Hot off the heels of opening up buzzy eatery, The Saint (thesaintdallas.com), Andy Hooper is set to launch several new concepts to the city. We tapped the restaurateur to learn more about the recipe for his success..
Hooper Hospitality Concept’s CEO Andy Hooper. PHOTO BY KAYLA ENRIGHT
Career trajectory can you tell us more about your personal and professional background? I’ve been in the restaurant industry since I was 15. In my career, I’ve had the opportunity to both manage and own restaurants in Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Las Vegas, and now Dallas. I feel blessed to have worked with massively talented chefs, including Steven Starr, Joe Bastianich, and Daniel Boulud, which has been an incredible learning experience in my career. In 2017, I took the leap to open my restaurant, Black Sheep, in Las Vegas, and we were awarded Best Off Strip Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year by Eater Las Vegas, which was incredibly gratifying. We then opened Locale, which received the Best New Restaurant of the Year award from the Nevada Restaurant Association and was a James Beard Award semi-finalist. Since then, we’ve been on the path to continue to bring distinctive and unique concepts to the communities we serve. Now, with The Saint, we are turning our sights to Texas and couldn’t be more proud of our reception.
Hooper’s dish of choice? The Brisket and Foie Gras Ravioli. PHOTO BY KAYLA ENRIGHT
What is your favorite part of your job? The excitement and human interaction with meeting guests worldwide - ever-changing, ever flowing, every day is different.
Are you involved in the community... where do you spend your time/efforts philanthropically? During the pandemic, when the restos were closed, we converted Locale into a “store” for our community to get things they needed at cost,“ toilet paper, meats, bread, wine, of course etc. We’ve also hosted toy drives for children at our restaurants. My wife’s father is an 11-year cancer survivor, so supporting organizations that support research and relief to survivors is very close to our hearts.
The hip eatery is located in the lower Gaston district. PHOTO BY KAYLA ENRIGHT
Is anything exciting coming up for you (personally or professionally) that you can share? In addition to Night Rooster, our modern Asian restaurant and bar concept opening in the Design District next year, we are planning an upscale outdoor restaurant called Meet Me Outside, which will open in Dallas and Boerne, TX. It will offer an amazing outdoor dining experience reminiscent of a beachside restaurant on the French Riviera or Alys Beach. Our Good Neighbor coffee concept will launch later this year in the San Antonio area. We are also celebrating our first anniversary as Dallas residents, which is exciting!
What would you say is the craziest thing you’ve ever done... Open a restaurant during a pandemic.