It’s time to Shop, Eat, and Enjoy Local as you prepare to celebrate Independence Day with your community and neighborhood. Snap a photo of you supporting a local Southlake business and submit it for a chance to win.
The City of Southlake’s Economic Development & Tourism department is excited to host an Independence Day giveaway to encourage the local community to support Southlake businesses. Locals are encouraged to shop, eat, and enjoy experiences at Southlake businesses in preparation for the 2020 Fireworks event. Locals should snap a photo showing how they’re supporting a Southlake business and send it to VisitInfo@VisitSouthlakeTexas.com (with full name and phone number) for a chance to win. Please remember to follow safety guidelines, including wearing masks where required.
There will be ten winners selected. Prize packages include staycations, gift cards, a VIP Pool Party at Champions Club, and more. Participants must be 18 years or older. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CST on Sunday, July 5, 2020. Winners will be announced on Friday, July 10, 2020. Click here for more information.
Daniel Cortez, Deputy Director of Economic Development and Tourism, has been promoted to Director, effective July 1. After the departure of Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher, Cortez’s history of strong work performance, world-class professionalism and commitment to assist Southlake businesses and residents make him fit for the task to lead the Southlake economic development team.
“Daniel Cortez has many notable accomplishments under his belt,” said Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski. “His energy, creativity, intelligence and strong people skills make him ideal for this role.”
Since 2017, Cortez has worked to implement key recommendations of the 2035 Economic Development Master Plan. He has also created and implemented a commercial site assessment project, resulting in valuable insights into Southlake’s commercial centers. He managed the City’s first Business Climate Survey to understand the local business community’s strengths and challenges, track trends and ensure the City has useful data for business support programs.
“I am humbled at the confidence the City’s leadership has in me. I look forward to continuing to serve our business community with the same tradition of excellence Southlake is known for, with new inspiration and determination to meet the challenges of the future,” Cortez said. “There is truly no place like Southlake. It is my privilege to be part of a great community and I’m excited to strengthen the City’s relationships with local businesses.”
Ortowski also highlights his business retention work, noting that “he has established strong relationships through one-on-one visits and programs he’s created to improve business engagement with the City.”
Southlake youth have also benefited from Cortez’s hard work. Through the Southlake Kids Interested in Leadership (SKIL) program, Cortez has worked with Mayor Hill and Carroll ISD to offer selected students access to local business leaders through educational seminars and internship experiences. Cortez guides the students through the program, which has been in place for three years.
Perhaps Cortez has demonstrated his strongest performance with his work through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Untangling the complex and sometimes confusing information related to the various executive orders was a terrific service he was able to provide to our business customers,” noted Ortowski. “He promoted businesses in unique and creative ways. He demonstrated a keen knowledge of the needs of our businesses and worked proactively to provide needed support.”
In his new role, Daniel will be responsible for economic development work, and will oversee the day-to-day activities of the City’s tourism and special events team.
Strategic. Focused. Achiever.
To the casual observer, Tourism Marketing Manager Cambria Jones can appear quiet and unassuming, but looking a little closer, it is easy to see that she is a woman on a mission, a force of nature, intent on performing at a very high level. She is willing to get into the game and compete. A great time manager, she works to accomplish as much as she can during her day. An enthusiastic person with great people skills, she can leverage partnerships to get even more done.
She is intent on winning the tourism game and uses her significant intellect and talent to get the job done.
Cambria is an outstanding employee, but she doesn’t seek the limelight for herself. Instead, she works to draw attention to Southlake and encourages visitors to spend time (and money) in the City.
Here are a few highlights of how Cambria has worked to market Southlake as a destination to visitors (think shopping and dining, bolstering sales tax collections, supporting local businesses):
As a result of Cambria’s efforts, followers of Visit Southlake social media accounts have increased significantly. In FY 2019, the Visit Southlake Facebook account had a 42% increase in followers, and the Visit Southlake Instagram account had a 34% increase in followers. Cambria is telling Southlake’s story to more people, in improved ways.
She successfully managed the Visit Southlake video and photography refresh project, resulting in updated assets that are timely, diverse, and representative of Southlake as a destination.
Cambria successfully managed a destination video project, highlighting Southlake. The video is featured as the cover photo on the Visit Southlake Facebook page. She has also audited video assets and prioritized needs for FY 2020.
Throughout 2019, Cambria made significant progress in building rapport with destination partners, including the Hilton Hotel and RPAI (the real estate investment trust that owns most of Town Square). Working together, Cambria and these partners highlight local businesses to strengthen the local economy.
To Alison Ortowski, who oversees economic development and tourism programs for the City, working with Cambria is “a dream.”
“Cambria is one of those employees who possesses the ‘X’ factor that makes her highly productive, but also pleasant and inspirational,” she said. “We have supreme confidence in Cambria’s ability to support local businesses and deliver strong results.”
For her strong commitment to marketing Southlake as a destination of choice and for behind-the-scenes, effective work, Tourism Marketing Manager Cambria Jones is one of Southlake’s best secret weapons and an unsung hero.
The summer sizzle has started and Southlake is the spot to fuel up on fresh and exciting flavors. Already home to several uniquely delicious restaurants, Southlake recently added a few more tasty options to satisfy appetites for healthy or exotic dishes.
If the hot weather has you hungry for cool options, check out Coolgreens. The fast-casual restaurant chain offers a chef-inspired menu of signature salads, wraps, bowls, flatbreads and more. Southlake is currently the only location open in Texas. From California Cobb (romaine, egg, avocado, bacon, chicken, blue cheese, grape tomatoes and ranch dressing) and Caprese (spring mix, grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, red onion, croutons and balsamic vinaigrette) to Asian Crisp (spring mix, Mandarin oranges, crunchy noodles, sliced almonds, edamame, shredded carrots and soy ginger vinaigrette) and more, each signature dish is available as a salad or wrap. With multiple sandwich varieties, quinoa bowls, flatbreads and options for kids, guests will find one element across the menu—healthy, natural and flavorful food that fuels your life. For added convenience, order online and pick up in store. Coolgreens is located at 2211 E. Southlake Boulevard, Suite 500.
Craving exotic? Fusion Flavors brings a taste of India to Southlake with fresh ingredients, imported spices and an abundance of menu options, including an expansive offering of vegetarian appetizers and vegetarian main courses. Fusion Flavors serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers catering. Find traditional entrée favorites including Chicken Tikka Masala (grilled boneless chicken cooked in special herbs and spices), Palak Paneer (fresh spinach cooked with cheese cubes in special sauce) and Lamb Curry (lamb cooked in Indian special sauce), among others, as well as several biryani and rice dishes. Save room for Pineapple Pudding or a sweet drink like Mango Milkshake. Fushion Flavors is located at 2001 W. Southlake Boulevard, Suite 119.
F2 – Fusion Flavors Plate Samples
Satisfy your appetite for flavors from the far east at Dragon House. Specializing in Shanghai-style cuisine, Dragon House is open for lunch and dinner, and is available for private events and catering. The restaurant’s chef has 20 years of experience cooking in fine restaurants and has built a vast menu of appetizers, soups, various dim sum, hand-pulled noodle bowls, chef specials (Beijing Style Pork, Honey Walnut Beef, Shrimp and Chicken with Cashew Nuts and more), traditional Chinese dishes (Boiled Fish Fillet with Picked Cabbage, Braised Meat Balls with Boy Choy, Chicken Strips with Mango and more), and traditional Chinese desserts like Steamed Pumpkin with Red Bean Paste and Kung-fu Sesame Ball. A feast for the eyes first, each dish is beautifully presented and can be enjoyed with traditional hot teas, as well as imported beers and more from the bar. Dragon House is located at 2640 E. Southlake Boulevard.
Spring has sprung and new businesses are popping up in Southlake. Hop your heart out at the newest trampoline park in town, stock up on natural cosmetics, savor Latin American flavors with a Texas twist and join a cult classic burger following. All of these exciting options are now available, so put a spring in your step and head to Southlake.
Kids of all ages and fitness levels will find no shortage of activities at Urban Air Adventure Park. More than a trampoline park, the indoor amusement park also features indoor go-karts, bumper cars, virtual reality, climbing walls, ropes course, Sky Rider Coaster (similar to a zip line) and much more. Show off your jumping skills on the ProZone Performance Trampoline (jump from an elevated platform), DropZone (giant inflatable airbag), Slam Dunk Zone (basketball + trampoline), Runway Tumble Track (trampoline lane) or Apex Trampolines (segmented trampolines on the floor and walls). There is even a designated trampoline area for kids seven and under, and a café for refueling on pizza and drinks. With weekly activities, birthday and special event bookings, and various membership levels and endless adventures for defying gravity, Urban Air Adventure Park is the go-to place. It is located at 2201 W. Southlake Boulevard.
Spring cleaning your cosmetics cabinet? Pay a visit to Lush and stock up on beauty and bath products made from preservative-free and organic ingredients. All Lush products are made by hand, include natural, fair-trade ingredients and are never tested on animals. From bath and shower to hair, face and body products, find them all at Lush, located in Southlake Town Square at 1431 Main Street.
Herencia brings new meaning to spring fever with its south-of-the-border spices and flavors. Meaning “heritage” in Spanish, Herencia pays homage to Latin recipes passed down from generations. Savor popular South and Central America dishes with a Texas twist—appetizers, salads, Texican entrées, “back yard Texas” grilled meats, tacos and enchiladas, and desserts. Herencia is located at 1431 E. Southlake Boulevard, Suite 551.
Shack fans, rejoice. Shake Shack is now in Southlake. The New York-based burger joint started as a hot dog cart stand and has now grown into a burger brand with a cult-like following, offering burgers, chicken, flat-top dogs, fries, frozen custard, drinks (including beer and wine), breakfast and even items for dogs. Shake Shack is located in Southlake Town Square at 125 Central Avenue.
Now with even more options for playing, eating and shopping, spring is a great time to get out, explore and find new favorites in Southlake. For a complete list of new and coming businesses, take a look at the New Biz List, published monthly by the City of Southlake Economic Development & Tourism Department.
Would you like to know about the new businesses in town? If so, you are going to want to subscribe to the Economic Development New Biz List. The list not only gives you an update about recently opened businesses, but it will also tell you what’s coming to Southlake in the next few months.
Find out more here.
Although Black Friday is synonymous with holiday shopping sales for big brands, the Saturday following Thanksgiving is not to be overlooked for smaller retailers. Launched by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday has become a national movement of supporting independent shops and restaurants during the holiday season. Cities, communities and neighborhoods throughout the country participate in the program, rallying locals to join in.
Here in Southlake, Mayor Laura Hill officially proclaimed November 24 as Small Business Saturday. Owned and managed by members of the community, independent shops and restaurants form the backbone of many local economies, including Southlake. With dozens of small businesses offering unique assortments of products and services, you will be able to check off many items on your holiday planning and gift list.
Since it is the season to deck the halls and trim the trees, put The Christmas Shoppe at the top of your list. Located at 2325 E. Southlake Boulevard, the boutique gift shop offers exquisite custom florals, upscale home décor and seasonal décor, as well as unique gifts for any occasion. Custom-made wreaths, garlands, swags and centerpieces stock the showroom and can be custom-built to match your personal style, colors and price range.
Just down the street at 2225 W. Southlake Boulevard, find gifts for all ages at The Gift Store. From apparel and cosmetics to baby items and gifts for sports fans, the store offers unique products for one-of-a-kind presents. Stop by the store on Small Business Saturday for special deals on favorite brands.
Making a list and checking it twice? If you’re shopping for a Nutcracker Prince or Sugarplum Fairy, find everything from affordable dancewear to custom tutus and pointe shoes at 5678 Dancewear Defined at 475 W. Southlake Boulevard. With action figures, books, cars, trains, dolls, games and more, The Toy Maven is your one-stop-shop for gifts for children. Drop in at 1275 E. Southlake Boulevard, Suite 437, explore and play, and go home with beautifully wrapped gifts. The store will have hands-on activities and multiple brands on sale during Small Business Saturday.
“We want to get to know our customers and help them choose toys that support their child’s development over the years. Play is so important for children as it advances language, social, cognitive and emotional growth – and we strive to guide parents to products that support those goals and interests, rather than just the most advertised or popular toys,” stated Candace Williams, owner of The Toy Maven.
Toys for tech-minded kids at heart can be found at Gadgik!, the mobile device and repair specialty shop. The veteran-owned small business designs, qualifies, tests, inspects and packages its products in Arlington, Texas before showcasing and selling its gadgets and accessories in Southlake at 2140 E. Southlake Blvd, Suite K.
If you’re looking for a bit of sparkle this season, Southlake has a dazzling selection for jewelry. Pieter Andries Jewelry, located at 2525 E. Southlake Boulevard, has perfected the art of fine jewelry making and offers custom designs, a stunning variety of engagement rings and is an official Rolex jeweler. Located at 1101 E. Southlake Boulevard, Suite 420, and with a name that pays tribute to a non-profit, The Gatehouse Jewelers offers a large selection of exquisite jewelry from designers from around the world. Half of the store’s profits benefit a supportive living community where women and children in crisis receive safe refuge. Located at 2140 E Southlake Blvd, Suite M, Southlake Jewelers is one of the oldest jewelers in the area and boasts numerous awards for its custom designs and new jewelry, appraisals, laser engraving and jewelry repair.
After a Saturday filled with shopping, stop and satisfy your appetite. Named after the owner’s older son, Armend’s serves authentic Italian cuisine in a casual, family-friendly environment. Known for its delicious pizzas and BYOB environment, Armend’s is one of the first restaurants in Southlake, having originally opened in 1994 in a different location from its current spot at 2315 E. Southlake Boulevard, Suite 101.
As its name implies, Wildwood American Grill puts a contemporary spin on wood-fired grill favorites, offering everything from steaks and seafood to burgers and beyond. The restaurant also boasts an extensive wine list, and carries specialized liquors and craft beers. Located at 2700 E. Southlake Boulevard, guests also enjoy the private dining rooms, spacious bar and outdoor patio.
Inspired by the kitchens of the royal Mughal emperors dating back to 16th century India, Mughlai Indian Cuisine offers rich, aromatic dishes, including biryanis, pulaos, kebabs and kormas. With a fine dining atmosphere, Mughlai is dedicated to ensuring an exceptional dining experience that satisfies guests, staff and the community. With another location in Dallas, Mughlai brings ancient flavors from the far east to Texas for Southlake diners at 3311 E. State Highway 114.
“It’s rewarding being an independent business owner in Southlake. We not only work here, but we live here as well and feel very connected to the community. We’ve gotten to know our customers and even know what our frequent customers order,” stated Sonia Khan, owner of Mughlai Indian Cuisine. “Being a small business owner is hard work – we always give 110% –but it’s worth it to please our customers and keep them coming back.”
Tired of turkey? The Drunken Cow has a food truck at 2190 E. Dove Road, located in the parking lot of Yates Corner Grocery and serves BBQ sandwiches, tacos, brisket, pulled pork, sausage, chicken, and yes—turkey, or head to Feedstore BBQ, Southlake’s oldest retail establishment. The Southlake dining staple has been selling BBQ since 2001, but was originally a feed store in the 1950’s. In addition to traditional BBQ favorites (brisket, pork, chicken, turkey, ham and sausage), customers also keep coming back for the catfish, big bowl salads and homemade desserts.
Support small businesses in a big way through shopping small on Saturday, November 24 and throughout the year. With unique product offerings and exceptional customer service, it pays to shop small in Southlake.
Planning a holiday event? Whether you’re looking for a location for an intimate gathering with friends and family or a larger venue for a corporate party, Southlake is your merry and bright start to holiday event planning. Let one of these festive settings host your holiday happening so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the party.
If you’re looking for a large venue, look no further than Legends Hall at The Marq Southlake. The site features 23,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including the spacious Traditions Ballroom with nearly 5,000 square feet—enough space to accommodate 300 guests. The Legacy Meeting Rooms total more than 1,400 square feet and are suitable for smaller events. Both the ballroom and meeting rooms can be divided to perfectly fit your event. Legends Hall also features nearly 2,800 square feet of pre- or post-function space, including the Club Lounge and 1,380 square feet of covered, usable outdoor patio space with lounge seating and fire features. For a finishing touch, The Marq also offers expert banquet specialists, flexible catering and alcohol policies, and state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment.
“Upscale but never uptight,” Cambria Southlake DFW North offers more than 5,000 square feet of functional and fully customizable event space, personalized catering options, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, and the freedom to deck the halls with holiday decor. The signature Southlake Ballroom features 3,900 square feet of space and can be divided into three smaller spaces averaging 1,300 square feet each. The Ballroom overlooks an expansive patio, which can also be utilized for private events. For small corporate events, the Carroll Boardroom and Tarrant Conference Room are options. All of the event space is built around a pre-function space that can be accessed through its own entrance, making guests feel like the VIPs they are.
For a setting with seasonal charm, Hilton Dallas/Southlake Town Square is conveniently located in the middle of holiday happenings in Southlake, including the Southlake Town Square Christmas tree, Santa’s Village and carriage rides. The boutique-style hotel boasts over 19,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including two ballrooms totaling over 10,000 square feet and six boardrooms. Hilton also offers on-site event planners, indoor and outdoor venues, pre- or post-function areas, audio-visual equipment and technicians and on-site catering.
Add some spice to your seasonal soiree at Copeland’s of New Orleans. Located inside Hilton Dallas/Southlake Town Square and home to some of the best Cajun cuisine outside of Louisiana, the restaurant also offers several special event spaces. The private dining room can seat up to 27 guests with u-shape family table. Standing receptions and rectangular table layouts are also available options. Copeland’s Bar Lounge can also be reserved for a fun holiday happy hour, with maximum seating for 45 guests or standing room for 55 guests. Copeland’s semi-private dining option accommodates 25 seated guests or up to 50 seated guests with the private back patio. Audio-visual equipment is available for rental. With multiple private dining menus at various price points available for both lunch and dinner events, Copeland’s is sure to let the good times roll at your holiday party.
If you’re looking for an intimate fine dining experience with Texas flair, Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse in Southlake has a long history of perfecting steaks and recently renovated private dining spaces to offer guests one-of-a-kind surroundings. With a wine cellar backdrop, the Wine Room offers a completely private dining experience for up to 40 guests. With dark wood walls decorated with Kirby’s memorabilia dating back to the 1950’s and a drop-down LCD projector, the adjoining Back Room also offers private dining and can accommodate 30 guests. A collapsing soundproof wall can divide the rooms for two separate spaces. Kirby’s also offers a complete restaurant buyout for party planners seeking total privacy. With chef-crafted steaks and seafood, Sommelier-chosen wines and live music on Fridays and Saturdays, Kirby’s has all the makings for holiday cheer.
Del Frisco’s Grille can get your party started with private and semi-private dining rooms, not to mention the restaurant’s signature steaks, award-winning wine list, creative cocktails and dedicated group dining coordinators who will plan and personalize your event. Del Frisco’s private dining room accommodates up to 24 seated guests or 40 standing guests for a cocktail event, has a 50-inch flat screen television, and complete audio-visual capabilities. The patio seats up to 75 guests or 150 guests for a standing reception, plus is a fully-covered space with heaters to warm guests on chilly, festive evenings. The restaurant also has a prime view of Southlake Town Square decorated in seasonal splendor.
With fresh seafood and crab, Prime steaks and an award-winning wine list, Truluck’s is a catch for holiday celebrations. The Southlake location can accommodate private dining parties in the Capri Room for up to 45 seated guests and 50 for standing receptions. The Atrium Room can accommodate private parties up to 25 seated guests and 30 for standing receptions. The Lounge can be reserved for up to 100 guests, and the entire restaurant is available for up to 220 guests. With group lunch and dinner menus, as well as group reception and rehearsal menus featuring the restaurant’s signature seafood dishes, it’s easy to get hooked on the private dining at Truluck’s.
Brio Tuscan Grille offers Italian flavors and atmosphere, minus the passport requirement. With three private/semi-private dining options available and an expansive private events menu for breakfast, lunch or dinner events—in addition to regular menu items, Brio’s is all about options. The private dining room accommodates groups of up to 50 people. For an al fresco experience, Brio’s beautiful terrace accommodates up to 75 guests, and the semi-private cabanas seat 25 guests. All private spaces can be arranged to best suit guest needs, and the restaurant can even assist you with customized menu cards, audio-visual, and floral needs for your private holiday dining experience.
These are just a few of several sites for potential seasonal socials. For more information about planning your perfect party in Southlake, go to VisitSouthlakeTexas.com or call the Southlake Tourism Office at 817.748.8652. From unique settings to crowd-pleasing fare, it’s time to get your party started in Southlake!
Recognizing the importance of visitors to the city’s economy, Southlake City Council approved the updated Tourism Master Plan May 2. This new plan is a component of the Southlake 2035 Comprehensive Plan—an ongoing update of the 2030 version. Originally developed in 2011 in conjunction with the City’s Economic Development Department, the Tourism Division has grown and changed dramatically, resulting in the decision to develop two individual plans. The Community Enhancement and Development Corporation (CEDC) spearheaded the updated Economic Development Master Plan, and it was adopted by City Council in October 2016.
The Economic Development and Tourism Master Plans still go hand-in-hand, and the two divisions will work together on many initiatives. Goals and objectives developed and approved by the CEDC have been vital in identifying focus areas for both plans. As a result, the 92-page Tourism Master Plan outlines four primary strategies to attract visitors to the City:
According to Jill Lind, senior marketing manager for the Tourism Division, Southlake has the opportunity to build on its strong reputation, location in the metroplex, new hotels, and numerous assets to continue to position itself well into the future as a premier destination for businesses, tourists, shoppers, and professionals from within the region and beyond.
“This updated plan provides a well-defined road map for tourism in Southlake and where we want to take it. The ability to connect with and influence visitors, who have more options than ever, has never been more important than now,” explains Lind, who became Southlake’s first tourism coordinator in 2009. “The recommendations made, following a great deal of research, have huge merit and will provide an enhanced destination experience for visitors, as well as benefits to our residents and businesses.”
The Tourism Master Plan was approved just in time for National Travel and Tourism Week May 7-13, which is an annual observance that features nationwide events to recognize the value and benefits provide by tourism. Tying into this year’s theme, Faces of Travel, the City of Southlake is celebrating tourism with contests, giveaways and cool infographics – click here to find out more or visit social media channels for @VisitSouthlakeTexas.
For more information, contact Jill Lind at 817-748-8652 or go to www.VisitSouthlakeTexas.com.