First restaurant: Lakewood (now demolished), December 1991
Total restaurants: 10
In our neighborhood: University Park, University and 75; Cedar Springs and Oak Lawn
Company philosophy: “History has shown we’ve been successful in taking over previous restaurant locations,” Café Brazil CEO Brant Wood says. “I think people feel more comfortable in established buildings in established neighborhoods.” This means the layout varies from one location to the next, with each restaurant featuring local artists’ work in urban locations and schoolchildren’s art in suburban locations. Menus, however, are the same across the board. “Most restaurants are open for two meals,” Wood says. “We’re open breakfast, lunch, dinner and late nights, and we have a broad menu to meet the needs of both the suburban housewife and urban late night fans.”
Expansion plans: The most recent Café Brazil opened in Oak Cliff in July 2008, right as the recession hit. The company hasn’t opened any other locations since then, but “never stopped looking,” Wood says. Most of its current requests for new locations are coming from Fort Worth and Denton, and Café Brazil is interested in spots near college campuses because its existing locations near colleges perform well. Most Café Brazil restaurants are in the city of Dallas, so any future Dallas locations “would have to be more strategic, but I certainly wouldn’t say that we’re finished.” The company’s eventual goal is to take the concept outside Dallas-Fort Worth to growing fan bases in Austin, Houston or Oklahoma City — “people within a Southwest Airlines flight of here,” Wood says.
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