Live Local: The lowdown on neighborhood businesses

The lowdown on what’s up with local enterprises

Delia (Dee) Pissaro, the owner of raw food restaurant Bliss Raw Café on Greenville near Park Lane, plans to open a new vegan restaurant on Henderson (1908 Henderson) adjacent to the Pearl Cup. The new restaurant, Bliss Veggie Cafe, slated to open in August, will serve vegan food, fresh juices and about 25 smoothies. “We will have cooked food at this location, and we are really focused on providing nutritional options for vegetarians. A lot of places serve vegetarian dishes that aren’t nutritious at all,” Pisarro says. Her restaurants serve dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and, whenever possible, organic dishes. Toria Villorial, who managed Spiral Diner in Fort Worth for five years, is the restaurant’s managing partner.

An East Dallas native, Pissaro has familial roots to this area that date back to the ’50s “or longer”, she says. Pissaro opened the original café on Greenville almost a year ago, then opened a second location in Preston Center about six months afterward. She recently signed leases to expand her Bliss empire with two restaurants in Houston and one in Austin, all of which she hopes to have open by the end of this year. Ironically enough, when Pissaro is not on the road scouting out new locations, opening up new restaurants, or working at one of her existing restaurants, she can often be found downtown or at festivals and parades selling hot dogs from stands. Pissaro, a former butcher who is very forthright about not being a vegan or vegetarian herself, is a supporter of Mercy for Animals, a national nonprofit animal advocacy organization.

For neighbors looking for a “meatier” option than a veggie café, the Dallas-based burger chain Jakes is opening up its sixth location down the street at Henderson and Belmont. The original Jakes opened in Lake Highlands in 1985. After the success of the initial restaurant, Jakes opened locations in Plano, Addison, Uptown and Fort Worth.

Laundry, a new men’s and women’s clothing store, has opened at 2323 Henderson adjacent to Natsumi. Owner Amy Aldrich Clark lives in Lakewood, and her store sells jeans, T-shirts, accessories and other goods. Clark says she makes it a point to support other local business owners by carrying local and Texas manufactured goods whenever possible.

Another Henderson shop, The Gypsy Wagon, has moved to a bigger, more prominent space down the street. Owner Carley Seale opened her shop on Bonita near Henderson in October 2007. Seale says the wagon had outgrown its original space, but she wanted to stay in the neighborhood. The new store, near Central in the former Needless Necessities location, has about two-and-a-half times the square footage of the old one, which will still allow it to carry even more eclectic gifts, clothes, collectibles and goodies that has made it so popular among neighbors.

There’s a new baker in town. Wholesome Foods Bakery — a gluten-free, all-natural and organic bakery — opened a couple of months ago at the intersection of Walnut Hill and Audelia, just northeast of Chase bank. Find a full interview with mother-daughter owners Anne Hoyt and Taylor Nicholson, an East Dallas neighbor, on page 19. As they mention in the interview, the bakery offers a wide array of handmade sweet breads, yeast breads, muffins, treats, on-the-go food bars and crunch mix targeted to families who, like Hoyt and Nicholson, have to stay away from gluten. The duo encourages new customers to stop in to try any of their goodies, and is offering Advocate readers 15 percent off walk-in and pre-orders through the end of July. Enter the discount code “Advocate” at check out on the website, wholesomefoodsbakery.com, or mention this article in the shop. The bakery is open only on Tuesdays and occasionally Fridays at this time, but in August Wholesome Foods Bakery will be relocating to Buckner and Northcliff (near the Green Spot), allowing Hoyt and Nicholson to increase their in-store hours.

House on the market? Need pics? Shoot2Sell is a commercial and residential real estate photography company based in the Peninsula neighborhood on the east shore of White Rock Lake. Owner Richard Sharum started his photog biz earlier this year and explains, “We offer top tier, magazine-quality images at a reasonable price.” Sharum’s basic residential package includes up to 25 images (including exterior), and starts at $70 to shoot pics of a house that is 2,499 square feet or less; $99 for 2,500 square feet or larger. Visit shoot2sell.net to see Sharum’s work and set up a consult.

Pinkberry, the California-based frozen yogurt shop with a cult-like following, is opening a fourth store in Dallas this summer. The new shop will be on Upper Greenville, across from Old Town Shopping Center in the spot Quizno’s formerly occupied.

Speaking of Quizno’s, I noticed that there seems to be a rash of Quizno’s closings in the area (such as Mockingbird near Abrams, and Greenville near Lovers), so I had to investigate further. The owner of one of the few remaining Quiznos in the area — Casa Linda Plaza, which recently received an internal facelift — explained that franchisees either had to pay to upgrade their interiors in compliance with corporate deadlines (i.e., get the internal facelift) or shut their doors. Obviously, some area franchisee owners opted out of the mini-makeover.


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