Thursday, February 28, 2013 , Updated 12:00 p.m., April 17, 2013
UPDATED: New pub Full Circle Tavern is now open in South Side
It's like The Common Table, Snookie's, and Capitol Pub all in one.
UPDATE: Full Circle Tavern is now open. See the menu below.
Original story: The collapse of the housing market and sequential economic downturn was the ultimate hardship for many North Texans. For Lara Whittington and Jennifer Bonner, it was a blessing in disguise.
Had Bonner not lost her job as a corporate event planner during the recession, this couple of 10 years would have never realized their dream of owning a restaurant — namely, Full Circle Tavern in the Cedars, which is slated to open in early April.
“Imagine if The Common Table, Snookie's, and Capitol Pub had a baby,” said Whittington on a recent breezy day we toured the location, which is next door to Bill’s Records and adjacent to the NYLO South Side. “It’s going to be a great little watering hole.”
Bonner and Whittington’s journey began six years ago when Bonner, bored and out of work, began making boxed lunches to sell at a friend’s hair salon. At $8 and 500 calories each, the lunches became increasingly popular among the salon’s clients. Whittington, who has a long career history in advertising sales, then began booking her partner to cater her clients’ events.
After two years, Bonner had a full blown catering business called EdiblEnvy and the need for a manager.
“So I quit my job and became the business manager,” said Whittington. And thus their professional relationship was born.
The idea to open a storefront came shortly thereafter, according to Whittington, but not without issue. For years they searched for the right place, all the while testing out their restaurant menu on the catering side.
Full Circle’s menu will be a collection of hearty sandwiches and traditional pub entrees in chef Bonner’s signature style, which she calls “Italian soul cooking” — testament to both her heritage and her upbringing in Georgia. Staples include the Italian beef sandwich (which you’ll see on Full Circle’s menu as The Italian Stallion) and the meatball marinara sandwich. The tavern will also offer brunch.
“Our bacon is done in a peppercorn, brown sugar rub,” she said, eyes wide. “We call it kitchen crack.”
Whittington and Bonner eventually settled on the spot near South Side and have since begun construction. If you meet Bonner in person, you'll notice the red, circular brushstroke logo tattooed on her left shoulder — inspiration for the bar logo and restaurant concept.
“Every experience, good or bad, teaches us a lesson for the next journey,” Whittington explained. “[Life] starts and stops, but it always comes full circle.”
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