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Del Frisco’s to open two new casual wine and tapas restaurants in Dallas


Two new restaurants will soon be bringing fancy by-the-glass wines and tapas to Dallas’ Preston Center and Henderson Avenue.

EscapeHatch has learned that the Irving-based Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group (Del Frisco’s Grill, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle and Sullivan’s Steakhouse) plans to open Barcelona Wine Bar, an upscale casual dining restaurant that specializes in Spanish and Mediterranean small plates and wines, in a former mechanic’s garage in the 5000 block of Miller Avenue and Henderson Avenue, adjacent to The Porch. Barcelona Wine Bars typically sport large outdoor patios.

Del Frisco’s is also converting the former Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen in Preston Center into Bartaco, a casual concept already operating in Fort Worth and whose menu skews toward the street foods of South America, the Mediterranean and Asia.

Both are well-regarded concepts that Del Frisco’s acquired last month from Norwalk, Connectcut-based Barteca Restaurant Group for $325 million in cash in a move to broaden Del’s beyond steak and Napa cabernets.

Twenty-year-old Barteca currently operates 15 Barcelona locations and 16 Bartaco locations. Del Frisco’s expects to open 50 to 100 Barcelona restaurants in the U.S. and 200 to 300 Bartacos.

At 4,500 to 5,000 square feet each, Barcelona and Barteca restaurants are smaller in size than Del Frisco’s other restaurants.

Barteca CEO Jeff Carcara formerly served as Del Frisco’s chief operating officer until joining Barteca in 2015. Del Frisco’s CEO Norman Abdallah told investors that Carcara will remain CEO of the Barteca brand division and will report to Abdallah.

Bartaco, in particular, has strong midday appeal, which suits the Preston Center area perfectly. “The margarita is the next coffee,” Carcara said. “We’re seeing people using Bartaco in the afternoon like it’s the next Starbucks.”

Del Frisco’s announced earlier this year that it intends to sell its Sullivan Steakhouse concept and close underperforming Del Frisco’s Grilles and expand the number of its Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouses.

photo: Bartaco Fort Worth Facebook

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