Hôtel Swexan Announces Its First Three Restaurants and A Popular Sand Volleyball Cantina Will Close After 11 Years

Your Weekly Need-To-Know Dallas Dining Dish

BY // 05.19.23

The Dallas dining scene is always evolving. To help you stay in the know, we’ve gathered the buzziest openings, the unfortunate closures, and any other food news we might find fitting. The Dallas Dish is your weekly helping of need-to-know North Texas restaurant news — and will hopefully point you in the direction of your next great reservation.


The Latest Restaurant News to Know – May 2023

Stillwell's will be Hôtel Swexan's signature steakhouse.
Stillwell’s will be Hôtel Swexan’s signature steakhouse. (Rendering courtesy)

The Harwood District’s upcoming Hôtel Swexan announces its first three dining concepts.

Debuting on June 15, the Harwood District’s first boutique hotel, Hôtel Swexan, has just announced its first three new dining concepts (there will be five total). Led by Executive Chef Raymond Bocanegra, the luxury hotel will offer a steakhouse, a morning-to-evening café, and a cocktail lounge with a hidden bar. Here’s a bit about each.

The hotel’s signature restaurant and steakhouse, Stillwell’s, pays homage to Texas ranching legend Hallie Stillwell. Located on the seventh floor of the hotel, the steakhouse features “a lively bar, inventive cocktails, plush seating and mid-century, jewel-toned and walnut adorning design.” Stillwell’s will also serve beef from the new Harwood Premium Beef program. Highlights on the menu will include chilled caviar and shellfish, steak tartare, lobster corn dogs, lots of bone-in and classic cuts, beef tallow fries, and more. Master Sommelier for Harwood District, Barbara Werley, has also crafted a special wine list for the new concept.

Isabelle’s, the lobby-level spot with a patio, is named after Swiss author Isabelle Eberhardt, and was “inspired by the sidewalk cafés of Europe.” The new spot will feature an afternoon tea program and will transform into a martini bar with light bites in the evenings.

For those looking for some Harwood nightlife, Babou’s is a moody cocktail lounge with a clandestine component opening later this summer. The main space presents as a lush library, while a hidden door reveals a colorful, disco ball-equipped cocktail bar.

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The entry to Sandbar Cantina in Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood.
After 11 years, Sandbar Cantina and Grill will shutter this May. (Courtesy)

After 11 years in Deep Ellum, a popular sand volleyball restaurant will shutter.

After more than a decade in business, Sandbar Cantina and Grill announced on its Facebook page that the favorite spot for volleyball and bites will close next Friday, May 26.

The announcement states: “We thank you for your years of patronage and the time we have spent together enjoying the sport we all love. We are not prepared at the moment to speak about the future, but we do want to share stories of the past and present with you guys. Please join us for our last final hoorah next Friday and over the next week and know we love all of you from the bottoms of our hearts.”

According to the Dallas Morning News, documents were filed by the state showing a $4 million renovation to the Deep Ellum property under the name “Goodsurf,” a concept that will use the same surf-wave technology as the upcoming Fireside Surf in The Colony. The DMN also states that co-owner Skyler Davis confirmed that the lease had expired and they had been paying month-to-month.

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