Former Yucatan Taco Stand chef Steve Mitchell will open a new restaurant, M Bistro, in a former crab shack in Montgomery Plaza, he said Monday.
Mitchell, who worked alongside the late Fuzzy’s founding chef Paul Willis at several local restaurants, said M Bistro will be an American bistro serving lunch, brunch and dinner.
King Crab Tap was the fifth restaurant to try and fail in the ill-starred location on the back corner of the plaza near West Sixth Street. It opened as a Mac’s Steaks & Seafood, followed by Deluxe Bar & Grille, Monty’s Corner and Bite City Grill.
“I think if Mac’s had stayed, by now it would be doing OK,” Mitchell said Monday. The new Blue Mesa Grill across Carroll Street has increased nearby traffic.
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“There’s a demand for a chef-driven restaurant over there,” he said, referring to the north side of West Seventh Street across from Houston-based Max’s Wine Dive and the West 7th restaurants such as Cork & Pig Tavern.
“The plaza has Mexican food and pizza and sushi,” he said, “but there’s no American bar and grill.”
Mitchell has worked since 2010 at The Grille at the Harbor at Possum Kingdom Lake. Before that, he worked with Willis at stops from Lucile’s and H3 Ranch to Yucatan Taco Stand and Buffalo Gap Steakhouse.
M Bistro will serve his signature dishes such as lobster bisque, a tomahawk ribeye and smoked tenderloin steaks, along with brunch dishes such as skillets with pepper Jack cheese grits.
The M Bistro name will incorporate the Montgomery Plaza “M,” he said, but also refers to Mitchell. Work will begin next month on remodeling, removing the taphouse-sports bar decor and restoring the original Mac’s layout.
King Crab Tap closed last week, explaining the cause on Facebook as “a new menu we are launching.”
Several similar crab-shack-taphouse restaurants have opened trying to replicate the success of Dallas-based Shell Shack, which has an Arlington location. But a similar concept in Colleyville, Craft & Crab Seafood House, also recently closed and will reopen as Dallas Craft Co. Kitchen & Community Tap Room.
When King Crab Tap was reviwed by DFW.com, writer Anna Caplan waited 15 minutes before anyone took her order. She described the fried oysters as “behemoths, more batter than oyster” and the fish and chips as “mind-numbingly boring.”