Gayborhood welcomes Italian brunch and supper club, Hung Dinger

FISHY DISH: Hostess-waitress Ella Love Jones serves a diva platter, the "Madonna" Linguine Pescatore Diavalo ($11.95) with shrimp, calamari, clams, mussels and artichoke hearts in spicy marinara sauce. DANIEL A. KUSNER/Dallas Voice

Brilliant yellows and reds are practically bursting from the Throckmorton Avenue space that used to house the Mexican eatery Frida’s. On Friday, Feb. 13, Hung Dinger opened its doors, and the inside looks like a New Wave version of Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

Trans bombshell hostess Ella Love Jones greets diners and hands them a 12-inch record, like a copy of The Go-Go’s LP "Vacation." Inside the sleeve is the actual 12-inch record that serves as Hung Dinger’s menu, with items like: "Clay Aiken" fettuccine Alfredo, "Boy George" ravioli sausage and "Sylvester" spaghetti Bolognese.

Before opening Dallas’ newest and gayest 2,200-square-foot Italian supper club, fortysomething proprietor Royce Mathews ran a home accessories company. And for a completely different career enterprise, Mathews had a vision.

"I wanted to give Dallas something cool, campy and fun — a nightclubby dining experience similar to The Birdcage. But nothing vulgar," he says. "I’m a good Catholic boy, and I wanted a where place my parents wouldn’t lose their appetite."

On Saturday, March 7, Mathews will kick off the supper club’s official grand opening. Wednesdays through Sundays, Hung Diner will be open for dinner with one-hour showgirl performances starting at 9 p.m. and perhaps a second show at 10:30 p.m. On weekends, they’re serving brunch.

— Daniel A. Kusner

Hung Dinger, 4000 Cedar Springs Rd. Suite E. Dinner: Wed.-Sun, 5 p.m.-12 a.m.; brunch, p.m. 214-522-4864.


Southern-fried folk artist Kristy Lee, pictured, brings her fiery take on folk rock to Oak Cliff’s lesbian-run comfort food hangout. Hailing from Mobile, Ala., Kristy Lee has the gusto of Melissa Ferrick’s musicianship combined with the powerhouse delivery of a big black mama effortlessly singing her lungs out.

If you can shout a request, ask Lee to pump out her clap-a-long version of "River Song," which has the backbeat soul of "Joy to the World" and booty-swaying swagger of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

— Daniel A. Kusner

Jack’s Backyard, 2303 Pittman St. at Commerce Street in Oak Cliff. Feb. 28 at 10 p.m. $10. 214-741-3131.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 27, 2009.
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