Those who’ve been here a while know Preston Royal has changed quite a bit over the decades. It used to have a movie theater, but in its place now sits a liquor store. When Carol Short was growing up here, there wasn’t a plethora of sit-down restaurants. Visitors could choose from places like Burger King, an ice cream parlor called Sally B, the soda fountain at Dougherty’s and El Chico

“As we grew up, there weren’t that many families anymore,” says Short, who worked for the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce for decades. “But it’s certainly turned back to now where families are there moving into those larger, new homes. The neighborhood has cycled.”

Short guesses the biggest fuss over a restaurant leaving was spurred on by El Chico, which was owned by the Cuellar family. When one business left, another seemed to quickly replace it.

PRINCI ITALIA opened its Preston Royal location in 2011. Before then, suite 707 housed Popolos Cafe, an Italian cafe and bakery. It first started serving pizza and pasta in 1993 and remained until late 2009. 

NEUHAUS CAFE arrived at suite 626 in 2004. Owner Mervyn Sacher says Preston Royal is one of the best intersections in the city. When the tornado struck our neighborhood in 2019, Nehaus was barely touched, though other shops just steps away lost windows and roofs. Before Sacher set up shop, suite 626 was home to a children’s clothing store.  

Neuhaus Cafe. Photography by Danny Fulgencio.

SHORT STOP TO GO first opened in Snider Plaza in 1995, and it expanded to a second location in Preston Royal in 2010. Before Short Stop moved into suite 101, the space was home to a Jamba Juice, starting in 2004. And New York Bagel & Deli occupied the store prior to then, opening in 1995. 

STARBUCKS opened on the corner in 1995, and it’s still here. 

TJ’S SEAFOOD MARKET & GRILL has a couple locations in Dallas, but its Preston Royal spot opened for business in 2014. It took over the space of the Purple Cow Restaurant, which was established in 1998. Smokey John’s Bar-B-Q was the previous tenant, and the latest occupancy records show it was open in 1995. 

Royal China. Photography by Rasy Ran.

ROYAL CHINA has been a staple in Preston Royal since 1974. Though it’s undergone remodeling and changes to the menu, it’s still a family business, having served neighbors for generations. But before the restaurant moved in, a steakhouse was located there. 

ZOËS KITCHEN has been around since 2010. It opened in suite 104, taking the place of Zinsky’s Deli, which closed in 2009.

EINSTEIN BROS. BAGELS opened in 2010 in its own building.   

SHAKE SHACK came in 2017, replacing a FedEx office. 

EATZI’S MARKET & BAKERY set up shop in 2017 next to The Toy Maven

Several of the spots at Preston Royal are newcomers. BOTOLINO GELATO opened in 2019 in the former Pinkberry spot. FLOWER CHILD is also just a couple years old, moving into the area the same year as Botolino. And PUBLIC TACO took over a space next to Neuhaus in 2019.

PRESSED opened a new location at Preston Royal in July. The space formerly housed Steel City Pops and Baskin-Robbins

Preston Royal was once home to Juice Stop, Bagelstein’s and Cantina Laredo. Barnes & Noble closed this year, but before it opened, Best Thai was there. 

Fish City Grill, which has been closed since 2019, is expected to reopen by early December.  

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