Missing the mercantile
Despite having recently gotten settled in their new location, it appears that we’re losing Oak Cliff Mercantile for good now. Having relocated from the Bishop Arts District into the funky and cool gas station (turned Ruth Chenoweth’s real estate office, turned Mercantile), Henry Branstetter and Tom McCoy have now decided to relocate to Tulsa, Okla.

The building is for sale, and here’s to hoping that the next owner/tenant finds a way to utilize the existing structure instead of knocking it down in favor of something more functional and less fun.

I live in Oak Cliff today because on my first visit to our neighborhood five years ago, I stumbled across the Mercantile and met both Tom and Henry. They were so friendly and such great ambassadors of the neighborhood that I knew immediately I wanted to live in Oak Cliff.

We bid Henry and Tom farewell, sadly, as it won’t be the same around the Cliff without them.

Oak Cliff’s restaurant explosion continues
The number of new restaurants coming into our neighborhood is exciting and a sign of the growing importance of Oak Cliff as a destination for shopping and eating for the rest of Dallas. I know I hear some of my neighbors complaining about having to sit next to “those people” when they go out to eat now, hearing them say things like “I never expected Oak Cliff to be cool!” But I, for one, welcome them and their money into our community.

Sadly, as new restaurants open other restaurants close. Grill 400 was a casualty of this competition. But news of a brand new restaurant opening at 642 W. Davis brings word that a few of the folks who were instrumental at Chan Thai are opening an Asian-Fusion restaurant.

Immediately next door to this building is the space recently renovated by David Spence and GoodSpace, which is also being marketed to prospective restaurateurs. One thing seems clear — Davis Avenue is set to experience dramatic changes over the next few years, and we’re set to have lots more options for our dining dollars right here in the Cliff. —ROB SHEARER