Upscale restaurant City Cafe closed on Lovers Lane in Dallas, but its bistro, to-go operations and catering side will remain open.
City Cafe would have celebrated its 35th anniversary in May 2020. Longtime fans of the elegant space might be sad to hear that City Cafe’s maître d’ Karim Alaoui does not work at the restaurant anymore, but he’s helping the staff transition fully to the casual side of the business. Alaoui is “still a part of the City Cafe family,” says general manager Jessy Morales, though the restaurant’s regulars won’t see him working the door.
Antonio Aguierre, the manager of City Cafe To Go who has been with the company for 17 years, remains.
In a statement, the restaurant says that “increasing pressures of rising lease costs … and the ever-present highly competitive market for fine dining” were reasons City Cafe decided to end its run. It closed just before New Year’s Eve.
Today, customers at City Cafe To Go Bistro will still be able to have a dine-in experience at the bistro. Morales notes that some of the favorite dishes at the fancier restaurant are still available, like the tomato soup and the desserts.
The bistro and to-go operation has been open since December 1990. It was a novel concept, pre-Eatzi’s: Those willing to pay for chef-quality food like veal marsala ravioli could take it home for a dinner party, without dirtying a dish.
Some of the most popular items at the bistro are the Asian chicken salad and the chicken panino.
City Cafe was well-known among residents in Highland Park and University Park. The restaurant statement says City Cafe was the “scene of innumerable ladies’ lunches, celebratory dinners, family reunions, lovers’ engagements, Valentine[‘s] Day dinners, receptions and renewed friendships. … In an increasingly stress-filled world, City Cafe provided a subdued and elegant ambiance for people to converse with people over great food and wine.”
The restaurant remained popular for years, and in 1994, The Dallas Morning News wrote that “The Park Cities icon has unquestionably come of age, not only with its wonderful changing menu, but also with one of the finest, most meticulously assembled wine lists in town.”
City Cafe was located at 5757 W. Lovers Lane, Dallas. City Cafe To Go Bistro remains, at the same address.