Restaurant Development & Design

September-October 2017

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • 5 9 PROJECT PROFILE DEL FRISCO'S DOUBLE EAGLE DALLAS MAKES UPTOWN MOVES M oving a flagship location while at the same time intro- ducing a bold new look isn't without stress for the team involved or without risk for the concept. But when that flagship's original trade area starts shifting, when its first-genera- tion look begins to feel dated, and when a stellar piece of real estate beckons from across town, the case for making such a move can be compelling. Such were the circumstances that spurred Southlake, Texas-based Del Frisco's Restaurant Group (DFRG) to move and reintroduce the flagship location of its Double Eagle Steak House brand. Opened last September, the new Dallas Double Eagle Steak House anchors a sparkling new 20-story, $225 million César Pelli- designed Class A office and retail tower at Olive Street and McKinney Avenue. The move took the restaurant from the suburban Far North Dallas neighbor- hood into the heart of the city's vibrant Uptown district some 15 miles due south. And it didn't just leave the neighborhood in which it had operated since the early 1990s in the rearview mirror — it left any vestiges of the brand's original classic, dark steakhouse aesthetic in the dust. With design partner The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carey, DFRG used its move to debut a contemporary, decidedly uptown Double Eagle design to the Dallas marketplace. It's part of an ongoing reintroduction and expan- sion of the brand that the company has rolled out successfully in other urban markets, including Washington, D.C., Chicago and Philadelphia. "Our Dallas location was still a first- generation iteration of the brand. We had a very loyal guest following, but our trade area wasn't what it once was, and we knew it was time to make a move," says Bill Martens, DFRG's chief development officer. "The Olive & McKinney tower is a magnificent space, and we saw it as a great opportunity to debut a new, big, bold, contemporary design vision here." Unique Building Drives Unique Design Indeed, the 13,700-square-foot res- taurant, which boasts an additional 2,800-square-foot second-floor outdoor patio with killer city views, is all that and more. That's thanks in no small part to the building itself. "It's an absolutely striking build- ing by one of the preeminent architects on the planet, and it's a prime corner location. It was a bit of a dream site for us and lent itself to doing something very dramatic and sculptural," says Bill Johnson, AIA, associate principal at The Johnson Studio. "But that being said, it was a challenging space to design. It has lots of angles, angled columns, floor-to- ceiling glass and other unique architec- tural characteristics. It's also a two-story restaurant, which adds to the complexity. We didn't get started until the building was nearing completion of the fram- BY DANA TANYERI, Senior Contributing Editor The Double Eagle's main dining room design balances the building's ultra- modern, angular aesthetic with gentle curves, custom lighting, and finishes that emanate warmth and comfort. A wall of black ombre glass panels provides filtered views into the kitchen.

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