A Dallas restaurant that vowed to reopen after being shut down during the pandemic is finally doing just that – more than 800 days after it closed.
Nestled in the Harwood District, Dolce Riviera hopes to offer an escape to the Italian coast.
The restaurant reopened last week two years after the pandemic forced it to close.
“It was obviously a scary time but we always knew we would reopen,” said Taylor Kearney, corporate chef for Harwood International.
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For Kearney big challenges still remain. Staffing shortages and import disruptions are the most pressing but said the pandemic taught his team how to adapt.
“It really not only changed our mindset but our business models as well,” Kearney said.
Operated by Harwood Hospitality, it is one of several restaurants the company has slowly reopened.
“To see it come back to life has been such a thrill for us,” said Warren Richards, vice president of hospitality for Harwood Hospitality.
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“This was an exercise in patience. We wanted to reopen with all the details in the right place and you can’t rush that, especially with some of the little elements that were hard to find this time around,” Richards said.
Guests can expect a familiar feel with a refresh. An updated menu includes 10 kinds of pasta made in-house along with a focus on seafood and spirits. An added bar called The Parlor will offer wine and cocktails.
“You really do feel like you’re somewhere else. It transports you to somewhere different and I think guests, in general, are looking for those experiences,” Richards said.
“We were really patient and we really do think the results will pay off in the long run.”