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Restaurants / Openings

Portland’s Rare Unpretentious Foodie Hotspot is Coming to Texas

The Lure — a New Mega Entertainment Venue Like No Other

BY // 08.01.17

Thirsty Lion Gastropub revealed that it will be among the 25 bars and restaurants setting up shop at the Irving Music Factory this fall. The Portland, Oregon-based restaurant concept is set to open its first Texas location at the highly-anticipated $200 million entertainment development on October 10.

Thirsty Lion was founded in Portland in 2006 and now has eight locations in Oregon, Arizona and Colorado.

The gastropub has globally-inspired, seasonal cuisine, a wide assortment of beers, craft cocktails, and a communal atmosphere.

CEO and Founder John Plew wants to create a place to hang out and get foodie-worthy cuisine without the pretentiousness and high price tag that often comes with such spots.

“Our goal and mission is to bring high quality, fresh, scratch kitchen food and make it affordable and attainable,” he tells PaperCity.

The diverse menu is centered around a quarterly “fresh sheet” of seasonal and local ingredients. Signature dishes include bronzed salmon with mango quinoa, seared Ahi salad, roasted pork cubano, and traditional scotch eggs.

“It’s eclectic but approachable,” says Plew.

The menu will also offer vegetarian and gluten free options, bright salads, chargrilled burgers and steaks, and brick oven pizza.

The Irving location will have some specialized items such as Texas beef, local beers, and – because it’s Texas – queso.

“We try to localize the state,” says Plew. “It’s not necessarily farm-to-table.”

Thirsty Lion’s Irving outpost will take shape in a 7,700-square-foot space with an additional 1,800-square-foot patio. The inside will have an open layout with large tables and a 32 seat bar, as well as a state-of-the-art audio and visual sound system for showing sports games and music videos. The spacious patio will be broken into three areas with two fire pits, an open air kitchen, and a hearth-baked pizza oven.

The laid-back, group-friendly restaurant will be a good fit for the Irving Music Factory, one of most ambitious new entertainment complexes in America.

“I like to think of it as a community dining spot. Where you can get fresh food, really come together and celebrate life, and do it in a way that’s fun,” Plew says.

The Irving Music Factory’s entertainment lineup will be able to compete with almost any big-time arena in the world. Rock star comedian Dave Chappelle is set to open the venue with sold-out shows on August 31 and September 1. Opening weekend will continue with a Brad Paisley concert on September 2, a performance from comedians Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy on September 3, and a concert from Lifehouse and Switchfoot on Labor Day.

The venue will keep up momentum with performances from ZZ Top and Goo Goo Dolls later in the week. Notable acts such as Harry Styles, Alt J, KISS, Chris Rock, and Trevor Noah are also slated to appear at the Music Factory this fall.

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