When it was developed in the mid-1970’s, Las Colinas was one of the first master-planned communities in the country complete with elevated people-movers and the attractive Mandalay Canal running through it.
This model ‘city of the future’ gave us an enticing glance of the space-age living we had been promised. It drew plenty of tourists as well as corporate tenants and was then hit hard by subsequent recessions. With the opening of Toyota Music Factory, things are looking good for a resurgence.
Located on the north side of highway 114 and just west of the Las Colinas Urban Center, the hippest, new music and entertainment venue should draw crowds back to the community.
The central hub, known as The Pavilion, is the primary concert stage. “The gigantic state-of-the-art venue includes both indoor space and expansive outdoor lawns. It converts from a 2,500-capacity intimate theater to a 4,000-seat indoor theater and then at the touch of a button opens up to an 8,000-person boutique open-air amphitheater,” according to a press release.
Bookings and promotion are by Live Nation and will host big name acts throughout the year. Some concerts within the next month include: Steely Dan with the Doobie Brothers on May 25, Kirk Franklin on May 26, Poison with special guest Cheap Trick on June 2 and Fort Worth’s own Leon Bridges on June 9. More details about upcoming concerts can be found at: www.ThePavilionTMF.com.
Big Beat Dallas
The founder of Fort Worth’s Billy Bob’s Texas, Billy Bob Barnett, wanted to get in on the action as well. He brought one unique component of the overall Toyota Music Factory complex to life, called Big Beat Dallas. It hosts a live music stage and the open-air Texas Lottery Plaza which debuted at the development in March.
“Big Beat Dallas is the biggest tenant within the Music Factory and we are located at the heart of the action,” says Nelli Tokleh, Director of Public Relations for Shiroma Southwest.
Encompassing more than a full acre and designed to look like an upscale town square, “Texas Lottery Plaza is an open-air central gathering space with abundant greenery and a full-production performance stage for all types of live entertainment and community events,” the press release says. Guests within Big Beat Dallas are free to wander the area with their drinks, giving it a New Orleans vibe (as long as they stay within the barricades).
There is one nightclub in Big Beat Dallas, Martini Ranch, with a nightly DJ mixing on a state of the art sound system and an outdoor patio area.
Four restaurants are located here, too, and all have a musically inspired component, says Tokleh. Bar Manzanilla has Latin-inspired scratch cuisine and cocktails with a DJ every night. “It has a tapas style menu, and is named after the birthplace of tequila,” she says.
Highway 61 South serves up blues and traditional Texas barbecue. Texas Jam House and its Southern-style cooking will be open 24 hours a day. And, Texas C-Bar is an upscale steakhouse complete with an extensive Scotch whiskey library and nightly jazz music.
Other dining and drinking possibilities now open
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema serves cold beer, hot movies and a menu covering everything from snacks to full meals. Bar Louie is the neighborhood bar for handcrafted cocktails with a selection of local and regional beers and more than 20 taps.
The first Texas location of Top Round Roast Beef crafts their sandwiches with freshly cut whole meats. Everything from the meat, veggies, french fries and sauces are prepared in store. Likewise, Yard House is famous for preparing more than 100 items made from scratch daily. Yard House touts itself as a “modern public house where food and beer lovers unite.”
Multicultural cuisines are also in the mix at Toyota Music Factory. Boi Na Braza Brazilian Steakhouse is a premium steakhouse where traditional gaúchos serve guests a daunting 15 different cuts of beef, chicken, pork and lamb. Gloria’s Latin Cuisine features native Salvadorian cuisines along with regional Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites. Grimaldi’s Coal Brick Oven Pizza serves hand-tossed, coal-fired, brick oven pizzas, calzones, classic salads and desserts in their casual pizzeria.
Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill serves up an eclectic variety of cuisines with an emphasis on local ingredients, bold flavors and scratch recipes while Kabuki Japanese Restaurant focuses on traditional Japanese fare.
For those looking for some healthy options, Freshii serves fresh food designed for every type of dietary preference, with a completely customizable menu from salads and wraps to juices and smoothies. Pop Factory by Maxfrut is a line of whole fruit frozen bars. And, TCBY, a pioneer in soft serve frozen yogurt, premium smoothies and frozen coffee drinks is also on hand.
Two retail shops round out the mix: Market Place with Texas jams and jellies, local-artisan jewelry and accessories and Nosh & Bottle Market offers up craft beer and wine, epicurean products and gourmet prepared foods.
Still to come
Burgerim is known for their gourmet, freshly ground, mini-burgers customized to suit anyone’s taste. Kitchen 101 Grill & Wine is a fast, casual concept that offers grilled, made-to-order meals for dining in or to grab and go. Violet Room calls itself ‘an immersive dining experience’ with a large stage as its focal point.
Toyota Music Factory
316 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving