Settling on the right balance of locations for multiple brands is a tough challenge. Thai native and James Beard-featured chef, Eddy Thretipthuangsin, has been re-shuffling his deck recently, hoping to find a winning hand.
The Le Cordon Bleu graduate, who has cooked for the royal family of Thailand on occasion, entered the local dining scene with a splash when he took over the kitchen of Pakpao in Dallas and achieved a three star rating with his uber-authentic Thai cuisine.
Then he headed west and opened Bite City Grill in Montgomery Plaza in the spring of 2014, with a creative menu but in a tough, low-visibility location at the back of the development. Bite City never found an audience and Chef Eddy along with business partner and brother Chris, and their mother Pat (who is also a chef) turned their attention once more to what they know better than most – Thai cuisine. The family opened Kin Kin Urban Thai on West Seventh last March.
Soon after, word came that Kin Kin would launch in Dallas as well − with the ambitious launch of three new locations. The Oak Lawn Kin Kin launched first in July, the Preston and Forest location, as well as one in Richardson at CityLine are both set to open next spring.
Then the flagging Bite City Grill was closed in Fort Worth last June, and work is currently underway to transform the same spot into a new concept called King Crab Tap House. “The Thretipthuangsin’s have no ownership stake in King Crab, although Chef Eddy did consult on the menu for the new management team,” according to Kelly Hunter with Shiroma West, who handles their public relations.
King Crab Tap House will have a Creole-influenced crab shack theme and the menu that I have seen looks promising. The space has once again been gutted to the studs, removing all vestiges of formality. A massive bar (which dominates the L-shaped layout) will have 50 taps to explore and seating will be mostly the high-top pub variety with a many flat-screen TVs scattered about for effect.
West Seventh has become “brew-pub/tab-house central” in recent years with several new entrants in the area. The list is never-ending, and I am constantly amazed at how very thirsty this district has become. How can the market for casual brew-pub/tap-houses not be saturated yet? By my calculations, we should have floated that keg a long time ago. But, they still keep coming…Varsity Tavern is nearing its completion on Norwood and now hiring, as well as Dagwood’s Fire Grill Tap which recently opened on Foch.
Meanwhile back in Dallas, the newly christened Kin Kin on Oak Lawn was abruptly scrapped and replaced by a newish concept that they are calling Bite by Eddy T. instead. This incarnation will include some of the popular items from his former Fort Worth Bite City Grill like his signature lamb pops, alongside new offerings like seared Long Island duck breast. “Bite by Eddy T. allows me to cook a wide variety of cuisine, not just Thai food,” Chef Eddy explains. “We feel that Bite better serves our clientele locally,” The menu will have a global appeal.
“They also plan to open another Bite by Eddy T. in the CityLine development of Richardson coming in the spring,” Hunter confirmed. Bite by Eddy T. officially opened December 10 on Oak Lawn. “We are excited to continue serving our Kin Kin guests in Fort Worth, and are excited to meet new guests in North Dallas and Richardson,” Chef Eddy says.
Bite by Eddy T.
3211 Oak Lawn Ave.
Kin Kin Urban Thai
2801 West Seventh St.
King Crab Tap House
2600 W Seventh St.