The lowdown on what’s up with neighborhood businesses
Matt’s famous mural gets a makeover
Matt’s Rancho Martinez is set to reopen any day now in its new location at La Vista and Skillman, and its beloved mural has made the move. Rick Timmons, who painted the mural, says he making some updates to the painting, which has moved three times already. “People familiar with the painting will notice the changes,” Timmons says. He wouldn’t give any details, but he says he’s adding a longtime friend of Matt Martinez’s, as well as some reference to the old Matt’s location, next to the Lakewood Theater. Timmons’ business, Loco Gringo Studios, was next door to Matt’s at the time he painted the mural. Chandeliers from the old place have also moved to the new spot, and Matt’s recently ereceted a vintage-looking sign. Matt’s Rancho Martinez, 1904 Skillman, 214.823.5517
Wine shops transforms into wine lounge
Stoney’s, the wine shop with a 14-year history in Dallas, is moving into the bar business. Stoney’s Wine Lounge recently opened at the shop’s third location, on Oram near Skillman. Owners Stone and Diana Savage moved their wine retail business from Lower Greenville to Oram about two years ago. “Because we’re out of the way, it didn’t really work as a retail establishment,” Stone Savage says. The lounge offers cheese plates and antipasti along with wines by the glass and bottle. Stoney’s Wine Lounge, 6038 Oram, 214.953.3067
Havana Café to open in Casa Linda
Authentic Cuban food is on its way to former Bonnie Ruth’s spot on Buckner at Garland. Ernesto Velez, former owner of City Cigars on Knox-Central and co-owner of Havana Social in Victory Park, says he hopes to have Havana Café open by mid-September. Velez designed the Victory Park concept, and he says we can expect something similar at the Casa Linda Havana. As for the menu, he says, we can look forward to real Cuban cuisine. And the food will be moderately priced. “$8–$10 for lunch. $12 or so for dinner,” he says.
The Grape chef/owner launches hot dog venture
Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots is Chicago native Brian Luscher’s venture into the tube-meat market. The Grape chef/owner recently debuted his sausages at White Rock Local Market. “Where I grew up there’s a hot dog stand on every corner,” he says. Luscher says he gets “cravings and yearnings for them” the way a Texan might crave tacos or barbecue. But Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots are not hot-dog cart weenies with the neon-green relish. He buys the meat locally, then grinds it, spices it and stuffs it in casings. He makes pickles, mustard and other condiments from scratch. The red hots are smoked over post oak wood (hence the name) on Luscher’s grill, which he named Ms. Verna, and served on buns from La Francaise bakery in Garland. The dogs sell for $5 each, he says. “It’s not gonna be a $10 hot dog,” he says. “It’s still a hot dog for chrissakes.” Luscher would like to use the White Rock Market as an incubator for this “micro business,” he says. “I want to grow this into a physical location,” he says.
More business bits
1. California-based Jerry’s Wood-Fired Hot Dogs has leased the space on Gaston that formerly housed Lakewood Bar and Grill, and has plans to open this month.
2. Pet store Canine Commissary has closed its location at Mockingbird and Abrams. Its location on Garland Road just north of Jupiter will remain open but with reduced hours. Canine Commissary 11504 Garland, 214.324.3900
3. The little eatery in the southeast corner shopping strip at Northwest and Abrams, Chicago Hot Dog/Eddie’s Deli, has been replaced by a new concept called Latin Deli, which specializes in coffee, breakfast and sandwiches. Latin Deli, 5844 Abrams
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