Sfuzzi, an iconic neighborhood Italian hot spot will once again open its doors. The vibrant restaurant and bar, that in its heyday attracted Dallas’ “see and be seen” crowd, is slated to open early 2022 in the highly sought-after area of the east side of Knox Henderson at 2401 Henderson Avenue, Dallas, TX.
This & That Hospitality partners and veteran restaurant/bar operators, Brandon Hays & Phil Schanbaum, have been diligently working to resurrect the popular concept that was once a destination for locals, celebrities, and visitors alike. Sfuzzi will offer approachable but upscale dinner and brunch options as well as energetic late-night programming in a stylish and lively atmosphere.
During its time, Sfuzzi was one of the most iconic gathering, dining and drinking destinations in the city. Hays says, “This was true of both the version that opened in 1987 and the one I co-owned and opened in 2009. It was an exciting place to find yourself; there was always a celebratory energy, and we never knew who may walk in the doors. Phil and I are looking forward to bringing back the old Sfuzzi memories to Dallas diners but also help create new ones.”
Known for their no frills, no apologies restaurants and bars with spirited names such as High Fives, Tiny Victories, Whippersnappers, Ferris Wheelers, and Alice, the duo began their F&B careers at the restaurant in 2009 when Hays and Robert Colombo owned and operated it together. Colombo first opened Sfuzzi in Dallas in 1987 on McKinney Avenue in Uptown Dallas, then teamed up with Hays to bring the second one to the same street in 2009, before ultimately calling it quits in 2013.
Hays and Schanbaum have come full circle with now total control of the concept. Hays explains, “Sfuzzi was where I cut my teeth in the restaurant business and learned quite a bit in my young career. I was given keys to the kingdom and had to learn quickly. Going at it again after all these years of Phil and I owning our own venues lends a different perspective.”
The food and beverage programs have been thoughtfully created with recipes staying true to the original Sfuzzi classics as well as a few newcomers. Schanbaum says, “The menu will be robust from both food and beverage offerings. Incredible pizzas, flavorful pastas and well thought out dishes are key. The plan is to draw as much inspiration as possible from the original menus – both food and bar.”
In addition, the popular frozen Bellini will make its comeback along with a cocktail program created by Fernanda Rossano, who in 2009 worked as a barback at Sfuzzi. Schanbaum says, “Fernanda has since become one of Dallas’ most respected cocktail tacticians and we are honored to have her back.”
Continuing the trend of “getting the band back together”, award-winning Chef Peja Kristic (Chef/Owner, Mot Hai Ba) has been tasked as the consulting chef. Kristic plans to ensure the flavors reflect original recipes from when he ran the kitchen as Executive Corporate Chef for Sfuzzi from 2011 – 2013.
From a design perspective and brought to life by Wallace Johnson Studios (known for designing Sachet, Alice, R&D, Beverly’s and more), the restaurant will have similar traits as its predecessors including a wrap around patio, U-shaped bar, split on the interior of lounge seating on one side and traditional dining on the other, and a massive Woodstone wood burning oven as the stunning centerpiece.
Sfuzzi will measure 4,000 square feet inside and 2,000 square feet for patio. Seating capacity will be 80 inside and 120 outside.
Open for cocktails, dinner, late-night and brunch, hours of operation will be Monday-Friday 4pm-2am; Saturday-Sunday 2pm-2am.