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Dakota’s prime steakhouse to return to downtown Dallas with Allen Brothers steaks, Meredith McEneny in charge

A longtime Dallas steakhouse may have been knocked down by Covid-19, but it didn’t knock it out.

Dakota’s Steakhouse and its subterranean dining room and patio will return this summer under new ownership. Meredith McEneny is resurrecting the 37-year-old steakhouse with an assist from her husband, Tim, who owns Sloane’s Corner and is no stranger to the city’s dining scene.

“For the past 10 years, I’ve supported Tim with accounting and payroll duties for his companies.  I thought it time to get involved in this industry wearing a different hat.  I saw the closing of Dakota’s as an opportunity to do just that.  I remember celebrating special occasions at Dakota’s when I attended SMU, and so many of us have made fond memories in the underground restaurant dating back decades,”  Meredith McEneny said in a release announcing the reopening. “Tim put a lot of time and effort into Dakota’s when he was involved prior to 2020, and I hope to not let all of that go to waste.  I’m excited to bring back a treasured place where we can return to lots of laughter, good times and great food.”

The menu won’t have changed much, though maybe it will be better executed than the last time I ate there a couple of years ago. Expect dry-aged USDA Prime steaks including a 10-ounce filet mignon, a 14-ounce New York strip and a 32-ounce tomahawk, plus cold water lobster tails. (The release says they’ll be “imported fresh from Boston and Portland,” though Boston and Portland are part of the U.S.

Tim McEneny’s resume includes Jalisco Norte, obar, Dish Preston Hollow, Front Room Tavern, and Cedar Grove. Most recently, in late 2019, he opened Sloane’s Corner, named after the McEneny’s youngest daughter, Sloane, and in 2020 launched Pizza Leila, a ghost kitchen for Sicilian-style pizza, named after their eldest daughter, Leila. Tim will oversee the property as part of his managing partner role at Lincoln Property Corporation, which controls the real estate.

Dakota’s location is storied. Once the domain of First Dallas Baptist Church, a clause in the deed prohibited any future owner from selling alcohol on former church grounds. When the Lincoln Property bought the space, they wanted a restaurant anchor in their international headquarters. Capitalizing on a legal loophole in their deed, they interpreted “on the grounds” to exclude “below grade,” so the land was excavated for Dakota’s.

Dakota’s Steakhouse is located at 600 North Akard St., Dallas, Texas 75201. Dakota’s Steakhouse plans to reopen in July.

photo: Dakota’s by Kevin Marple

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