Now that the short-lived Hot Joy experiment is officially over, the restaurant’s owners are offering up explanations as to why it closed so abruptly.
Speaking with the San Antonio Current’s Jessica Elizarraras, Hot Joy owner Chad Carey says that the eatery just “didn’t connect” with Dallas diners. “Obviously, if the place was on track to make $5mm/year we wouldn’t be closing it,” Carey told the paper. “And I don’t think that Hot Joy, in that location anyways, was connecting with Dallas like we’d both hoped. I’m sure it seems odd to close it after just 15 weeks…but this is why we announced it as a pop-up.”
Which is technically true, but the San Antonio export had planned a two-year Dallas pop up that lasted just under four months before it shuttered abruptly one weekend. Coincidentally, it was the weekend right after the restaurant earned two uniquely harsh reviews from Dallas restaurant critics. Multiple visits to the restaurant throughout its tenure also seemed to indicate that the dining room just wasn’t busy enough.
Elizarraras offers her own thoughts on why the restaurant that was so popular in San Antonio didn’t make it in Dallas, citing disparities in median income and number of James Beard Award award winners and nominees between the two cities, among other reasons. Ultimately, though, it seems as if Hot Joy’s demise can be attributed to one hugely important factor: the food just wasn’t that good.