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Sunday, January 23, 2022
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Garden Cafe Reopens After Renovation with Updated Menu


Exterior view of Garden Cafe. | Image by Marshall Hinsley, from CultureMap Dallas

The Garden Cafe in Dallas has made a post-pandemic comeback that has excited its existing customer base while attracting newcomers.

The Junius Heights restaurant was forced to shut down during the pandemic due in part because of a lack of customers as well as its inability to offer wine and beer because of a long-standing issue with securing a license. Neighbors in the area were against it, worried about intoxicated patrons.

This brought a major roadblock to Garden Cafe owner Mark Wootton who hoped to grow his business into a successful and popular cafe, he shared while speaking with the Dallas Observer.

“Breakfast and lunch without beer and wine seven days a week wasn’t paying the bills. The restaurant was living paycheck to paycheck,” Wootton said. “I was most definitely not going to open without beer and wine.”

The pandemic seemed to bring about a silver lining, however. Residents and the city finally gave Wootten the ability to offer wine and beer, approving a license for the Garden Cafe. Wootten ran with the opportunity and also decided to revamp the cafe into a comfortable place for customers to enjoy a meal.

Now the restaurant has reopened, with a renovated look inside that includes a new dining room and bar with a brunch and dinner menu, and the much-anticipated addition of a wine and beer list.

Previously, patrons ordered food from a counter, but now they can enjoy full service in the dining room. Cafe Garden also features a garden where they grow their own vegetables and herbs used in their dishes. Patrons can also choose to enjoy their meal outside on the patio.

“For a lot of them, it’s probably a bit of a shock. It’s wildly different from the start,” Wootton said of his regular customer base and the cafe’s new appearance.

The cafe’s menu now includes dishes such as steak and eggs, omelets, and tofu scrambles for brunch. For dinner, patrons can enjoy braised beef cheeks, vegan Alfredo, okra tabbouleh, and red snapper.

As far as wine and beer, patrons can choose from a wine list that includes sparkling, red, white, and roses, or select from a range of beers that includes IPAs, stouts, lagers, and more.

Garden Cafe is open Thursday through Saturday for both brunch and dinner.

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