June 15, 2024

The Design District has become a destination for pricey fine dining, with spots including Town Hearth, the Mexican, Carbone, and El Carlos Elegante luring diners to the west side of town. But a more affordable option is coming—Culinary Dropout.

The restaurant, part of Fox Restaurant Concepts, will open on June 12 and have the first rooftop experience in this part of town. Fox is behind the Henry in Victory Park and owns Flower Child, which has opened numerous locations around DFW. The Phoenix-based company also owns multiple other restaurants nationwide that are not yet in DFW. Culinary Dropouts is also open in Austin and has locations around Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Colorado, and North Carolina.

Shang Skipper, director of operations for Culinary Dropout, describes the restaurant’s brand as “edgy,” noting that the staff doesn’t have prescriptive uniforms but guidelines. “We let them dress as if they were going out on a Friday night,” he says.

The menu is American cuisine made fresh daily with, Skipper says, “maybe a little bit of flare here and there.” Dallas will see the addition of sushi rolls and crudo to the menu, which Skipper attributes to its Dallas outpost being “a little more elevated” than other locations. “There are a lot of elevated things in the Design District, but there’s [nowhere] you can pop in, grab a beer and a burger, and not spend $100. We thought there was a missing piece — for now, anyway.”

Two bowls of pasta sit side-by-side, the top with a ragu and the bottom is a carbonara.

Culinary Dropout

Multiple dishes sit on a table top including salads, pastas, and pigs in a blanket. A draft beer is in the middle and a cocktail with cucumbers is at the bottom of the shot.

Culinary Dropout

However, the place’s real draw will be a massive rooftop with views. “The vision was [that] you could sit on the rooftop and see the entire skyline of Downtown Dallas,” Skipper says. “And during the day, you can see American Airlines [Center].” The roof will feature frozen drinks, a DJ booth, and a private dining room that holds 675 and can be split in half. And not to worry, they have the summer heat covered with loads of misters installed and a mechanical drop down roof over the bar that is clear and closes the space off from the sun. There is also private dining on the first floor, along with a massive bar and decor sourced from local swap meets and local thrifts to give it a Dallas-y vibe.

The rendering of a large outdoor bar on a rooftop with clear skies above.

Culinary Dropout

Keeping the food affordable is not only a mandate but is telegraphed to the customers on the menu, which includes the Cheap House Salad ($8.50), Detroit-style pizzas, soft pretzels and provolone fondue (which Skipper says is the best-selling item at all its locations), fried chicken with smashed potatoes and gravy, 36-hour pork ribs, and seasonal offerings. The beer menu is still being selected but will reflect local Dallas brews and a large selection from around Texas.

Skipper adds that the rooftop will have a massive video wall that can display one giant game or eight different games — a first for the brand.

Culinary Dropout is coming to 150 Turtle Creek Blvd on June 12.

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