Following the abrupt closure of Stephan Pyles’s Flora Street Cafe, the chef behind its sibling spot, an experimental tasting menu destination called Fauna, has already found a new home for his restaurant.
Chef Peter Barlow’s wildly creative and elaborately prepared dishes have landed at Ellie’s, the ritzy new Arts District restaurant that’s just steps away from Fauna’s previous home at Flora Street Cafe. About ten hours after Pyles announced Flora Street’s departure, chef Eric Dreyer invited Barlow to take over the private dining room at Ellie’s so that he could honor Fauna’s reservations for the next several weeks.
“Stephan had this tight under wraps,” Barlow told Eater. “No one knew.” As such, diners who already had reservations on the books before Pyles’s abrupt closure of Flora Street Cafe will have to email the chef (via email@example.com) to rebook their dinner in the new location.
Dubbed Fauna 2.0, news spread of this quick recovery via Instagram. At around 10:30 p.m. on Friday night, Chef Barlow’s instagram account @elchefpeter announced four open reservations available for this past Saturday (which were soon snatched up, by the way), turning lemons into quick lemonade and calling the new experience at Hall Arts a pop-up for “6 weeks only.” “A pop-up is really the last thing we want to be,” Barlow says. “We’re a full dining experience. Nothing is makeshift. No paper plates. We have the full works.”
Right now, Barlow is currently searching for investors to help him open Fauna in a permanent location after he returns from Copenhagen, where he’s headed to work in the kitchen at forward-thinking restaurant Alchemist for a couple of months. As for how long Chef Barlow will be in Europe, “It’s really up in the air right now.” But the aim is three-to-six months. If they secure an investor, he may make it a shorter trip and be back in Dallas sooner than planned.
Update, 3:29 p.m.: Since this story was first published, chef Stephan Pyles reached out with an update that all reservations for both Flora Street Cafe and Fauna were promptly notified and issued refunds by Chef Pyles’ staff after news of the closure.