Bengal Coast to Close Saturday

Chef Neville Panthaky on yesterday's sad announcement

By Lisa Petty
|  Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010  |  Updated 12:15 PM CDT
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Bengal Coast to Close Saturday

Yesterday’s announcement on Pegasus News hit us like a ton of bricks:  DallasBengal Coast Restaurant will close this Saturday night.

In a message shared on the site, owner Mark Brezinski explained, “As hard as we have tried…and as loyal as you have been, the simple fact is that we are not able to fight this economy alone any longer.”

Some have also speculated that Bengal Coast’s progressive concept also played a part in its struggles.  Was Dallas just not ready to embrace the “other Asia”?

Open two and a half years, Bengal Coast showcases regional specialties from India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.  Its menu reads like a Greatest Hits of Flavor, tempting with dishes such as spicy, cardamom-scented Vindaloo, coconut-rich Red Curry and warm, cheese-stuffed Naan.

“We took a big risk,” explains Executive Chef Neville Panthaky of this innovative focus.

In an interview today, he observed that, while business during conventions and such was always brisk, Bengal Coast never seemed to catch on with locals.  That said, however, those who were loyal to the restaurant were vocal in their support.

He recalled, “People have said it’s one of their favorite restaurants ever.”

Yet another challenge was Bengal Coast’s location.  The Centrum building at the corner of Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs has seen its fair share of failed restaurants. (Silver Fox Steakhouse is a very recent example.)  Businesses there just don’t get as much “face time” with folks as their free-standing neighbors, and the parking situation can be confusing.

We suspect it’s not one, but a combination of these three factors which ultimately lead to this sad announcement.

The upcoming final days at Bengal Coast will be filled with food and fun.  Stop by Thursday for an all-day Happy Hour, or head out Saturday night for dinner and enjoy tunes from a three-piece band.

On a final note, Panthaky emphasized that he and Brezinski remain “committed to this kind of food.”  The chef plans to stay in Dallas, taking a few weeks off with his family.  After that, he hints that he may begin working on a new concept.

In the meantime, you can enjoy many of the same Bengal Coast flavors at sister restaurant Bistro Babu-san in Fairview.

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