one of our primary goals,” said Terry Montesi, chief executive of Fort Worth-based Trademark Property Company, which was brought into the Victory project in 2012, about six years after it opened, to “re-envision, redevelop, lease and manage,” the 75-acre mixed-use development.

“A luxury cinema like this, in particular, helps us reach the audience that the restaurants are interested in, and it has helped us for sure with our leasing efforts,” he said.

And since Cinépolis is fairly new to the North Texas market, “clearly Victory is one of the high-profile places a retailer or entertainment use or restaurant that wants to make a high-profile splash in Dallas could pick,” he added.

Victory Park, snugly tucked near the intersection of the Stemmons and Woodall Rodgers freeways, launched in the mid-2000s with much promise but has had decidedly less retail and restaurant success.

With a retail mix initially populated with $200 T-shirts and dining options for the well-heeled, the development failed to find enough of an audience as consumers complained about the prices and the parking. Venue after venue closed.

The recession stalled work on the project, and German investors took control of most of it in 2009.

Enter Trademark, which now aims to fill the space with more approachable and affordable, yet sophisticated, options.
“The original programming, there just wasn’t enough of it, and it didn’t really connect with the customer,” Montesi said. “During the few years we’ve been working on it, a cinema was in our hopes and dreams and marketing plans. We agree that there needed to be another anchor other than the AAC. And the cinema was really at the top of our list.”

Future Vision

As sunlight streamed in through floor to ceiling windows in the lobby of the nearly completed Cinépolis Victory Park, Luis Olloqui could see the future.

“This is our flagship,” said the new president of Cinépolis USA, which moved its headquarters from Los Angeles to North Texas in 2016. “We’re really targeting this to be one of our best … We really believe that the area is ready for our concept, and I think we’ll be doing very well.”

In the U.S., where Cinépolis has been showing first-run movies since 2011, the brand offers two theater styles.

Cinépolis Victory Park, with eight screens, is tagged “luxury,” sporting a long granite-topped bar in the lobby, reclining leather seats in the theaters, and an upscale menu that will include marinated olive stuffed porkloin tortas and chicken tinga bowls with rice, beans and avocado.

All seats are reserved in advance, and at Victory Park, the 19th U.S. location, patrons can order food from their seats.
Euless, with 12 screens, is tagged “premium.” The seats aren’t quite as wide, you can’t order from them and the menu is more compact.

Euless is expected to sell more tickets. Victory Park, where the bar is open to the public, is expected to sell more food and drink, which is the more profitable part of the movie theater business.

In California, the brand’s former home, Cinépolis theaters have hosted Hollywood royalty including Tom Hanks and Django Unchained’s Quentin Tarantino, according to Olloqui, who’s been president since March. In Europe, the brand has hosted actual royalty, including the King of Spain.

In North Texas, Olloqui knows his brand is not a household name.

Born in Morelia, Michoacán, in central Mexico in 1971, it’s the largest theater chain in Mexico, and has expanded to 665 theaters and 5,431 screens in 14 countries across the globe.

Yet locally, it’s overshadowed by industry leader AMC, which has a commanding presence at  NorthPark Center, and by Plano-based Cinemark, the nation’s third-largest movie house with 339 theaters and 4,566 screens in 41 states.

And in central Dallas, Cinépolis will compete with the still newish Alamo Drafthouse in the Cedars, which is only two miles away.

Landing in a prominent perch, Olloqui said, will help.

“Most of our clients will be new to the concept and the brand,” Olloqui said, as workers continued to prep for the July 27 grand opening. “Most of the people don’t know we’re a Mexican company. That’s part of the process of us growing in the U.S. [As more open] they will start getting to know our brand. Victory Park will help a lot in the Dallas market.”

Initially, unfamiliarity with the brand led to some standoffishness by U.S. developers, Olloqui said.

“I don’t know why but sometimes when they think ‘Mexican,’ they don’t think that we’ll do a very good job,” he said. “Some discrimination, I don’t know, stereotypes. We have to break that barrier.”

To get around that, Cinépolis bought theaters in California and began converting them.

“When [developers] saw what we were doing in California, that’s when things started moving faster,” he said. “Now it’s easier to get more deals because now we have built enough theaters so that developers know how we build, the quality of the building and also the quality of the service.”

Victory Park is one of three U.S. locations expected to open this year. Next year, Olloqui hopes to open five in the U.S.
Last year Scott Beck, owner of a planned Dallas Midtown mixed-use development, said a Cinépolis theater will help anchor the first phase of his 100-acre project.

Montesi hopes many of the moviegoers at the Victory Park location will be locals.

More Neighbors

There are 11,500 residents, about 4,000 apartments and condos, 17,000 workers and 4.5 million square feet of office spaces within walking distance of the theater, according to statistics from Trademark.

That compares to 754 residences and 621,000 square feet of office space in 2013, Trademark’s first full year on the job. Stats on the 2013 headcount were not immediately available, but the trend clearly is on the upswing.

Developers are finishing up the last of four new high-rise apartment buildings in Victory Park that will have more than 1,000 luxury rental units.

Those numbers, Montesi said, will help Cinépolis’ numbers.

“Having more people within walking distance is an enormous influencer on what our foot traffic should be, on what our sales should be,” Montesi said. “If you’re going to have a walkable retail district, you really need people who are within walking distance. Having a few thousand more people within walking distance [than 2013] is one of the key influencers of what should drive additional foot traffic. Absolutely.”

While scanning the nearby landscape, taking in views of the AAC and downtown Dallas, Olloqui said he’s not put off by the ghosts of Victory Park’s past.

“For us this is like a marriage,” he said, leaning forward in a lobby lounge chair. “We will have our issues, yes. But we will solve them. We’ll be here. We want to be here for a long time.”

Twitter: @krobijake

Dallas Eater
Written by: Amy McCarthy

Billy Can Can, a new bar and restaurant from restaurateur Tristan Simon, has finally announced plans to open in Victory Park.
The self-described-”saloon,” in the works since early 2017, is set to arrive at the end of June at 2386 Victory Park Lane, according to GuideLive. It’s the first of many planned new eateries for Victory Park, which has struggled for years to attract diners to the neighborhood, and hopes to revitalize an area that never really took off. It will be interesting to see how the food shakes out at Simon’s first eatery under the Rebees umbrella, especially considering that Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Leslie Brenner has been involved with the project since leaving the paper in 2017.

As far as the food is concerned, Chef Matt Ford will helm the kitchen and serve a menu of Southern fare mostly inspired by Texas. Look forward to familiar plates like Gulf snapper, venison tartare, and deviled eggs, all exhaustively tasted by Brenner before hitting the menu. As with any saloon, Billy Can Can will have plenty of cocktails, including drinks inspired by Victor Tangos, the now-shuttered Henderson Avenue restaurant founded by Simon.

Billy Can Can makes its Dallas debut on June 28.

Original Article

Written by: Sarah Blaskovich

“This is definitely the next chapter,” says chef Kent Rathbun inside his new Dallas restaurant Imoto a week before it opened.

The well-known Dallas chef has worked in restaurants all over Dallas and its suburbs, most notably at Abacus, the Uptown Dallas restaurant with which he’s no longer affiliated.

And while Tracy Rathbun, Kent’s wife, has been operating Shinsei and Lovers Seafood & Market over the years, Kent hasn’t had his own restaurant kitchen — one where diners can see him working the room and chatting in his friendly, chef-boss way — since his split with Abacus, Jasper’s, Hickory and Whitetail Bistro at DFW Airport. (The lawsuit involving Kent and parent company H2R Restaurant Holdings was settled in early 2018, Dallas County records show.)

“This is a longtime dream for me to have a restaurant like this,” Kent says. The Rathbuns eat Asian food more than any other cuisine, they say, and both have traveled to Asia. Fans of Shinsei might find a few similarities with Imoto, but the Rathbuns are quick to correct that this isn’t a copy of another restaurant.

Imoto opens Friday, June 15, in a neighborhood the Rathbuns think is an interesting new option for Dallas diners.

Original Article

Paper City Magazine
Written by: Natalie Gempel

Culinary power couple Kent and Tracy Rathbun have some exciting news for Dallas diners. The duo is set to open Imōto, a new Pan-Asian restaurant and bar, in Victory Park on June 7.

The project marks Kent’s return to the Dallas restaurant scene after leaving his beloved restaurant Abacus in 2016, and becoming involved in a legal battle with his former business partners. Meanwhile, Tracy has kept busy opening Lovers Seafood Market and preparing to expand Shinsei with a second location at DFW Airport.

Imōto, named after the Japanese word for “little sister,” will be a culmination of the Rathbuns respective careers in the hospitality industry and their passion for Asian cuisine. The upscale restaurant will offer favorite dishes from a variety of Asian cultures, shareable…

Original Article

CultureMap Dallas
Written by: Munira Syeda

A Houston company is coming to Dallas with an event that aims to help women entrepreneurs.

The company is called NextSeed, and they’ll host a pitch competition and pop-up shop at Victory Plaza on May 12.

Local female-owned businesses can pitch their ideas, Shark Tank-style, to a panel of successful businesswomen in front of a live audience.

The winner gets a three-month pop-up lease at Victory Plaza, courtesy of Trademark, the property management company; plus $5,000 in legal services from national law firm Polsinelli, which has a history of servicing small businesses and entrepreneurs.

NextSeed is a crowdfunding platform that allows people to invest in a business for as little as $100 and experience those businesses as well, since they might be located right around the corner.

The idea is to invest in local businesses, says spokesman Dillon Sorensen.

“In the same way that consumers today have the ability to choose to buy local products and consume local foods, our goal is to provide everyday investors with the opportunity to invest in local businesses,” Sorensen says.

The platform also helps businesses with debt financing. To be listed with NextSeed, business owners must have a proven track record as entrepreneurs. Their business must be producing revenues, and they must be able to show that they can pay off the loan.

According to a release, women-owned businesses have lower access to capital than their male counterparts. A Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship 2016 report found that only $1 in $23 in small business loans go to women-owned businesses.

“Substantial amounts of research clearly show that women and minority entrepreneurs are largely underserved by traditional banks, and our platform is playing a small part in attempting to change that,” says NextSeed co-founder Bob Dunton.

Since its founding in 2014, NextSeed has raised $8 million for 30 small businesses, including two businesses in the Dallas-area: The Dumpling Bros., a food truck in Denton; and Leela’s Raw Bar & abv establishment, a Greenville Avenue restaurant.

The Dallas competition has attracted 15 applications so far. Judges include Leah Frazier, Courtney Sinelli (WhichWich), Julie McCullough (Folksie, The Pin Show, Harkensback), Tillie Borchers (Civitas Capital), and Stacey Barton (Trademark).

The deadline to apply is April 30; go to

Original Article

Dallas Observer
Written by: Beth Rankin

If there’s anything we’ve learned from the Museum of Ice Cream or the wild success of Yayoi Kusama’s infinity room at the Dallas Museum of Art, it’s that Instagram is forever altering the landscape of installation art. The gift-shop-inclusive, severely curated “experience” has become a major draw for the 18-35 set (and their legions of followers), and now, one’s coming to Dallas.

From May 18 to June 30, the Sweet Tooth Hotel, a 1,200-square-foot “experiential art and retail pop-up” will nestle into Victory Park between a Yoga Pod and a tapas bar (which is undoubtedly the most 2018 sentence ever). The installation, “concepted by husband and wife Cole and Jencey Keeton,” will have five “sugar-themed interactive rooms based on popular treats,” according to the pop-up’s website. “Each room will be thoughtfully crafted by Built By Bender, a design and fabrication shop whose roster includes a variety of clients from Legacy Hall to the City of Plano, with lots of hidden surprises to uncover.”

What does one do in a candy-themed “experiential art and retail pop-up”? Look at colorful things, take a new Facebook profile photo and spend some cash, naturally. Admission to the museum for one hour costs $20, but for $40, you’ll also get a “limited-edition key chain and key which unlock(s) experiences throughout.” There’s also a gift shop, of course, with “a curated selection of goods from brands such as Leatherology, Hairstory, Read Between the Lines, Valfré and Joy Macarons.” On a sweeter note, the Sweet Tooth Hotel is working with local brands (like Joy Macarons) and artists such as Shamsy Roomiani and Jeremy Biggers. You don’t need a ticket to access the gift shop.

The Sweet Tooth Hotel opens May 18 with admittance every hour from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Buy tickets on the pop-up’s website.

Original Article