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Culinary “American Idol”

The “restaurant incubator” at Trinity Groves is taking flight with Kitchen LTO, a space that will change chefs and concepts about every three months. Restaurateur Casie Caldwell, who founded Greenz Salads, created LTO, and that stands for “limited-time offer.” A panel of investors and restaurateurs has chosen finalists for the first round of LTO. Much like a TV talent contest, the public gets to choose the winning chef and concept through online voting through April. The first version of LTO is expected to open as early as May. Phil Romano, who came up with the idea for a restaurant incubator at Trinity Groves, calls LTO the “incubator within the incubator.” Mark Brezinski has described the overall concept as the “restaurant American Idol” because it’s a chance for unknowns to suddenly hit the big time (or fall flat, presumably) on a high-profile stage. Cheers for creativity!

Kitchen LTO, 3011 Gulden, Suite 108,


Luck of the groves

Another new restaurant has been announced for Trinity Groves, and its name also is an acronym. LUCK stands for Local Urban Craft Kitchen. The concept is inspired by craft beer. “It offers a comfortable, upscale ambiance replete with outdoor seating and great downtown skyline view,” according to its website. The menu will include smoked meats, sandwiches, salads and desserts. Texas wines and local craft beers will be the highlights of the bar. The restaurant is owned by Jeff Dietzman, Daniel Pittman and Ned Steele, and they plan to open this summer.



Developer planning $300,000-$400,000 homes in Kings Highway

An Austin-based developer is planning 32 new homes in the Kings Highway Conservation District. PSW Real Estate wants to build two-story homes with detached garages on 2,500-square-foot lots at Mary Cliff and Kings Highway. The tract is the former site of apartments, where now-defunct developer Incap had won zoning approval for townhomes before losing that property and three others in Oak Cliff to foreclosure in 2010. The next developer is asking for a zoning change from multifamily to single family, a switch from the way a developer typically would go, City Councilman Scott Griggs noted in a February meeting. The current zoning allows for three-story structures and 60 units, about twice the density. PSW takes “a holistic approach to the design of our communities” and builds with environmentally conscious elements, including solar panels and foam insulation, according to its website.



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El Padrino taquería has found a new location in Pleasant Grove. The original El Padrino restaurant remains open on Jefferson, and a new concept from Sarah Lombardi will replace the former taco stand.

El Padrino Restaurant, 408 West Jefferson, 214.943.3993,


The owner of Donuts N Coffee/Yogurberry is expanding into the taco game. A sign for Goji Teriyaki Steak and Tacos went up recently in the same shopping center.


Zoli’s NY Pizza is taking the former BEE: Best Enchiladas Ever space on West Davis near Zang. It is a New York-style pizza-by-the-slice concept from Il Cane Rosso owner Jay Jerrier.

Zoli’s NY Pizza, 202 W. Davis, 214.741.1188