Penne Pomodoro, the Italian family dining restaurant with locations in Snider Plaza and North Dallas, will take over the empty Kitchen 1924 space in the Lakewood hopping center, says Greg Pierce, who leases the shopping center. Our Christina Hughes Babb had the first inkling of this in September. The restaurant should open in the spring.

This is a significant development. Alberto Lombardi is a big-time Dallas restaurant entrepreneur whose companies own Pomodoro, Taverna, Toulouse, and five or six other concepts, with locations in Las Vegas, Austin and Fort Worth. But this is the first time Lombardi has opened a restaurant on this side of Central Expressway. In other words, it looks like we’ve finally arrived. We can argue about whether that matters to most of us, but it may be the first time in the 25 years that I’ve lived here that an established company that wasn’t located in the neighborhood moved here. (Apparently, several members of the Lombardi live in Lakewood, which helped.)

The Pomodoro menu looks moderately priced (perhaps a little bit less than Carraba’s when it was in the shopping center). Its reviews seem to be good – a 78 percent favorable rating on Urban Spoon and an “unassumingly tasty” from the Observer, which is usually pretty tough.

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