For about five years after the restaurant closed, Demers was a chef at restaurants such as Local Traveler at Gaston-Garland-Grand, Beverley’s and Flora Street Cafe.
He was at Flora Street Cafe when it closed, and then took a two-year break to prepare for his next restaurant.
Demers says he wasn’t discouraged after On the Lamb closed because he learned from his mistakes. It provided him firsthand experience of what it would take to own and operate his own restaurant.
“After you have one and have complete freedom to do whatever you want, you will never be happy again working for someone else,” he says.
Demers wanted a location that wasn’t “oversaturated.” In Old East Dallas, the restaurant would either be an instant success or failure, he predicted, and was looking for a challenge, he says. Because he didn’t have many investors, he was paying close attention to rent prices, too.
For the name, Demers chose Cry Wolf. He says it’s a tribute to his mother, who often told him the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. It opened last November on Gaston Avenue near N. Carroll Avenue.
There are 20 seats in the main dining room and 12 at the bar. Demers did a lot of the work himself inside — the painting, the back bar, the ceiling, the floors, the bathrooms. He says people compare the interior to a Laurel Canyon bungalow. However, at the time of the interview, he was working on a collage of the one-star reviews diners have given and planned to display the art at the restaurant.
They’re eventually going to have a speakeasy in the back, but the top priority now is setting up the patio for when the weather is cooler. It will be its own concept with its own menu, a smaller list of “casual” food, frozen drinks and cocktails.
The menu at Cry Wolf changes often. Demers keeps in close communication with purveyors to find out what’s fresh, be it fish or gamebirds. Along with a few others at the restaurant, he crafts the menu around ingredients. Demers says he doesn’t offer many hoofed animals like beef or pork because he doesn’t particularly care for them, and there are plenty of other places in Dallas serving them.