Why aren't more people eating at Mesa? Back in June, Nancy Nichols made a plea to Dallas diners: If you love Mesa, give them your business. Now, in a SideDish post about the critically acclaimed Oak Cliff restaurant's "spectacular" new fall menu, Carol Shih notes that "The Reyes family is considering the possibility of moving to another location since they aren't getting as much business as they would like."
Is the neighborhood keeping people away? Mesa is located on Oak Cliff's busy, vibrant Jefferson Boulevard, which is largely populated by small, mostly Hispanic-owned businesses: quinceneara shops, restaurants hawking some of the best tacos and tortas in town, and pawn shops. (There's also the historic Texas Theatre, whose newly renevated digs draw hipsters in for indie films, late-night horror movies and art shows.) It's certainly not a neighborhood previously known for its finer dining options, but it's merely three-quarters of a mile from the always buzzing Bishop Arts district, where Boulevardier, Lucia, Hattie's and a number of other hot restaurants are packing diners in nightly. And there's plenty of free or metered parking, which ought to be a major draw for diners fed up with overpriced valet service.
Or, as Nichols speculated over the summer, is the demand for higher-end, regional Mexican food simply not there? (Alma and Masaryk were both short-lived, although Komali remains open.) The price tags at Mesa are perhaps a bit higher than Dallas folks may be used to paying for Mexican food, but not by much: Mesa's entrees top out at around $20, with most starters hovering around $8. And we're talking artfully arranged plates of carefully prepared fresh seafood and produce, not gloppy Tex-Mex covered in ranchero sauce.
Would a move to, say, the nearby Bishop Arts district give Mesa the support it needs to survive?
· Mesa's New Fall Menu is Spectacular [SideDish]
· Mesa is in Trouble [SideDish]
· Mesa: Bringing Veracruz to Oak Cliff [Dallas Observer]
· All Mesa coverage on Eater Dallas [-EDFW-]