Dallas-Fort Worth's vegan scene grows ever bigger with the expansion of Spiral Diner. The award-winning restaurant, founded in Fort Worth in 2002, is opening a third location in one of North Texas' most vegan-friendly towns: Denton.
The restaurant will open in the new Railyard complex on Hickory Avenue. Opening is slated for early 2017.
Spiral Diner founder Amy McNutt says that plans had been in the works to open a third branch and that Denton was the perfect choice. "We'd decided we were ready to open another location, and our first choice was Denton," she says. "This place was one of the first we looked at, it was a total dream place."
The Railyard is a former warehouse right off Denton's Courthouse Square that's been transformed into a mixed-use complex with retail, restaurant, office space, and loft apartments, set to open in summer 2017. Current occupants include Stoke, a coworking space partnered with the Dallas Entrepreneur Center.
"It's a renovated building, but it feels brand new, and it's right at the end of the A-Train commuter rail line," McNutt says.
McNutt opened the second Spiral Diner in Dallas in 2008. The restaurant has won numerous national awards, including restaurant of the year from VegNews magazine.
Spiral Diner is noted for vegan versions of diner classics with a Tex-Mex twist, including nachos, veggie burgers, chili, burritos, hot plates, sandwiches, and salads. It's all served in cute, '50s-styled surroundings, right down to the boomerang Formica on the tables. The restaurants also boast exceptional desserts, including cakes, pies, brownies, and ice cream.
Like many college towns, Denton is a vegan-friendly environment. The University of North Texas was one of the first campuses in the country to open an all-vegan cafeteria, Mean Greens, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this week.
"Denton is ideal because it's far enough away from both locations that we feel like we'll serve a need," McNutt says. "We've always had a lot of customers from the Denton area drive down to Dallas and Fort Worth.
"We're also just excited about what's happening up there. Every single thing on the square is so cool, and Denton seems to have a strong vision of what they want their city to be — a livable, walkable, bikeable city."
The Denton location will have a feature that the other two do not: a large patio. The space will be designed by Kara Keith, incorporating all of the elements they love best about Fort Worth and Dallas.
"And hopefully all the things we've learned," McNutt says. "It'll still feel lived in because that's what people like about it. They say it feels an extension of their home."