After years of decay and decline, The Cedars neighborhood in downtown Dallas is on the rise and businesses are banding together to promote it.
New apartments and townhomes are going up to house new residents.
Existing businesses are improving and new ones are opening to serve the customers.
A new restaurant called Sandwich Hag opened a week ago on South Lamar Street near Corinth.
“It’s really good,” said customer Andrew Fashburn. “It’s good food, and we’re glad to have some more options around here for sure.”
Owner Reyna Duong said the grand opening is more than a week away but customers were anxious to try her Asian-influenced cuisine after a soft opening a week ago.
“The residents are great. The fellow merchants are all unique and have their own personalities. And we like to have a little fun with the name ‘Sandwich Hag.’ And we wanted to grow the neighborhood,” she said.
Duong said around 20 Cedars businesses are banding together for an association to promote the area.
“Leader is a strong word. I like to think that I am the motivator,” Duong said. “Collectively we understand that there’s strength in numbers.”
Duong is looking forward to Four Corners Brewing Company’s move to The Cedars from West Dallas.
The five-year-old craft brewery outgrew its current home on Singleton Boulevard at Trinity Groves.
“The beer will be as good as it’s ever been, we’ll just be able to make a whole lot more of it,” said Four Corners co-founder George Esquivel.
The new location in a former machine shop complex off South Ervay Street is across from The Ambassador Hotel. A conversion to luxury residential units is planned for the hotel which was built in 1905.
Four Corners Brewery will open a tap room in what was once the hotel's horse stable.
“It’s very Dallas that we were valet parking horses and carriages back then,” Esquivel said.
The Dallas native said he is anxious to bring his young business to the rising Cedars neighborhood.
“For those who are not familiar with The Cedars, they’re going to be pleasantly surprised to come down here,” he said. “There’s a new energy here that we like to be a part of.”
Four Corners will start brewing beer at the new location by the end of July. It plans to open the tap room in September.
Sandwich Hag customer Richard Slusher works at the Dallas County Community College office on South Lamar Street near the new restaurant.
He said the Alamo Draft House location on Lamar at Cadiz seemed to be a catalyst.
“Things started gathering steam at that end of town and it looks like now it’s starting to spread out this way,” Slusher said. “If you build it they will come and it looks like now the building is happening.”