Cedar Grove brings back Drag Brunch this Sunday!

IMG_0021When Dish in the ilume announced it was closing in February, everyone in the gayborhood wondered: What will happen to Drag Brunch? Owner Tim McEneny told me in June, when the new concept, Cedar Grove, opened, that Drag Brunch would return … but didn’t have a firm date.

Well, now we do! It’s this Sunday, Sept. 25, with three-courses-and-a-show for $35. And you can also get lunch now every Friday from 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Youth First art on display at ilume Gallerie

ilumeThe annual Youth First Art Show kicks off on Aug. 9 at the ilume GALLERIE, 4123 Cedar Springs Road, Suite 107, and runs through Aug. 12. Original art pieces included in the show center on the concept of love.

Meet the artists at a reception Wednesday, Aug. 10. Many of the youth in the art program use art as a form of therapy to cope with issues such as bullying, mental health struggles or a lack of family acceptance. Additionally, the art program has brought families together in support of their LGBT youth as they express their identity in a creative medium.

The Youth First Art Show was made possible through funding provided by the city of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. Pieces on display are available for purchase. All proceeds from the art show will benefit Resource Center’s Youth First program.

—  David Taffet

FIRST LOOK: ilume’s new Cedar Grove restaurant

IMG_3137Dish has been gone since the winter, and now,  just as summer is about to officially begin, the space at the ilume is about to reopen. Cedar Grove is the reimagined version by Dish owner Tim McEneny. Design-wise, McEneny has gone for an urban forest of custom-made abstract tree branches. They frame the largely communal seating of the space, but also divide it to make an intimate dinner for two work as well as big gathering of friends. “It’s very European,” McEneny told me during a personal tour. The seating has also increased by about 50, allowing 212 diners and an additional 20 at the bar.

It’s not just the atmospherics that got an overhaul. The menu was created by executive chef Taylor Kearney to appeal broadly to the community.

“Frankly, Dish was too powerful for the neighborhood,” McEneny explains. “It was good for special occasions or once a week, but we want people to stop by on their way out for the night, grab a drink and quick bite and still have money for the rest of the evening.” For instance, every day will offer a 2/4/6 drink menu — some draft beers on tap for $2, a selection of well drinks for $4 and some premiums for $6.

Only a few food items are over $20, McEneny said. “There are 22 items called ‘snacks,’ which is a sharing section. Then there’s the ‘bread and bun’ — that’s burgers and sandwiches, but also pizzas. Then what we call large dishes. And it’s mostly food we grew up with.”

The popular drag brunch will be back eventually… probably. “I’d say yes, but not right away,” McEneny said. “We’re still working out things, and it will be very hot in July and August, but I expected we will bring it back right after Pride” in September, he said.

Nevertheless, fans will still recognize a lot of things. The bar hasn’t actually moved, although they extended the front door all the way to the property line so it feels more centered. And the bathrooms are — as they have always been — unisex: One door, different stalls.

“We’ve done this for six years,” McEnery said. “My daughter goes to the University of North Carolina. I’ve said, ‘Let me show the governor there how it’s done.'”

Service will begin at 3 p.m. on Tuesday and be open seven says a week (dinner starts at 4 p.m.). Cedar Grove will also be open for brunch Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Check of some first look photos below, and look for more here next week.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

DISH in ilume closing


DISH interior

DISH, located in ilume on Cedar Springs Road, is closing Monday, Feb. 29. The restaurant will relocate, but the new location has yet to be determined.

Cedar Groves, a casual restaurant with an American menu and creative and vibrant design is set to open in its place in May 2016, according to a press release received by Dallas Voice. Executive Chef Pete Harrison will run the kitchen. Harrison has been at DISH Cedar Springs for 6 months. Prior to that he was at Hotel Zaza, Capital Grille and Dakota’s.

DISH Preston Hollow continues to0 do well and will remain open.

—  David Taffet

Chamber, ilume developer pledge reward funds for info on Oak Lawn attacks

crosland veddaOfficials with the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce announced today (Friday, Nov. 20) that the chamber has pledged $2,500 to be added to the reward offered by Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects responsible for recent robberies and assaults in the Oak Lawn gayborhood. Luke Crosland, owner of The Crosland Group that developed the two ilume complexes on Cedar Springs Road, has promised to match that with another $2,500.

Chamber President and CEO Tony Vedda said he is optimistic that the additional reward money will motivate anyone with information on the 12 crimes that have occurred here in the last three months to come forward.

“It is our shared hope that we can come together as a community with our voices and our resources to catch whomever is perpetrating these crimes,” Vedda said in a statement released this afternoon. “Our businesses, patrons and residents have a vested interest in preventing further incidents.”

Crosland said he, too, is committed to finding justice for the victims, and that he wants the community to remain vigilant.

“We have continued to invest in private armed security for our properties, as safety is a top priority for our members, tenants and customers,” Crosland said. “This neighborhood is a wonderful place to live, shop and celebrate, and we are dedicated to finding the culprits.”

The money from the chamber and Crosland will be added to $10,000 in reward money already pledged to Crime Stoppers with help from Resource Center and Dallas City Councilman Adam Medrano.

—  Tammye Nash

Tacos y Mas readying to open at the ilume

tacosymasWe’ve known that Tacos y Mas was taking over the space at ilume vacated by the ill-fated Xamach for a while, but it looks like the doors are about to open (they tell us a mid-September launch date it planned — just in time for Dallas Pride). Not only is the signage up, but so is the menu of $2 Mexican street tacos and $3 specialty tacos, plus combo plates, burritos and more. And everything is under $10. It looks like a good fit for the gayborhood, especially if the hours are late enough for the impulse buy for clubgoers.

Tacos y Mas is a Dallas institution, having started nearly 20 years ago in a tent, and for a long time being simply a small taco stand at the corner of Lower Greenville and Ross avenues. But in recent years, the company has expanded — up the street on Greenville to the old Quesa-D-Ya’s space, as well as North Dallas and Plano. Bring on the tacos! And check out of Food Issue this Friday, in print newsstands and online!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Crosland Group make huge donation of gay-themed books to Oak Lawn Library

booksDallas developer Luke Crosland, whose company The Crosland Group is responsible for ilume and ilume Park, has marked a gift of more than 6,000 volumes of LGBT books to the Dallas Public Library. The collection will be stored at the Oak Lawn branch in the heart of the gayborhood.

The donation was originally housed at the Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Florida.

There will be a presentation of the books during Pride Weekend. Due to space limitations, not all volumes will be on display, but will be available to be checked out.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Xamach is open at the ilume

photo 2

Chile relleno

It’s been about a week, but the soft opening of Xamach (“huh-mosh”) — a Mexican bistro and bar in the ilume — is fully underway. Named for a Mayan term, Xamach is the newest edition to the Cedar Springs dining scene (which we wrote about here), and serves mostly Central Mexican- and Yucatan-style cuisine, such as chile rellenos, pictured, and cochinita pibil. It’s open for lunch and dinner.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

PHOTOS: Red Party fashion show at ilume, benefiting Legacy Counseling

Photos by Arnold Wayne Jones

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Defining Homes Autumn 2013: For the dogs

Long-planned ilume Park is poised to open

06If you’ve driven by ilume Park recently — the sister development to Cedar Springs’ popular ilume mixed-use complex — you’ve probably noticed the lime-green insulated panels and gravel driveways and exposed rebar and chain-link fences and thought, “When will it finally open?”


Below, how the common room looks today at ilume Park; top, a rendering of how it should look by the end of the month.

Well, sooner than you think.

This time last year, a Dec. 1 completion date was projected, and things are going ahead of schedule. Rick Williamson, who’s overseeing the project for the Crosland Group, predicts Oct. 30 will be the finish date for Phase 1. (There will be five phases in toto, the final ones set to open by April 15.) And it promises to be spectacular.

You might not be able to tell that from a walk-thru, where drywall is still lining the halls and workers astride stilts are spackling the high ceilings. But Williamson can see what others can’t. (It helps that he has professional renderings to assist.)

Its 240 units average 940 square feet (from a small of 577 to a large of 1,423 s.f.), more than those at the ilume, and the vibe will be different. Within its four stories will be a huge fitness center ($140,000 of equipment is scheduled to arrive this week) with tanning bed and massage room; a huge common area with a full bar; a grand piano; a poker room; and multiple courtyards. By the time the remaining phases open, there will be a pool not only for the human residents but for their four-legged family members, as well a huge hot tub. (Rent ranges from $1,069 to $2,699.)

The pool at ilume Park probably won’t be the social hub ilume’s area is. Williamson predicts more couples and fewer singles and roommates in the dog-focused facility, and has already fielded interest from some ilume residents interested in moving over (move-ins will probably start in early December). But it doesn’t matter too much: whichever building you live in, you get access to the amenities at both.

Who said a dog’s life is hard?

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in Defining Homes Magazine, October 4, 2013.

—  Michael Stephens