How many of you reading this lived in The Village in your 20s? Maybe you didn’t live there, but you knew people who did; maybe you hung out there. One couple of friends of mine met at The Village Country Club and just celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary. If you’re new to Dallas and don’t know the history, The Village was the social epicenter of Dallas, especially in the 70s and 80s. At its peak, The Village was home to more than 7,000 young Dallasites, including, at one time, Mark Cuban.
The old VCC and several past-its-prime apartment complexes were demolished in 2017, and a beautiful new Village “town center” was built in its place, opening in 2021. There’s a 38-room hotel and restaurants, including the award-winning Meridian, Mediterranean jewel Anise, and the newly reopened Latin restaurant and club, La Mina. The landscaping is pretty; there’s a massive underground parking garage and plenty of luxury amenities for the residents.
Sounds great, but the revamped Village Dallas has had some bumps since its opening. Most recently, the award-winning chef of Meridian, Junior Borges, separated from the restaurant and his role as Culinary Director for The Village. La Mina wasn’t gaining traction, so it closed and reopened September 29 as a sassy, photogenic Latin restaurant that turns into a club at 10 p.m.
My colleague Brian Reinhart of D Magazine wrote an excellent article about the continued lackluster performance of dining “destinations” in North Texas, and the Village is part of that story. It still hasn’t quite caught on for diners in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow areas, despite the proximity. To wit, my husband and I dined at Meridian last Saturday with a very social, restaurant-savvy couple who didn’t know that the Village housed these restaurants.
The ownership group that includes Lincoln Property Company, founded and owned by Highland Park’s Mack Pogue, appears to be attuned to the low energy of the “new” Village and is making efforts to reinvigorate it.
Saturday, October 21, The Village is opening a new concept called The Sandy Pickle, a unique combination of sand volleyball and pickleball. The Sandy Pickle will feature six pickleball courts and six sand volleyball courts. Just like the Village Country Club’s golf course did in the Village’s heyday, The Sandy Pickle will provide an upscale “eatertainment” venue with top-tier amenities and a thriving social atmosphere.
The Sandy Pickle sounds fun. In addition to the courts, a patio area and viewing decks will offer great spaces for private parties and celebrations. An on-site food truck will serve up casual food such as $7 burgers, Luscher’s hot dogs, and fried pickles. Since it opens early, The Sandy Pickle will also offer breakfast options along with coffee, juice, and mimosas. There’s also a fun beverage menu with drinks like John Daly, Old Fashioned, Negroni, Aperol Spritz, French 75, and Gold Rush. I can see some tennis team end-of-season parties happening here.
When restaurants fail, chefs leave, or local attractions sputter, Dallas suffers. I would love to see The Village Dallas return to its social glory, packed on the weekends and filled with Dallasites and tourists alike.
The Sandy Pickle is located at 5683 Village Glen Drive, Dallas, Texas 75206, and is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight. Learn more about The Sandy Pickle at playsandypickle.com or follow along on Instagram at @sandypickledallas or Facebook at @TheSandyPickleDallas.
All photos courtesy of The Village Dallas and The Sandy Pickle.