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Black Restaurant Week Kicks Off This Week in Dallas

Plus, a former Dallas Cowboys chef debuts an Arlington restaurant and more DFW dining intel

fried catfish tenders with thick toast, pickles, fries and tarter sauce in a plastic basket lines with red and white checkered paper
Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que is just one of the Dallas restaurants participating in Black Restaurant Week.
Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que/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.

Several Dallas restaurants participate in Black Restaurant Week

A number of Black-owned Dallas-area restaurants are participating in a national initiative to highlight African, African American and Caribbean cuisines. Black Restaurant Week, which runs from March 12 -21, was co-founded by Houstonian Derek Robinson in 2016 as a “celebration of flavors,” and a way to promoted Black-owned food and drinks businesses. In Dallas, that includes spots like Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que, S&J’s Hot Chick, Harris House of Heroes, and Smoke-A-Holics BBQ in Forth Worth. Participating restaurants offer special happy hour deals or discounts, and there’s even a Black Restaurant Bingo game to encourage diners to explore the variety of restaurants.

The event is especially important this year, Robinson told the Dallas Morning News, as the coronavirus shutdown compounded the systemic barriers already faced by Black business owners. One study cited by the DMN found that Black-owned businesses were some of the hardest hit during the shutdown.

“There are challenges that African-American business do endure over time,” Robinson told the paper. “There are a lot of opportunities that these restaurants so rightfully deserve. That’s why we strive to really support these restaurants.”

Former Cowboys chef opens Southern restaurant in Arlington

Patrick Whitfield, a former chef for the Dallas Cowboys, will open a new restaurant in the shadow of AT&T Stadium next month. The restaurant, Ella B’s, will focus on Southern African-American cooking traditions, including Lowcountry cuisine and Cajun food like shrimp and grits, as well as Jamaican and Nigerian dishes, according to Culturemap. The restaurant is named after Patrick’s grandmother, Ella B. Whifield, who taught him to cook as a child.

In addition to cooking for the Cowboys, Patrick and his wife Patricia have run a catering business for more than a decade. During the last year, Covenant Catering Service expanded to provide food service to bars, a move that allowed those establishments to reopen as restaurants during the statewide shutdown.

Ella B’s will open on April 1 at 1004 N. Collins Street in Arlington.

Two more restaurants join Flower Mound’s River Walk

Two more restaurants have been announced for the new Restaurant Row at Flower Mound’s River Walk development. Boi Na Braza, a Brazilian steakhouse, will be relocating to the development from Grapevine; and Parliament, the Uptown Dallas cocktail bar. will also open an outpost at the River Walk.

The two eateries, which were announced last week. will join meatball spot Sfereco, Primo’s MX Kitchen & Lounge, and vintage gaming bar Scout. Primo’s is expected to be the first restaurant to open, later this spring. Boi Na Braza and Parliament will open in the summer.