Restaurateur Nick Badovinus (flavorhookdallas.com) has set his sights on the burgeoning East Quarter neighborhood to launch his latest culinary endeavor, National Anthem.
Restaurateur Nick Badovinus is the proprietor of some of the city’s top eateries including Neighborhood Services, Town Hearth and Montlake Cut. PHOTO COURTESY OF FLAVORHOOK
Tell us more about the concept behind National Anthem... what are you most looking forward to? The chance to be part of a dynamic, emerging urban neighborhood (East Quarter) and the opportunity to physically and socially animate a truly one-of-one, historically significant building.
The location is quite unique for launching a restaurant. Can you expand on how you came about selecting the perfect spot? I actually first saw the building back in ’96 when I was working with Dean Fearing at the Mansion on Turtle Creek. It was only my third night in Dallas, and I was meeting up with some cooks in Deep Ellum. I got lost on my way down there and saw this building. I thought to myself, ‘That must be a restaurant some day.’ I never forgot about it. So, when Todd Interests approached me about it in ’17, I knew it was fate. Meant to be for real!
What inspires you both in and out of the kitchen? I have always been inspired by using food, beverage and hospitality to facilitate and create meaningful shared social interaction. The hiatus on hospitality for the last year plus was incredibly challenging. I’m literally busting to bring this joint to life and be back to doing what we do. I’m also incredibly excited to see our crew get the chance to spread their wings in a project that is about where FlavorHook is today.
The landmark building in the East Quarter will be home to his newest concept. PHOTO COURTESY OF FLAVORHOOK
Tell us what we can expect in terms of F&B offerings at National Anthem. The food and beverage will be a variety of riffs on classic new American. The space yearns for food that touches vintage but with a modern approach. You can expect elements of both coasts with a straight-forward Texas sensitivity, hopefully capturing the vibes of a big-city, downtown dining room.
Anything in particular we can expect to see on the menu? In truth, I never know what those will be until the customers decide. I just throw out options, and the customers essentially vote for their faves. If it sells well, it’s the signature. Old-fashioned but true.