At the border of Uptown and Downtown, the Henry is preparing to make its Dallas debut, and it’s a restaurant that’s big enough for the entire city to share.
The Henry is a new American style restaurant, cafe, bar, lounge, and everything in between. Housed in a 15,000 (no, that’s not a typo) square foot space, the restaurant has set the bar ridiculously high with its bold claim of growing into the “greatest neighborhood restaurant.” To do that, the Henry must waffle between highbrow chic and comfortable casual with great precision.
The Henry is huge. In such a prime location, at the intersection of Akard and Cedar Springs, it’s almost mind boggling how much money must have been poured into turning the once parking lot into such a sprawling dining destination. Almost within spitting distance of Harwood’s restaurant giants, The Henry has no choice but to go big or go home. And go big it has. The restaurant is a project of Fox Restaurant Group, the same folks who brought Flower Child and North Italia to Dallas from Arizona, and they are certainly not new to the expansionist game.
Despite being so encompassing, the Henry’s space still manages to feel intimate. Its spatial planning is its strongest trait, ensuring that the space feels closer to its combined restaurant, bar, cafe, outdoor patio, and private dining room, and less like a warehouse set in Downtown. Because The Henry is playing so many roles, it has the difficult task of making sure each separate division of the space is unique, without feeling like a mismatch of a dozen different rooms. Unsurprisingly, it does this well.
The main downstairs dining area sets the mood for the majority of the space. Filled with lavish silver cobalt blue walls, creamy brown suede leather booths, and chunky end grain butcher block tables, it feels comfortable enough to have a quick lunch in, but not so casual that a romantic dinner out would feel cheap in the slightest.
Further down from the main entrance sits the main bar and lounge. Accompanied with the same blues, browns, and wood accents, the space is intended to recall a “Great Gatsby vibe,” according to its publicist. It’s really more art nouveau, especially with the abundance of mock 18th century French oil portraits, wherein the subjects face is either obscured with a swipe of paint, or replaced entirely by a bouquet of flowers. While interesting, it occasionally comes off less as ‘modern meets classical’ and more like a graffiti artist in the Louvre.
At the end of the first floor guests can come in for a quick grab and go drink from the fully equipped cafe. Combining the vibe of a French boulangerie and a bustling American coffee shop, patrons can sip their brew, enjoy a few house made pastries, and watch the open air kitchen hustle while reading the news. For those in a hurry, the cafe has its own dedicated entrance and exit, so no need for dine-in guests to ever cross paths and slow things down for the early morning crowd just grabbing a cup to go.
Upstairs, in the main dining room, the Henry opens up and shows off its real strengths. As The Henry claims themselves: “The aesthetic is inviting and approachable with warm colors, Texas-inspired vignettes and hospitable service.” A double walled bar splits the upstairs dining and drinking space into a shared interior/exterior patio. Guests can sit among the polished brass and blue leather seating to enjoy the warming weather and watch the pulse of Downtown. A private dining room sits off to one side of this space, allowing larger groups to sit, eat, and unwind without as much interruption.
Without further ado, take a peek through the space courtesy of Eater photographer Kathy Tran. The Henry is set to debut on February 13.