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New, New, New! New BBQ headed to Snider Plaza, new steakhouse landing in Dallas Design District, new Mexican resto unpacking near Preston Center

Restaurateurs and investors are tight-lipped about new projects heading to Dallas this fall, but insiders like to talk if we promise not to tell too much.

Doug Pickering, for example, didn’t respond to questions about his new barbecue project opening this fall or next spring in Snider Plaza across from S.M.U., but we know this much: the former pitmaster at Ferris Wheeler’s sure knows how to smoke delicious brisket (his are some of the best in town). Expect the as-yet-unnamed restaurant to offer more than just ‘cue; we’re hearing the menu will be New Texas BBQ, the trend of incorporating classic smoked elements like brisket and ribs with ingredients and techniques pulled from other cuisines and cultures. Two great examples of that right now? Loro Dallas, the recently opened mashup from Austin chef Tyson Cole (Uchi, Uchiba) and Austin smoke wizard Aaron Franklin (Franklin Barbecue), and Hurtado Barbecue in Arlington, where owner Brandon Hurtado weaves Tex-Mex and ‘cue into runaway hits.

Nick Badovinus isn’t slowing down either. He’s planning to convert the defunct Kings Cabaret on Market Center Blvd. across from his Town Hearth in the Design District into Pop’s Martini, a prime rib house. Expect crews to begin demo once he (finally) opens his long-delayed National Anthem restaurant downtown.

What’s going on in the former Nick & Sam’s Grill spot on Preston Rd., just south of Northwest Highway? Not much. And a lot. The Grill is gone, but new owners from Las Vegas will be moving in. Look for El Dorado Cantina, a Vegas version of Tex-Mex from Plano/SMU alum Marklen Kennedy, to make its debut later this year or early next. Want to know what Vegas Tex-Mex looks like? Look here.

UPDATE 8/4: Nick says his plans for King’s has changed but he’s not ready to reveal what’s next.

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