Compiled by Meda Kessler
THE GIVE BACK
Dragons Light the Night
Carroll ISD elementary student pride will light up the night thanks to a collaborative event organized by the PTOs to raise money for the district’s schools. More than 2,000 paper lanterns will be positioned in the shape of a dragon and placed in the center of Southlake Town Square as 6-foot-tall “We are all Dragons” marquee letters provide a dramatic backdrop. The display will be visible from the street, with a drive-by route available, or watch virtually via a live link that will include drone footage. Students and members of the community can order lanterns to decorate with drawings and messages of “what it means to be a Dragon.” Find more details, including lantern order information, on the website.
7 p.m. Feb. 24, Southlake Town Square, dragonslightthenight.com
GRACE Grapevine grows
With public drop-offs — clothes, household goods, toys, books — at an all-time high, GRACE Grapevine is building a new donation center, which is expected to be completed this spring. COVID is partly the reason, as people are remodeling and cleaning out closets, but drop-off traffic has climbed steadily over the past few years. The new center is bigger, with two loading docks, and is designed to improve vehicle flow. Multiple GRACE services also will move to the building at 1060 Texas Trail; the current location, 112 N. Scribner St., continues to accept goods. Learn more, including how to volunteer and donate, on the website. gracegrapevine.org
New shelter, new look
Grapevine Animal Services, working with Fort Worth’s Quorum Architects, has a new shelter designed for staff and visitors as well as resident cats, dogs and other critters in search of homes. The old building was razed to make way for a more efficient and inviting design, inside and out. Look for a spring opening.
500 Shady Brook Drive, grapevineanimalservices.org
Spruce is a refreshing option for one-stop shopping
With the entire family pitching in, Dan and Amy Kelly are all-in on the concept of “shop local and shop small.” She’s a native of San Antonio but was living with her husband in California as a military wife. When Dan left the service, his civilian job brought them back to Texas, and they settled in Southlake. Amy looked for a shop similar to a place she worked at in California but, instead, she opted to open a place of her own with a well-thought-out mix of clothing and accessories; bath and beauty products; home goods; gifts; and products for babies and kids. There are even a few items for pet lovers. Her 9-year-old son came up with the shop’s name after lots of brainstorming. “I wanted the concept of fresh, and ‘Spruce’ fit the vision,” says Amy. The whole family works in the shop; several of the inviting displays are the work of their artistic daughter. Merchandise rotates often, and workshops (cooking, decorating, floral design) are in the works (watch the Facebook page, facebook.com/sprucehomeshop, for notices).
Park Village, 1161 Southlake Blvd., 817-880-2580, sprucehome.shop
Sushi Sakana: There’s a lot to like
Expanding from Plano to Southlake, Sushi Sakana offers an expansive menu in a pleasant setting. It’s soothingly dark with comfortable booths and a sushi counter. While we were a little surprised by the pop music on the sound system, that didn’t distract us from settling in with a pot of hot tea and one of our favorites, agedashi tofu. Deep-fried cubes of tofu topped with grated ginger are served with a warm, rich broth. Use chopsticks and dip the cubes carefully; eat immediately. Served as an appetizer, the dish easily makes a meal. We also worked our way through chirashi don, sashimi served on top of a mound of rice, which technically makes it sushi. But it’s a no muss, no fuss way of eating fresh fish and getting our rice fix. It’s also a great deal at $18. Our bowl of udon noodles with seafood and tempura vegetables on the side was perfect on a cold day. The only disappointments were a large hamachi collar and breaded pork cutlet; both were a tad on the dry side for our taste. We splurged on dessert — cheesecake topped with mango — and were rewarded with a pretty and not-too-sweet ending to a fine meal. The sushi menu is extensive, as is the appetizer list, which includes dumplings, crispy calamari and Japanese fried chicken. We’ll need more time to work through the menu. Takeout and in-house dining are available.
2175 Southlake Blvd., 817-329-1686, sushisakanatx.com/southlake
We said farewell to a few places in late 2020 and early in the new year, including 5 Guys Burgers and Fries in Southlake Town Square, ’Lette Macarons in Park Village and Fuddruckers in Grapevine. Good news for fans of Mi Cocina in Southlake Town Square: It’s reopening in February. On Main Street in Grapevine, family-owned Willhoite’s Restaurant celebrates 40 years in 2021, making it the oldest operating dining establishment in Grapevine. Whistle Britches in Southlake Town Square: We’re still waiting. But Mi Cocina is reopening in February after shutting down its dining room for remodeling at the start of the new year. MC fans also can look forward to the fall opening in Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park, along with summer pop-ups as a preview. In retail news, Lovesac is opening soon in Southlake Town Square. What started out as a beanbag chair has morphed into a full-fledged modular furniture company featuring “Sactionals” at its direct-to-consumer showrooms.
Harvest Hall ready for its close-up
After multiple build-out delays and a change in the vendor lineup, Harvest Hall is ready to greet guests. While we sent this issue to the printer a week before opening, the ambitious European-style food hall inside Grapevine’s Hotel Vin was on track to open the first week in February. In early January, Harvest Hall unveiled a mural by Dallas artist Haylee Ryan honoring William D. Tate, the city’s longtime mayor. To access the food hall, park in the garage behind it and walk in through Hotel Vin. You’ll find vendors Arepa TX, Chick & Biscuit, Easy Slider, Spuntino by Loveria and ZaTaR. Also, replacing Four Sisters — A Taste of Vietnam is Monkey King Noodle Co., a Dallas restaurant with three brick-and-mortars known for their Asian-style street food. WhistleStop is the food hall’s coffee shop and market. Seating is spread throughout the food hall including a patio area. Harvest Hall also is home to Third Rail, which will host special events, live music, comedy acts and more in the evenings.
815 S. Main St., Grapevine, 817-796-9696, harvesthall.com
Say cheese, please, at YaYaYum Boards
Ayesha Patel is still in the process of getting her new Grapevine storefront exactly the way she wants it, but YaYaYum Boards is now open to the public for small grab-and-go cheese trays as well as ready-to-bake brie-stuffed loaves of bread. (Preorders are welcome.) Customers also can have a custom mini plate (three types of cheese, two types of salami, a choice of pickled veggies and a condiment such as jam or honey) built while they wait. Patel has stayed busy over the holidays with catering orders — her mom helps her out in the kitchen — and virtual workshops, but she is still planning on in-person events in the future. There’s also a covered patio that she hopes to fix up and use when the weather gets nice. When we stopped by in late January, Patel was already working on Valentine’s Day trays. But you can get a sweet bite or two on the minis, which feature chocolate from Dr. Sue’s, located nearby on Grapevine’s Main Street. Check out all the options on the website.
112 E. Texas St., Grapevine, yayayumboards.com
Are you ready for some crawfish?
The Cajun Market in Colleyville continues to draw customers with its fresh gumbo, etouffee and housemade boudin, but owners Phil and Debbie Tullis are upping their game with Louisiana imports. Po’boys now feature Gambino’s French bread from Langlinais Bakery in Lafayette, and Phil trucked in king cakes from Cannata’s in Houma. While the store sells spices, jarred goods and both fresh and frozen meats, fish, frog legs and smoked sausages, calling it a “market” is a bit of a misnomer, as the kitchen stays busy with fresh offerings daily. The menu of hot items is long and varied, but you can still get some of the bestsellers, such as gumbo and dirty rice, frozen. (Some fans travel with coolers to stock up.) To prepare for crawfish season, Phil remodeled the back of the building to accommodate cookers made to his specifications. He’s pretty particular about the right way to boil mudbugs — as well as the potatoes and corn — and he’s excited for crawfish season so he can show off his skills. Call ahead or shop on-site; there is a pickup window, too, just off the parking lot. Follow on Facebook, The Cajun Market, facebook.com/pjtullis, to learn about specials, new items and any changes in hours.
5409 Colleyville Blvd., 817-527-2175, thecajunmarket.com