District – the beloved Northern California neighborhood restaurant and bar – will open its first Texas location at 5100 Belt Line Road (Village on the Parkway) in Addison this Fall. Open for lunch and dinner, the rustic yet refined concept pairs a menu of globally inspired shareable plates with an extensive and diverse wine and whiskey program. The result is an experience that guests can share with friends and family in a vibrant and communal setting.
Co-founder Jon D’Angelica explains, “Wine and whiskey have a broad flavor profile. Our belief is that, to have a food offering that works with this wide array of flavors, you have to embrace different cuisines from around the globe in a format that encourages guests to try multiple dishes, not just a single entrée. There are endless pairing possibilities, and our job is to allow you to explore these at your own pace.”
District’s founding mission goes beyond the core offering of wine, whiskey and shareable plates. It encompasses the entire experience, including service and the overall vibe set by the design, music and their guests. District is centered on an adventurous bar program with a food menu created by Executive Chef, Bob Cina, to complement the drinks.
While the menu changes often based upon the seasons and availability of product, sample or core food menu items will include the likes of: Fontina and Spinach Arancini with smoked tomato sauce; Lamb Meatballs made with house ground lamb & pork, chermoula tomato sauce and manchego cheese; Tempura Avocado with jalapeño-lime aioli and sweet ‘n spicy sea salt; Grilled Spanish Octopus with inked bomba rice, saffron aioli, olive oil poached tomato and fennel; Calabrian Sausage Pizza with Calabrian chili sauce, arugula, cippolini onion, pecorino; Zucchini Blossom Flatbread with baby squashes and herbs, truffled ricotta, Texas sweets; Diver Scallops with Cali caviar, leak & salsify soubise, tempura mushroom, citrus sea foam; Smoked Lamb Chops with pistachio-parmesan polenta frita, Castelvetrano lamb jus, minted salsa verde and more.
As for the bar program, District offers both new and old-world wines as well as a heavy selection of Whiskeys focused on high-quality and small batch production. Draft beers will be sourced from local breweries such as Tupps Brewery and Peticolas Brewing Company. The cocktail menu features classic recipes with a modern twist while using fresh herbs, fresh squeezed juices and house made syrups. A few standouts will include the Sazerac Barrel Aged Old Fashion and Lavender Tom Collins made with gin, house made lavender syrup, lemon juice and topped with soda.
D’Angelica and his partner Ryan Vance built the first District as a wine bar concept and always thought that shareable plates create a more intimate dining experience, whether it is with friends, family or significant others. As the concept evolved and so did their tastes, whiskeys were added into the fold. “We believe that hospitality combined with an eclectic bar program and comfortable design is a key element of our success. We truly embrace the philosophy that a night at District is a lot like a dinner party at a friend’s house.” says, D’Angelica.
The 3,800 square foot space will offer interior seating for 94 (including bar), and patio seating for 40. District’s design can be described as a blend between rustic and contemporary. D’Angelica says, “In Addison, the ‘bones’ of the space pay tribute to the historic brick & timber warehouse spaces we occupy in our home base of Northern California. The interior is filled with rich woods, rustic chandeliers and contemporary accents that are right in line with our design philosophy.” A combination of lounge seating, hi-top tables and banquettes, all surrounding a large centerpiece bar, will provide customers with a variety of seating experiences.
D’Angelica and Vance both design each location – with their vision – and in Addison with the help of local architecture and design firm ID Studio 4. The duo believes that every location should have its own personality and reflect the surrounding neighborhood and environment. D’Angelica adds, “For Addison, we have commissioned our friend and artist Grant Irish with designing a piece that meshes our Northern California roots with our new home in Texas. He is currently designing an oversized bullhorn sculpture made from two stroke motorcycle exhaust pipes. We are incredibly excited to see this piece on install day along with the interior.”
When asked what inspired him to leave Wall Street for the restaurant industry, D’Angelica says, “I started District to realize my dream of owning my own business and taking more control of my career path. What appeals to me the most is creating something from nothing and leaving something behind that you can be proud of when all is said and done. We chose Dallas due to the vibrant dining scene and growth here as our first location outside of our hometown. We fell in love with the people and its city. I’m proud of what we have accomplished in Northern California and am energized about the possibilities that lie ahead of us.”
District was founded in San Francisco in 2007. It is run by founding partners Ryan Vance and Jon D’Angelica. Ryan and Jon were friends who met each other in San Francisco in 2000. Ryan’s background is in hospitality and marketing. Jon received his MBA at NYU and worked on Wall Street until 2000 when he moved to the Bay Area to pursue his dream of opening a wine bar and restaurant. Dallas Restaurant Veteran, Johnny Carros (formerly of Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House, Jasper’s, Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen and Frontburner Restaurant Group) is Operating Partner for the Dallas area expansion.
District currently has three locations all in California. Addison marks the 4th location for the group and first outside of California.