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Mayor’s House restaurant will open without mayor chef Graham Dodds in the house


A few months ago, we told you that chef Graham Dodds was planning to open a restaurant in the Bishop arts District with business partners A.J. Gilbert and Martha Madison. Later named “The Mayor’s House,”the restaurant would occupy a historic home the partners were renovating.

Apparently, that’s changed. Dodds has packed up his suitcase, jumped in an Uber and moved out. Word comes today from the restaurant’s spokesman that Dodds is no longer part of the project.

“The Mayor’s House, the much-anticipated restaurant set to open in Oak Cliff, will be launching this year without the culinary leadership of Chef Graham Dodds. The two will be parting ways due to construction delays and a timing conflict. The restaurant, co-owned by husband-and-wife team A.J. Gilbert and Martha Madison, continues to move forward with opening plans for 4th quarter, just in time for holiday season, and the new chef will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Says Gilbert, ‘Scheduling restaurant openings are a challenge, especially when there is a huge construction project turning a beautiful historic house built in 1910 into a contemporary, multi-room restaurant with a bar, banquet room, and state-of-the-art kitchen. Chef Graham is an all-around talented chef, and we wish him the best on his new journey.’ ”

Madison and Gilbert are owned and operated six Luna Park restaurants in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City but still didn’t foresee problems with the project. A person familiar with the renovation told me months ago that the project hit snags from the beginning, particularly infrastructure problems that would delay the project and increase expenses.

Through a Mayor’s House spokesman, Gilbert said, “Scheduling restaurant openings are a challenge, especially when there is a huge construction project turning a beautiful historic house built in 1910 into a contemporary, multi-room restaurant with a bar, banquet room, and state-of-the-art kitchen. Chef Graham is an all-around talented chef, and we wish him the best on his new journey.”

Madison, a Texas native, is well-known as the actor who played Belle Black on NBC’s “Days of Our Lives.” Madison and Gilbert recently relocated to Dallas from California. The two are expected to announce a new chef soon.


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