Another North Texas staple has succumbed to the havoc the coronavirus has wreaked on the economy.
After 36 years in business, Dallas’ underground jewel, Dakota’s Steakhouse, is closing for good.
“May 19 was the last day and we never reopened,” Chef Pete Harrison said. “It’s all because of the pandemic.”
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Harrison worked at the restaurant on and off for years.
“Even when I wasn’t working there full time, I was there helping out. It was just a great place to work. It’s a tough situation. I am still trying to let it settle in myself,” Harrison said.
A halt in downtown and hotel traffic near the location at 600 N. Akard Street crippled business. Once the shutdown happened, there was no turning back for the underground restaurant that opened in 1984.
“The hotel business supported us huge,” Harrison said.
Three decades of business will bring with it plenty of stories to tell. Perhaps the most popular, aside from the 20-foot waterfall inside, is why the restaurant went underground. The area the steakhouse sits on was originally owned by a church, which said the future owners couldn’t sell alcohol on the property.
“The owners said if you can’t do it on the ground, you could do it under,” Harrison said. “It’s really a cool story and it was a cool place. It’s truly sad and the end of an era.”