Updated Sept. 10, 2021 to correct the name of the chef at Crab City.
They say good things come in threes. So here are three new food-and-bev establishments that opened in August or September 2021 in Dallas-Fort Worth.
New Garland restaurant Crab City is serving seafood fusion food that honors the owners’ Vietnamese upbringing and shows off their love for Cajun food.
The seafood shack came together from an unlikely duo — Myke Nguyen, who owns several dental-related businesses, and Minh Nguyen, whose background is in construction. The Nguyen men are not related, despite their last name, but they say they’re “sworn brothers” who paired up for a “family” venture. The rest of their staff includes actual family, like restaurant coordinator QueAnh Nguyen, who is in-laws with Myke Nguyen, and Cuc Tran, 75, who is Minh Nguyen’s mom.
“Food is their passion,” QueAnh Nguyen says. “We’re going to make an attempt at this, with help from family.” (She came out of retirement to do so: Pre-pandemic, she was scuba diving at vacation spots around the world. “So here I am, back home in the U.S., with a lot of time on my hands,” she says.)
The menu from chef Thanh Nguyen (again, no relation) includes straight-ahead seafood dishes like boiled crawfish and fried catfish. It also features Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, with an emphasis on seafood — like the chef’s lobster with XO sauce, a classic sauce from Hong Kong.
Crab City is at 618 N Jupiter Road, Garland. It opened Sept. 1, 2021.
Downtown Dallas nightclub Rokwood is modeled after a club and taqueria in Miami’s South Beach. Managing partner Matt Jones describes Rokwood as part speakeasy, part nightclub. An adjoined restaurant, Taco City, opens soon, says a spokeswoman.
The club has chandeliers and gilded mirrors, in an effort to look like “an Instagrammer’s dream,” says a company statement. A private area bathed in blue even has a claw-foot tub, for photos.
Rokwood will features DJs each night it’s open — Thursday through Sunday — and the option for bottle service. The two-story structure might eventually get a third story — a rooftop deck that’s expected to have views of the lit-up Omni hotel in downtown Dallas.
Jones hopes it’s the type of place where one group of people can have multiple experiences: “You get bored with one spot and you and your friends go and check out a completely different view,” he says.
Rokwood is at 600 Jackson St., Dallas. It opened Sept. 2, 2021.
Sylvan Avenue Tavern
The owners of Bryan Street Tavern in Old East Dallas have opened Sylvan Avenue Tavern in West Dallas. It’s a bar and pizza joint with a lot of the no-nonsense atmosphere from the original.
Sylvan Avenue Tavern has pool tables, TVs, pinball machines and a rooftop patio. The bar takes the place of a mostly-vacant space that was once a yoga studio, at the Sylvan Thirty development catty-cornered from the Belmont Hotel.
Despite the dressed-down room, the menu is serious. Items range from bar food like toasted ravioli and loaded tots to more eclectic options like edamame served with spicy garlic soy sauce. The menu also includes a dozen pizzas; three pastas; 11 sauce options for chicken wings; six burgers; and eight sandwiches including a grilled cheese, Philly cheesesteak and lettuce wraps. Dessert, too.
Sounds like you should come hungry and thirsty.
Sylvan Avenue Tavern is at 1888 Sylvan Ave., Dallas (in Sylvan Thirty). It opened Aug. 13, 2021.