You can’t win ‘em all, not even if you’re legendary restaurateur Phil Romano. As an incubator for up-and-coming restaurant concepts, Romano’s Trinity Groves is home to plenty of successful restaurants, including Casa Rubia, Kitchen LTO, and Resto Gastro Bistro. Unfortunately, though, not all of Trinity Groves’ ideas have been winners just yet, and Sugar Skull Cafe is the third casualty of this "restaurant amusement park" experiment.
According to a press release, Sugar Skull Cafe has officially closed its doors as of yesterday. The fast-casual "homage to Mexican street food" opened in March of this year, offering a full breakfast menu, tacos, and ceviches. This restaurant was the second in Trinity Groves for Jonn Baudoin, who opened the much-lauded Casa Rubia in November of 2014.
"I’ve had a great run at Trinity Groves," Baudoin said in the release. "They believed in me and empowered me to try new things. I’m obviously disappointed, but I also understand that it’s the nature of this business."
In its relatively short (if prolific) life, Trinity Groves has seen three restaurant closures. Didi’s Tamale Diner, a much-beloved establishment that migrated from Mesquite to a shiny new location at Trinity Groves, was the first to close its doors in February. Potato Flats, a lunch concept that Romano hoped to franchise, shuttered just a few months later.
Perhaps Sugar Skull Cafe is just another expected tragedy of the model, which is considered to be both "the country’s first and only restaurant incubator" and a "leading force in the economic development of West Dallas." Trinity Groves Support Group president (and established restaurateur) Bob Sambol said via email that the closure helps the Group figure out how to make future restaurants successful.
"The Trinity Groves team continues to learn more about what it takes for a restaurant to thrive here," Sambol wrote. "That insight is invaluable, particularly as we continue to grow and create more opportunities for promising entrepreneurs," he said. "Jonn is smart, creative and passionate about food. I’m confident that the Dallas dining scene will be hearing from him again."