Cedar Springs strip changing, growing

At JR.’s, crews broke through the front wall on the first floor this week. That club is opening the front with patio space across its Cedar Springs frontage that they hope will be as popular as the second floor patio space.

New store openings, renovations and a calendar of events bring excitement to Cedar Springs

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer

This weekend, the Cedar Springs Merchants Association sponsors Art Fest on Saturday, April 23 as well as Easter in the Park on Sunday, April 24. But they have a lot more to celebrate than spring festivals — and that is the opening of a number of businesses along the street, as well as improvements to others.

Tan Bar at 3818 Cedar Springs Road opened on March 8 and co-owner Terry Ehrle said he is delighted with the response his business has gotten, adding that Tan bar specializes in “custom brush tanning.”

Tan Bar uses organic or natural products that Ehrle said the body does not absorb. Instead, the products stay on the surface of the skin.

Macho Nacho opened on Thursday, April 21, in the space that was home to Hunky’s for 25 years.

Ehrle said the tan last seven to 10 days and does not contain SPF ingredients that protect the skin from the sun. But, he said, they work with customers to make sure they continue to protect their skin.

Ehrle said that UVA rays tanning beds and sunbathing outdoors are dangerous and that studies show that as many as one in four people who overdo exposure to the sun under the age of 35 will develop skin cancer.

At the other end of the strip, Onyx Nail Bar is open and operating in ilume and will hold a grand opening celebration over the next few weeks, according to spokesman Scott Baretto.

Although several nail salons have opened in the area over the past year, this one calls itself the king of all nail salons.

With 4,000 square feet of space, the shop is multi-level, with 18 experienced nail technicians, Barretto said, adding that there is no piped-in elevator music. Instead, the salon has a DJ booth and a sound system that he said rivals any of the clubs down the street.

Macho Nacho opened on Thursday, April 21, in the space that was home to Hunky’s for 25 years. The location has been stripped and polished and completely redesigned. The remodeled patio features new furniture and railings that reflect the upscale look of the new restaurant.

Owner Scott Jones said that after months of work, “It finally came together.”

The restaurant will be open for Sunday brunch as well as having late night hours.

Scott Jones

“We’ve got a fun crew, a big-ass fan and a great patio,” Jones said.

The ceiling fan Jones mentioned is a 10-blade metal piece with fins similar to airplane wings.

Jones recommends the mojitos and margaritas and Macho Nacho tortas as well as items from the taqueria.

Next door, construction continues on Coffee Lab. Co-owner Darin Danford said he’s shooting for a June 1 opening.

Providing enough parking has stopped a number of restaurants from opening on Cedar Springs Road. Danford said that they’ve chosen seating options that don’t require more parking. Seating will be bar style and on comfortable couches as well as at tables.

Danford’s partner, Neal Delaney said that the number 1 complaint at coffee shops is a shortage of electrical outlets. They’ve made sure that’s not a problem by wiring the space to provide plenty of plugs, he said.

The menu will feature coffee, pastry and paninis.

Construction continues at several other locations as well, including Thairiffic, a Thai restaurant that is moving to Cedar Springs from North Dallas, and JR.’s Bar and Grill.

At JR.’s, crews broke through the front wall on the first floor this week. That club is opening the front with patio space across its Cedar Springs frontage that they hope will be as popular as the second floor patio space.

On Saturday, Cedar Springs Road will be closed from Reagan to Knight streets for Art Fest. CSMA president Scott Whittall said that they already have more artists exhibiting than last year.

“We always have an influx at the end,” he said, adding that he expects more than the 70 artists already signed to exhibit.

A number of Cedar Springs retailers will have booths, including OutLines and Skivvies. Food and beer vendors and info booths will also be out on the street for the festival.
Whittall said that after Easter in the Park, the CSMA has plans for two more large events that will close the street. The May sidewalk sale will take place on May 21 and include a large antique car exhibit on the street with cars from Classic Chassis and other individuals who may register on the merchants association website.

In June, CSMA presents the return of Razzle Dazzle Dallas.

“We’re working diligently to create an atmosphere where there are things for everyone to do,” Whittall said.

Stoli vodka announced on Wednesday that they would sponsor the VIP pavilion.

Whittall said VIP tickets include reserved parking at ilume throughout the five-day event.

“We knew the first year was going to be a challenge,” Whittall said. “But we’ve been blown away by how it’s come together.

—  John Wright

Fin Sushi Lounge ready to roll at ilume

After noticing a post on Twitter from ilume saying that the long-awaited Fin Sushi Lounge plans to open this week, we put in a call to Luke Crosland of developer The Crosland Group, and even made a site visit during the lunch hour to investigate. (Yes, we go to great lengths to bring you the news.)

The above pic was the only payoff from our visit (aside from multiple Foursquare check-ins), and Crosland called back to say he’s been out of town and didn’t have a lot of details but is working to put us in touch with the appropriate people.

“I know he’s racing to get open, and waiting on the city of Dallas’ people to come out there and do their final inspection,” Crosland said. “It is a spectacular space.”

Fin Sushi Lounge has previously been described as a signature restaurant from the owners of Sushi Axiom, which has four locations in the Metroplex.

Crosland also said ilume has agreed to a lease with Onyx Nail Bar, a salon that will open in February and offer “quality pampering” right next door to Dish. But he said he wanted to hold off on a couple of other retail announcements.

“We have some real interesting things that we’ll be calling you on soon,” he said.

Crosland said residential units at ilume are nearly all leased and The Crosland Group is working to obtain financing for ilume TOO, which is planned at the site of the old Douglas Park and 4242 Cedar Springs complexes across the way.

“Leasing has just been great, and retention is great,” Crosland said. “People really love living there. We’re well above 90 percent leased. … In this economy, it took longer to get the restaurants done than normal, but we didn’t want to accept just anyone. We were very careful on how we did our mix of restaurants because we wanted to have the best of the best, and we’re getting there.”

We’ll update with more details as soon as we get them.

—  John Wright