Friday, April 13, 2012 , Updated 11:57 a.m., April 20, 2012
UPDATED: Rusty Taco to NOT go into Main Street Garden in downtown Dallas
Space that was once Lilypad.
ARLINGTON Rusty Taco, the concept launched by veteran restaurateur Rusty Fenton with branches on Greenville Avenue and Harry Hines, is expanding north and south -- including a branch in downtown Dallas in Main Street Garden, in the space that was formerly occupied by the Lilypad.
Fenton will take over the space in May and hopes to have it open within the month.
[UPDATE: Nevermind -- no Rusty Taco at the Lilypad after all. The Downtown Dallas Inc. folks decided in retrospect that putting Rusty Taco right across the street from Wild Salsa, which also does tacos, isn't a good idea and is asking owner Rusty Fenton if he wouldn't like to find another location downtown and will put something else in the Lilypad space instead. Seems like the kind of thing you might have considered a little earlier in the process but hey, we're just a news site dedicated to covering Dallas-Fort Worth. Below is the rest of the original story:]
"I love Dallas and it's always been my dream for a branch downtown," Fenton said. "Tacos are the original street food, and I think it fulfills expectations for visitors when they come to Dallas."
The Lilypad space was originally developed by chef Doug Brown, who tried, unsuccessfully, to do a semi-upscale canteen with frozen yogurt and gourmet items. It closed last month and has since been the "Main Street Beer Garden" overseen by Josh Florence, owner of City Tavern.
Manager Charlene Bailey, who worked at the Lily Pad for a year, said that it was hard to gauge how much food would sell.
"The food came from our off-site commissary, and we didn't want things to go bad, so we'd often run out of things -- it was hard to judge," she said.
Their most reliable regulars: downtown Dallas' bicycle couriers.
"We cater to the local residents here, and that included the bicycle messengers, who would spend the afternoons here when they weren't working," she said.
DDI released a Request for Interest for a new operator last month. Rusty Taco beat a dozen other candidates.
"We are indebted to Doug Brown for entering this new venture with us when we opened Main Street Garden," said Crawford. "We look forward to the prospect of bringing a fresh, new concept to Downtown and we know that Rusty will deliver."
Rusty Taco will also open branches in Plano and the Colony, both slated to open this spring, Fenton said.
"My goal is to save the world from Fuzzy's," he said.
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