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Some people get excited about the birth of babies, flowers beginning to bloom, or a sunrise over the mountains while sitting on a remote beach on Maui. Sure, those things all have their merits, but finding out about the opening of a fantastic new restaurant in Dallas-Fort Worth is one of our favorite things in the world. (It’s the simple things, really.) If you’re like us and love to try the latest and greatest, read on for some of the recent debuts that have us way too excited. Whether it’s making a reservation at a new Design District steakhouse or standing in line for New York bagels in the Park Cities, we’ve got our next few meals planned out right here.

To open a restaurant during a pandemic is ludicrous and courageous and challenging. That is why these 12 restaurants are bound together into a cohort like no other, each one a miracle, collectively a group that has meant more than restaurants ever have. As we have emerged, vulnerable, theirs has been a task of daunting proportions: to redefine a dining landscape shaken to its core by the tumult of a global catastrophe the industry is still weathering. And, also, to give us a reason to go out again.

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This beloved German restaurant in Plano was supposed to close before Thanksgiving Day, leave its home of 28 years and relocate to a new address in the same city. But even the best-laid construction plans rarely stay on schedule. Owner Jürgen Mahneke is keeping the original restaurant on W. Parker Road open at least until the end of 2021 — which means there’s time for one more plate of jägerschnitzel. Customers are encouraged to make reservations, as a lot of folks want to pay their respects to the longtime restaurant.

A few weeks ago, we caught you up on new restaurant openings and a few closures, but news is still comin’ in as hot as Nashville chicken sandwiches every day (yes, more of those too). Here’s the latest intel on Dallas restaurants and bars that have opened or closed in the last few weeks, as well as a heads up on a few super hot coming-soon spots.

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In an inspirational story about grit, the owners of The Bells Sweet Factory had $40 in their bank account — no house, no car, no cell phones — before they opened their Cajun food trailer. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott liked the food, as did thousands of others, and now these entrepreneurs have converted the food truck into a real restaurant. I know what it means to miss New Orleans, but Bells will try to take you there.

When the four-decade-old Dallas institution The Grape made the tough decision to close its doors for good, the city mourned. The Grape first opened for business in 1972, making it a Gen-Xer edifice. That being said, any restaurant venture that would attempt to move into the old bones of The Grape has gargantuan class-act shoes to fill. Fortunately, the people at Duro Hospitality, which is behind The Charles, are up for the challenge with the new restaurant Sister.

The much-anticipated sister restaurant to The Charles has made her debut and it’s as fabulous as you’d expect it to be. Sister, an Italian-ish trattoria on Greenville Avenue inhabits the space of The Grape, a fabled Dallas dining institution that opened in 1972 and closed in 2019.

The neighborhood just got snackier. Manpuku, which brought Japanese yakiniku barbecue to Lower Greenville this summer, will introduce its outdoor patio spot, Niku Bar, on an as-yet-to-be-determined date. (Previously, Niku was slated to open October 7 but after staff tested positive for COVID both Manpuku and Niku will be closed until further notice.) There, find Japanese-meets-Spanish tapas (uni and kobe beef sashimi, beef yakiniku tortilla pizza, crab ceviche, Japanese taco rice, spicy beef ramen) from chef Kentaro Tsunoda. To round out the Euro-Japanese eats, find whiskys, sangria, and craft beer. And just in time for ​​the Texas/OU weekend (and through Oct. 21), Niku Bar will have half-off glasses of house wine, sake, beer, and cocktails from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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The owners of The Charles have wasted no time making their new Italian-Mediterranean restaurant, Sister, feel at home on Greenville Avenue. It had been open less than 24 hours when I stepped inside, but it’s designed to feel like it’s been part of the neighborhood for decades. There are plates on the wall, floral wallpaper, and curved purple banquettes where groups of four can squeeze in for a cozy dinner of shared appetizers, pastas and wine.

With people digging out from the pandemic, the pace of restaurant openings in Dallas has really stepped up. Nary a day goes by that there does not appear some kind of story about an opening, sometimes two. Lately, the openings have started to pile up, and before you know it, you have a list on your hands.

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Dallas-Fort Worth is stuffed with good restaurants — trendy upstarts, longtime favorites and many in between. Where should you eat, and why? In honor of a Dallas Morning News magazine we used to publish called The Hot List, we’re bringing that “hot” idea back, in digital form, with a new series. Feast on the Hot List at the beginning of every month at dallasnews.com/food. We’ll continually update you with delicious restaurant ideas in Dallas-Fort Worth.

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Sister, a new “Italian-ish” restaurant with plenty of Mediterranean influence, will make its debut in an iconic Lower Greenville space later this month. Sister will open at 2808 Greenville Avenue in late September. That’s the former address of The Grape, the 50-year-old Dallas institution that closed in 2018. Sister will be the sibling restaurant to Design District destination the Charles, which opened that same year. The new eatery will take on a Mediterranean vibe, with wood-fired meats, pasta, and other eats in a quirky, cozy environment.

The Charles restaurant ownership group, Duro Hospitality, announced today that its first venture outside of the Design District will open later this month. Sister, another Italian-ish restaurant, will open at 2808 Greenville Avenue in the venue previously occupied by one of Dallas’ most iconic restaurants, The Grape, which closed permanently in October 2019.

One of Chef Junior Borges’ newest culinary additions at The Village, this pan-Mediterranean wine and food bar is now open in the new Drey Hotel lobby. A vibrant space filled with blue accents and greenery, the restaurant offers a full menu of mezze, flatbreads, salads, charcuterie, and large plates. There’s also brunch on weekends, which features Chocolate Babbka French Toast, Lamb Kofta Shakshuka, and more. Wine is available by the glass or bottle, and a cocktail list includes nine different creations including an Orange Blossom with Lillet Blanc, tonic, and Hella orange bitters.

Speaking of The Grape: A new concept from the minds behind The Charles will soon open in The Grape’s previously occupied space. The Charles’ sister concept, appropriately called Sister, promises dishes inspired by Mediterranean cuisine.

Welcome Sister, the new Dallas restaurant opening in the former Grape The cuisine will include Mediterranean food. Duro Hospitality Group: from left, Benji Homsey, Chas Martin, Corbin See & Ross See There’s an exciting new Dallas restaurant coming to the Greenville Avenue space that was once home to the iconic Grape: Called Sister.

There’s an exciting new Dallas restaurant coming to the Greenville Avenue space that was once home to the iconic Grape: Called Sister, it’s a sibling to The Charles, the buzzy eatery in Dallas’ Design District from Duro Hospitality, and will open at 2808 Greenville Ave. in the fall.

After a tumultuous 2020, Dallas diners seem hungry for hope. Luckily — and amazingly — the future of our dining scene appears as vibrant as ever. 2021 will bring a delicious bite of nostalgia to the pie-shaped building at Commerce and Cesar Chavez Boulevard in Dallas. Restaurateur Nick Badovinus (Town Hearth, Neighborhood Services) is fascinated with the 100-year-old structure, which opened as a service station in the 1920s. It was home to KLIF-AM radio in the ‘60s and ‘70s. And in 2021, it’ll become National Anthem, a 10,000-square-foot restaurant with a rock ‘n’ roll identity.

Dallas is the latest Texas city—after Austin and Houston—to secure a brick-and-mortar location of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, an Ohio-based chain with a strong national following. CultureMap Dallas reported the scoop that an official spokesperson had no details about the timeline of the opening, in keeping with their habit of opening without fanfare. However, we suspect no matter how quietly they open the doors, everyone in Deep Ellum will know. Fans of their specialty ice cream flavors—think goat cheese and roasted cherries or vegan cold brew with coconut cream—can choose between a single scoop or multiple half scoops.

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Nearly 50 years after The Grape opened in Dallas, the now-closed restaurant space will get new life. Chas Martin, who operates upscale Italian restaurant The Charles in the Dallas Design District, is working on a new restaurant in East Dallas that’s expected to open in 2021.