James Beard award-winning chef Tim Byres will join another James Beard award winner and his mentor Stephan Pyles at Flora Street Cafe, after Byres and partners sold their standout West Dallas barbecue eatery Smoke last week.
On the heels of Smoke’s acquisition by the Belmont Hotel, Byres announced he’s landed across town in the Dallas Arts District to help Pyles revamp Flora Street Cafe from a “special occasion” eatery into something more approachable. Although it received a five-star review from former Dallas Morning News food critic Leslie Brenner, the restaurant hasn’t been immune to challenges posed by the Arts District.
Other establishments, like recently shuttered Proof + Pantry, have succumbed to the tough neighborhood — one that’s largely devoid of diners unless there’s a show happening at one of the performance halls on the block. Couple that with Flora Street’s pricey menu, and it’s no wonder the cafe is having trouble drawing huge crowds. Proposed changes include revamping the interiors to a more casual feel and introducing brunch for the first time — a Dallas institution for which Smoke was well known.
Byres and Pyles have consistently collaborated on different initiatives after Byres left his post as executive chef at Pyles’ eponymous restaurant on Ross Avenue in 2009 to open Smoke. Pyles and Byres have helped raise $1 million toward the national No Kid Hungry organization, via the Dallas dinner now in its 11th year. In his new role as managing director, Byres will theoretically also have a hand in the re-opening of Stampede 66 in Allen along with two new projects Provisions 66 and Canyon Bar.
“I’ve mentored a lot of men and women over the years who have gone on to be great chefs, but Tim had something special that made me realize we would work together again someday in a more collaborative manner,” Pyles said in a statement. “It’s already become apparent that we have more ideas than time to execute them all. I never thought after 35 years of owning restaurants I would be this excited about a new direction.”
“I am excited about this change because it has been like we never fully parted ways,” Byres added. “We have been playing in the same arena representing our regional food, just in different corners and better friends for it.”
Flora Street Café is open for lunch Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dinner Monday through Saturday 5:30 to close. Stay tuned to hear more about the changes expected at Flora Street Cafe, and what happens to Smoke after Byres’ departure.
- Barbecue Stalwart Smoke’s Future Is Uncertain After Tim Byres’s Departure [EDFW]
- Proof + Pantry Shutters After Tumultuous Time in the Arts District [EDFW]
- Stephan Pyles Shutters His Texas-Themed Uptown Restaurant [EDFW]
- Flora Street Cafe Earns What Could Be Leslie Brenner’s Last Five Star Review [EDFW]