4 North Texas-born restaurants will open in Denton, Fort Worth, Deep Ellum and McKinney

It’s good to see Dallas-Fort Worth-born restaurants expanding in the same area. This is where Monkey King Noodle Company, Union Bear Brewing Co., HG Sply Co. and Lockwood Distilling Co. call Dallas-Fort Worth home.

Monkey King Noodle Company is open again in Deep Ellum

Monkey King Noodle Company is back on Main Street after a months-long closure. The restaurant is known for its spicy peanut and garlic noodles, brisket fried rice, and chili sauce wontons.

Monkey King's spicy beef noodle soup will warm you up on a cold day.
Monkey King’s spicy beef noodle soup will warm you up on a cold day.(Kye R. Lee / Photographer)

The company went through a series of bankruptcy filings, and Addison-based company The One Esca Group took control of Monkey King in late 2023. Co-founder and chief Andrew Chen remains involved, but the management of the company is now led by Michael. Kim and The One Esca Group, which operates 11 restaurants in Texas and Ohio, including Sugarbacon in McKinney, The String Bean in Richardson and Blackfriar Pubs in Uptown Dallas and Lakewood.

According to Kim’s financial research on Monkey King, the restaurant has overextended itself. His remaining restaurants in Dallas and suburban North Texas closed in 2023. The Deep Ellum restaurant was worth saving, Kim discovered. It reopened on January 5, 2024 after a change of ownership and a thorough cleaning.

“We are implementing appropriate cost measures. Take inventory correctly. Making sure we execute the recipes. Pay our bills,” Kim says. “He definitely has potential, and we will continue to improve and learn.”

Monkey King Noodle Company is located at 2933 Main St., Dallas and has been open since January 5, 2024. Other restaurants in Lake Highlands, Richardson, Grapevine and downtown Dallas have closed, as have ghost kitchens.

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Union Bear Brewing Co. in Plano expands to Denton

Tanner Fleming, director of operations at Union Bear, says the brewery's regulars have...
Tanner Fleming, director of operations at Union Bear, says the brewery’s regulars have “become like a second family to us.” The company will expand from Plano to Denton in 2024. (Courtesy of Union Be)

Those with a good memory will remember that Union Bear got its start in Dallas’ West Village in 2012. That bar closed and many in North Texas know that Union Bear is now a restaurant and a Lively brewery on the northern edge of Plano, off the highway. 121 and the Dallas North Tollway. The Plano restaurant will remain open, and the company announced this week that brewing operations will move to an 18,000 square foot facility in Denton on February 1, 2024.

The company has partnered with Andrews Distributing and Union Bear’s beer will soon be sold in bars across Dallas-Fort Worth. Union Bear regularly taps beers like the recent Belgian Quad and the barrel-aged Oatmeal Stout.

Union Bear will also open a brewery in Denton, at the same address as the new production facility.

Union Bear’s new brewery and brewing facility will be located at 221 S. Bell Ave., Denton. The brewery opens its doors on February 1, 2024. The brewery should then open in spring 2024.

The existing Union Bear remains open at 5880 State Highway 121, Plano.

Lockwood Distilling announces expansion to McKinney

Family-owned Lockwood Distilling is set to open a new restaurant and bar in downtown McKinney in early 2024. The business started in Richardson in 2019 and expanded to Fort Worth in 2021 – quite a feat, given the COVID-19 challenges occurring at Lockwood. childhood. (In 2020, the company sold cocktails to go and also made hand sanitizer.)

Here's the Lockwood Old Fashioned with bourbon, bitters and orange zest, photographed in...
This is Lockwood’s Old Fashioned with bourbon, bitters and orange zest, photographed at the Fort Worth restaurant and bar in 2021.(Ben Torres / Special Contributor)

The company makes its own whiskey, gin, hibiscus vodka, pineapple rum and more. We loved Lockwood’s Bourbon Creamer and called it a boozy suggestion for holiday gift baskets in 2021.

In addition to cocktails made with house-distilled spirits, Lockwood offers a friendly menu including chili tots, muffaletta, smoked bologna sandwich, shrimp and grits and more.

Evan Batt hopes the distillery he co-owns with his wife Sally Batt will make customers feel “at home” in McKinney.

“We are excited to bring our taste of community, creative cuisine and artisan spirits to downtown McKinney,” he said in a statement.

Lockwood is expected to open at 1205 W. Louisiana St., McKinney, in February 2024. Find the addresses of the other two D-FW bars at lockwooddistilling.com.

HG Sply Co. expands in North Fort Worth

Fried rice and salmon is one of the bowls from HG Sply Co., which just announced plans to open...
Fried rice and salmon is one of the dishes offered by HG Sply Co., which just announced plans to open a fourth restaurant in Dallas-Fort Worth. (Courtesy of HG Sply Co.)

A decade ago, HG Sply Co. was one of the top reasons to visit the reimagined southern section of Greenville Avenue in East Dallas. Since then, HG Sply has expanded to Trophy Club and Trinity River in Fort Worth. A fourth HG is expected to open in late 2024 in North Fort Worth’s Alliance Town Center.

The large, new restaurant will have two floors and will be able to accommodate more than 300 people, inside and out. The restaurant offers a great selection of healthy bowls and lean protein options like a bison burger and redfish tacos. HG was designed “for those who enjoy flavor but maintain an intentional diet, whether low-carb, allergy-sensitive, gluten-free, vegan, or most other eating patterns,” a press release states.

Alliance Town Center has seen a wave of new restaurants in recent years. Development near Interstate 35W and Heritage Trace Parkway includes mega-chains like Whataburger, Starbucks and Chick-fil-A as well as North Texas-based companies like Truck Yard, Mi Cocina, Shell Shack and Kincaid’s Hamburgers . Nearby, Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken fast food chain is expected to open in 2024.

HG Sply Co. is expected to open at 3351 Texas Sage Trail in Fort Worth. Find the addresses of the three other D-FW restaurants at hgsplyco.com.

For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on X (formerly Twitter) at @sblaskovich.

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