Business of the Week: Fluellen Cupcakes!

This week, we say thank you to Fluellen cupcakes for their commitment to Downtown over the past six years. You’re a great neighbor, and the cupcakes are AMAZING! Visit them at 1408 Elm. You can also click HERE for more information – and to check out all the great flavors!


Downtown Dallas is the absolute best playground for families

Downtown Dallas may swell with professionals during the workday, but there’s more to the area than just business (eating and shopping, for example). Families can find an abundance of activities — most of them free — that are guaranteed to keep little ones entertained.

Museums are a great starting point, with the majority participating in Kids Club, which hosts six arts-and-crafts-based events a year. Nasher Sculpture Center encourages artistic exploration at Target First Saturdays, as does the Crow Collection of Asian Art with its Asian Adventure, also on the first Saturday of each month. Dallas Museum of Art mixes it up with First Tuesdays, which is aimed specifically at children 5 and under, while an extensive list of classes and workshops keeps everyone engaged.

The Art Lab at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science gives youngsters an extra hands-on experience during their visit, while Discovery Days is something the whole family can look forward to. You can even museum-hop, riding the free D-Link bus around downtown.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science offers an Art Lab and Discovery Days for its younger visitors. Photo courtesy of: Perot Museum of Nature and Science.


The D-Link will also whisk you over to the Dallas Farmers Market, where you can enjoy live music each Friday while you shop. The student and volunteer-tended Mama Ida’s Teaching Garden makes nutrition, math, and science fun, and partners with North Texas Food Bank to donate its harvest to Dallas’ homeless population through Family Gateway. On the second Saturday of each month, Walkabout with a Chef lets an expert guide you around the market, sharing recipes and explaining how best to shop for ingredients.

Another free form of transportation around down is the M-Line Trolley, a nostalgic streetcar that links downtown and its Arts District to Uptown and the West Village.

Ride the M-Line Trolley between downtown and Uptown. Photo courtesy of: Dallas CVB

Over at Old City Park, Dallas Heritage Village brings history to life, re-creating our city from 1840-1910 through authentic buildings and furnishings. Every second Wednesday of the month is Nip and Tuck’s Barnyard Buddies, a program for little historians where they read a story, do an activity, then explore the village.

Target First Saturdays at the Nasher Sculpture Center combine artsy activities with fresh air (when weather allows). Photo by: Hilary Schleier

Reading is only one of the pastimes at J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, though sometimes that does come with a side of boogie woogie for kids six and under. Music classescrafts, and Sunday family movie matinees are all on the monthly calendar, ensuring that you and your family will never be at a loss for something fun to do in downtown Dallas.

Meet Mai Lyn: The Millennial Small Business Owner Working (Out) & Eating Her Way Through #MyDTD!

This blog is part of a special series featuring winners of Downtown Dallas Inc’s Live Like a Local contest, which asked for locals to submit mobile friendly, self-guiding experiences on the Guidrr app that showcase their #mydtd journeys. Mai Lyn Ngo is featured today, along with a link to download her free, winning fitness/health experience: Downtown Workout Date.

Live Like a Local contest winner Mai Lyn Ngo (pronounced May Lyn No) is a Dallas blogger and small business owner working at the intersection of good food and a healthy lifestyle.

Since she travels around town in workout gear, and has a petite and youthful build, she is often taken for younger than her years. This is why it’s all the more cool what this Asian millennial entrepreneur is doing for the serious growth of fitness as a lifestyle business community in DFW.


Mai Lyn (@deepfriedfit) found an engaged audience at the intersection of food and fitness



Born and raised in East Dallas, Mai Lyn grew up in an Asian household and was raised to focus on a great education and a stable corporate career. She attended SMU where she studied journalism and minored in Chinese and English and then began working a corporate job.

“But I always loved writing, and blogging was a creative outlet from my traditional role. A friend suggested I start a blog for fun and I would use it to sharpen my writing skills and get reacquainted with a content management system,” she says. “I’ve always loved both being active and good food so these topics were a natural fit.”

Fast-forward a few years, and Mai Lyn’s story started to make a turn toward her career today as a full time fitness influencer and event manager. “We’re the generation of the side hustle. I started blogging about fitness studios and my love of food. I wanted others to feel comfortable arriving at a studio for the first time, and know all the details, like the style, the level of intensity, even if they stocked water! Plus, I wanted people to enjoy fitness as a lifestyle, not feel they need to deprive themselves.”

At the intersection of food and fitness, Mai Lyn began building an engaged local audience with her popular @deepfriedfit account on Instagram and her blog, both of which feature her local experiences. “At the same time, I was looking for community around my interest in fitness blogging and food, and discovered others shared my passions and questions.” She decided to create a membership community around fitness enthusiasts and bloggers under the brand Dallas Fitness Ambassadors. Now more than 50 strong, the group is a big part of Mai Lyn’s professional life as she teaches and grows the community around successful ways to build online influence and a sustainable brand. “We share ideas on how to post authentically, how to work well with brands, and how to grow our communities while supporting each other,” she says.


As the founder of Dallas Fitness Ambassadors, Mai Lyn creates community around local fitness options


As the founder of Dallas Fitness Ambassadors, Mai Lyn creates community around local fitness options

When Mai Lyn isn’t blogging and posting, she’s out there exploring Dallas and sharing her discoveries, making her a true #mydtd ambassador.

“I recommend taking the DART and getting off at St Paul or Akard, and letting yourself walk and get a little lost.” ~ Mai Lyn Ngo

“Downtown Dallas like a scavenger hunt; there’s so many cool unique spots – parks and coffee shops, random stairs, train stations – you can take 20,000 steps simply by walking somewhere … fitness and exploration go together,” she says. “I recommend taking the DART and getting off at St Paul or Akard, and letting yourself walk and get a little lost.”

Screen Shot 2016-10-17 at 10.37.10 AM.pngDon’t miss Mai Lyn’s winning free experience, Downtown Workout Date, on the Guidrr app, a perfect way to explore downtown, either solo or with a friend. Download it for free here on the free Guidrr iPhone app.  


Thanks for being a #mydtdcontest winner and #downtowndallas ambassador, Mai Lyn. We’re looking forward to more of your downtown fitness journeys hitting the Guidrr app.

AT&T and City of Dallas Plan Downtown Destination for Eating, Shopping, and Playing

Under Plan, AT&T Would Stay at Current Site and Create ‘Destination Location’

AT&T* and the city of Dallas are working on a plan to keep the company’s headquarters in Downtown Dallas, and transform the location into a Downtown destination and greenspace open to the public. AT&T would invest millions to renovate the buildings and outdoor area with food, retail, and entertainment spots.

The area – AT&T Discovery District – would become an urban-tech center. It would have well-lit, wide sidewalks, landscaping, and venues for entertainment. Downtown workers, residents, and visitors would be able to shop, dine, relax, and connect.

“Downtown Dallas is our home. We want to stay and create a unique, inviting space – not only for our employees – but for all,” said John Stephens, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, AT&T. “If we’re able to move ahead, we believe the project will draw people to south Downtown Dallas. It could offer considerable long-term economic benefits to area businesses, hotels, restaurants, and the city.

“But we’re not doing this alone. The City of Dallas, DART, Downtown Dallas, Inc., and local businesses are working with us to build this area and recharge south Downtown Dallas,” Stephens said.

Since moving its global headquarters to Dallas in 2008, the company’s Downtown employee presence has doubled. Nearly 5,700 people work in AT&T’s 4-building Downtown complex at Akard and Commerce streets.

Since 2008, AT&T has invested more than $100 million to renovate the inside and outside of its headquarters. And the company intends to continue making significant investments.

“We not only want to give our employees a great place to work, we want to provide an outdoor destination for other workers, local residents, and visitors,” Stephens said. “We want to see Downtown Dallas thrive.”

AT&T Discovery District would be a new gathering spot for Downtown workers and help to boost local tourism. It would offer an outdoor event space, public art spaces, retail locations, and free Wi-Fi. We’ll also provide improved landscaping and lighting, fountains, seating, and wider sidewalks – all consistent with the Downtown Dallas 360 plan.

“I’m excited to work alongside AT&T and create this innovative space in Downtown Dallas,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “It is important that the City of Dallas works to ensure this great corporate citizen, which has done so much for our community, remains in Dallas.”

“Creating a destination headquarters location will help draw more people, business, and energy to this important area of Downtown, creating a dynamic connection between several districts,” said Kourtny Garrett, president, Downtown Dallas, Inc. “We are supportive of AT&T’s vision to create a Downtown park and urban-tech center, because we believe it will benefit all residents, local businesses, Downtown workers, and more. We expect this investment from AT&T would help grow the local economy and continue to demonstrate that our city is innovative, business-friendly, and economically strong.”

As part of this significant renovation, AT&T is asking the City to make changes to several surrounding streets to improve safety for pedestrians and to improve the flow of traffic around the complex.

Learn more about our investment in Dallas here.

All the reasons Downtown Dallas is one of the best neighborhoods to dine

Article by CultureMap Dallas


It’s an often-touted fact that Dallas has the most restaurants per capita of any city in the nation, meaning there’s no shortage of places here to eat. One such pocket of dining bliss is Downtown Dallas, which is densely packed with a variety of cuisines at all price points.

Like CBD Provisions, an adventurous brasserie in The Joule hotel that was named to Texas Monthly‘s list of best new restaurants shortly after it opened in 2013. It’s famous for its Berkshire pig head carnitas, though insiders know to also stop by the bar and ask for a McKnight: a Grey Goose, champagne, and lemon concoction named for one of the restaurant’s regulars.

Another fun stop at The Joule is its roaming cocktail cart, which you can catch in the lobby every Thursday through Saturday starting at 5 pm. The bartender will whip up a crafty libation personalized to your tastes.

If the idea of food on the go is appealing, head to Browder Street Plaza. Yes, Downtown Dallas has its own food truck park, where local favorites such as Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe, The Butcher’s Son, Crazy Fish, and Mr. Snowie gather at lunchtime during the work week. What’s a better way to cool down than with a tiger’s blood or horchata snow cone on a hot Texas day?

Or if your office is already an iceberg and you need warming up, take a break for hand-pressed espresso and hear the joke of the day from John, owner of the impossibly charming Serj Books.

A good reason to stay in the Downtown area on Wednesdays is for Cafe Izmir‘s “neighborhood night.” Wines are half price and tapas — think beef piroshky rolls, saffron chicken kabobs, and veggie dolmas — are only $4 at this family-run paean to Greek, Turkish, Lebanese, and Persian cuisine.

Craving some down-home cooking? Find it at Ellen’s Southern Kitchen, where breakfast is dished out all day, and the fried green tomato salad is a must.

Or build your perfect pizza at Tutta’s. It’s not advertised on the menu, but you can take any topping listed and secretly combine them into your dream pie. Did we mention the restaurant specializes in smoked meats? If you happen by on the third Thursday of each month, it’s stand-up comedy night hosted by Jimmy Nelson. Four to six local comedians perform short sets starting at 8:30 pm, so get there early to take advantage of happy hour from 3-7. And bring Fido if you want to enjoy the dog-friendly patio — he’ll even get his own bowl of water.

The best-kept secret for happy hour is Dallas Fish Market, where on Wednesdays and Fridays between 5 and 7 pm glasses of wine are only $5 and you get a free sushi roll with each drink.

Another happy hour of note is at Frankie’s, which is also agreed upon by many as the best sports bar in Dallas. There are $4 Moscow Mules, 20 Texas craft beers on tap, and a mixed drink menu devised by cocktail king Eddie “Lucky” Campbell, all in addition to 44 HD TVs that have all the top sports packages.

If you’re still on a cocktail kick, The Woolworth is a worthy option. Perched above Tony Tasset’s famous Eye sculpture, this drinks den was a former — you guessed it — location of a Woolworth five-and-dime. Visit Mike at the bar and ask for the secret, off-menu drink called The Local, which mixes blackberries, blueberries, ginger, and gin.

And it wouldn’t be a list of Downtown Dallas’ best dining without a mention of the Dallas Farmers Market. Bigger and better than ever, it houses more than a dozen artisanal food vendors and restaurants including Mudhen, Rex’s Seafood, Stocks and Bondy, and Taqueria La Ventana. Of particular note is Scardello, a cut-to-order shop that stocks more than 100 handcrafted cheeses. It also hosts the Extra Credit series, which pairs two wines, six cheeses, and two accompaniments for a meal that’s tasty and informative.

Get to Know: Black Ship Little Katana

We’re excited to announce the start of a new series we’ll publish each month highlighting a different business in Downtown Dallas. First up: Black Ship Little Katana!


A sushi concept from humble beginnings has made its way to the heart of Downtown Dallas.

What started as a kiosk in the Dallas Galleria grew to include prized sushi restaurant Little Katana in Highland Park, inspiring yet another brainchild of restaurateur Odes Kim.

Photo courtesy of: Black Ship Little Katana

Black Ship got its name from the 1852 fleet of four US Navy steamships sent to Japan to open up ports to Western trade. During the journey, the metal ships were stained black by the saltwater and called “black ships” by the Japanese.

Located near the Omni Dallas Hotel and Kay Bailey Hutchison Dallas Convention Center, Black Ship’s atmosphere echoes its namesake – lanterns adorn the ceilings and reclaimed wood panels cover the walls.

The diplomatic mission opened up all of Asia, and Black Ship’s dishes reflect the meeting of Eastern and Western flavors. Kim worked closely with manager and family friend Steven Shin to create the Asian hybrid menu.

“To me, fusion is mixing different flavors together and losing the identity of the original dish,” Shin said. “Hybrid is keeping the essential DNA, but adding a few things to Asian dishes making them more palatable to American markets.”

Photo courtesy of: Black Ship Little Katana

One of the best sellers at Black Ship is the Hot Stone Bowl. Essentially fried rice, the dish offers interactivity not traditionally available with fried rice: guests stir the flavorful rice, protein, and vegetables to achieve desired crispiness. Topped with a fried egg, the dish packs a punch unlike regular fried rice, while evoking the pleasure of instinctual and primal preparation.

While the offerings are widespread, Black Ship is known for fresh sushi and sashimi, prepared with attention to detail the way any true sushi restaurant does.

Hesitant to eat fish in a landlocked city? Shin clears the air – the fish is even fresher than coastal offerings because distributors send the freshest fish inland first. Salmon is the bestseller – Black Ship sells 60 to 80 pounds each day.

Photo courtesy of: Black Ship Little Katana

For libations, popular sakes are available, but the handcrafted cocktails are what shine. The fan-favorite Saratoga Milk Punch is a refreshing and balanced combination of rum, Thai chili peppercorn syrup, coconut milk, and vanilla.

Black Ship caters events, or will rent out its space for any occasion. In addition to the large interior, three patio rooms with climate control are available outside.

You can enjoy happy hour weekdays from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and live jazz music from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Free parking is available as well.

If you’re looking for a laid-back, urban atmosphere where everyone can find something to eat, look no further – Black Ship Little Katana has you covered.

For a chance to win a $100 gift card to Black Ship Little Katana, click here and make sure you follow us (@downtown_dallas) and Black Ship Little Katana (@lkblackship) on Instagram!

To book a reservation today, call 214-760-7200.

For information on all things to eat, see, and do Downtown, visit And for a comprehensive list of Downtown events, visit

Black Ship Little Katana is located at:
665 South Lamar St. Suite 130
Dallas, Texas 75202

Where to eat in Dallas right now: 10 best new Downtown restaurants for lunch

Full article here.

For those who like to meet for lunch in downtown Dallas, things have never been better. And by “better,” we mean new places, opening all around the central core. You’ll always have your classics like the Zodiac at Neiman Marcus, but if you’re hungry for what’s brand new, here’s the list.

Black Ship/Little Katana
A sibling to the Little Katanas on Travis Street and at Galleria Dallas, the Omni location is the new project of LK Concepts and Dallas businessman Odes Kim. In addition to tuna towers and mega sushi plates served on ornately carved wooden boats, the menu features Japanese, Korean, and American touches on dishes such as miso-glazed sea bass and Wagyu New York strip steak.

Cafe Izmir
The just-opened downtown location of this Greenville Avenue favorite has its classic items, including the hummus of which it is very proud, plus some new offerings. Diners can get “bowls” with a protein, choice of saffron rice or salad, and a side of vegetables. It also offers baked flatbreads and pide (pies), an arugula salad, Izmir house fries, doner (thinly shaved lamb and beef), and many sandwich options.

Coal Vines
Latest branch of this local chain from colorful restaurateur Joseph Palladino hits the lunch market hard. At dinner, it follows the pattern of its siblings in Uptown Dallas, Addison, Plano, and Southlake, with wine service and a sit-down experience. But at lunch, it goes fast-casual, emphasis on fast, serving pastas and $8 personal pizzas in basic flavors such as pepperoni, in a few minutes.

Grill & Vine
Open at the newly renovated Westin Dallas Downtown, Grill & Vine does an updated reinterpretation of the classic bar and grill, with a tavern design, following the example set by the first Grill & Vine, which debuted in the Bay Area in 2013. The tavern-style launch menu includes the specialty, smoked brisket eggs Benedict, plus pulled pork on brioche sliders, deviled eggs, sweet potato bisque, steel-cut Irish oats, and a Caesar made with kale.

One of Dallas’ favored Mexican restaurants celebrates its downtown debut in mid-March with a menu that includes Tex-Mex staples along with new, more upscale Mexican items. Think seafood, including ceviche and fish tacos. There’ll be a full bar, so that means margaritas. (There’s another Herrera’s by a different family member on Sylvan Avenue.)

Latin Deli
Second branch of the charming Lakewood-adjacent restaurant sits across from the JFK Memorial, near El Centro College, where it serves dishes from Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela. The sandwiches are winners, especially the Cuban sandwich, a trademark item. There’s coffee and breakfast tacos in the morning, as well as beautiful, house-made cupcakes in unique options such as tres leches and sweet corn, which you can feel free to eat any time you like.

NOLA Brasserie
Upscale but casual, featuring a blend of American and Creole favorites, NOLA is a unique concept in Dallas, as most restaurants with New Orleans cuisine are lower-scale concepts offering po’ boys and fried fish. The menu includes fried oysters with coleslaw and hush puppies, and gumbo with rice. In the ’60s, this location was home to the only Dallas branch of Brennan’s, the famed Creole restaurant in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

Purple Onion
Modest home-cooking restaurant moved from Irving Boulevard into a space at Field and Main streets that was previously the Original Italian Cafe. The menu includes P.O. signatures such as chicken-fried steak, chicken and dumplings, and pot roast, plus a huge salad bar and pizza by the slice.

Spice in the City
Get health-conscious to-go food at lunch and dinner with Indian, Pakistani, and Malaysian spices and flavors at this canteen located in the former Fuse kitchen at the Dallas Power & Lighting building. Sample dishes might include grass-fed steak saag gosht, a Pakistani dish, atop a cashew and raisin pulao (spicy rice). They’ll open in the lobby and poolside patio space in June.

Tutta’s Pizza
Former food truck concept makes the big step to a real-live restaurant, in Dallas’ upwardly trending West End. It occupies the location that used to be Dick’s Last Resort, a large space with an enviable patio, where it serves pizzas and sandwiches such as the Italian Hot Date with pepperoni, spicy calabrese, ham, bacon, spinach, and tomatoes on house-baked bread, served with house-made chips.