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Preston Center Scores a New York Style Pizza Destination

Plus, more Dallas dining intel

Close up of a deep-dish pepperoni pizza served on a round metal tray/
A deep-dish pie from Yonkers Pizza Company
Yonkers Pizza Company/Facebook

Welcome to AM Intel in the time of coronavirus, a round-up of the city’s newest bits of restaurant-related intel. Follow Eater on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date details on how COVID-19 is impacting the city’s dining scene.

Pizza joint with Cowboys coaching roots opens in Preston Center

A new pizza restaurant serving up New York-style pies has a special connection to the Dallas Cowboys. Tony Avezzano is the owner of the newly-opened Yonkers Pizza Company at 8421 Westchester Drive. If that surname rings a bell, it’s because Avezzano’s father, Joe Avezzano, was a special teams coach for the Cowboys for 14 years, starting in 1990, when he was hired by then head coach Jimmy Johnson.

The younger Avezzano got his start in the food industry when his father, who died in 2012, decided to open a sports bar in Lewisville called Hat Tricks, according to CultureMap. The bar eventually started offering New York-style Italian food, but was sold in 2014. But that cooking experience lead Tony Avezzano to open Yonkers Pizza. The new restaurant serves deep dish pies and individual slices, as well as Jimmy’s sausage, meatball subs and other Italian-American comfort food.

Owner of longtime McKinney restaurant dies of COVID-19

Jim Connolly, who owned longtime McKinney pizza restaurant Jim’s Pizza, has died of COVID-19, NBCDFW reports. Connelly first founded Jim’s Pizza in 1969, and had been a constant fixture at the restaurant until his retirement last year. He was diagnosed with the coronavirus in October, and died last week after a long hospitalization. Connolly’s son Scott told the news station that so many people attended the virtual funeral that it put a strain on the livestream. Scott Connolly will continue to run the restaurant his father started more than 50 years ago.

Curry Up Now will bring Indian fast food to the Metroplex

Curry Up Now, a quickly-growing chain of Indian fast-casual restaurants, has announced a multi-city franchise deal for Texas, including several locations in the greater Dallas area. According to a press release, Curry Up Now locations are in the works for both Richardson and Lakewood, with other locations headed to Houston and Austin. The restaurant serves fusion street food dishes like tikka masala burritos and “naughty naan,” covered with melted cheese, jalapeños and caramelized onions. The DFW restaurants are expected to open in Spring 2021.

East Dallas coffee shop Well Grounded will employ formerly-incarcerated moms

A new cafe setting up shop in Casa Linda will serve as a support system for mothers who were formerly incarcerated, according to the Dallas Morning News. Well Grounded Coffee Community, which opens today, December 14, at 9219 Garland Road, is a faith-based program that provides occupational training for women, including skills like bookkeeping, computer usage and customer service. The coffee shop is an extension of a Dallas non-rofit names Exodus Ministries, and was inspired by a longtime program in California called the Delancey Street Foundation. Delancey Street was founded 50 years ago to serve people in poverty, substance abusers, former felons, and others, and has since worked with more than 18,000 people.

Well Grounded will serve beans from Full City Rooster, as well as soups from Maya’s Modern Mediterranean, Empire Baking Company bread and vegan and gluten-free pastries from Unrefined Bakery.