“We are living in a time where people are starved for connection and you come in here and you just feel the family energy.”
Dallas Oaklawn neighborhood has long been known as one of the best spots for going out and exciting nightlife. While neighbor Kevin Sutton loves the vibrancy he says something has been missing.
“We have great bars and clubs and then a bunch of chain restaurants. We really needed that family spot, especially for breakfast,” Sutton said.
About a year ago Sutton’s wish came true when Crickles and Co. opened its doors just off the main strip of Cedar Springs.
“We are living in a time where people are starved for connection and you come in here and you just feel the family energy,” Sutton said.
The family energy is so palpable because it’s a family behind the food. Cristal “Crickles” Barnard is the namesake and chef and she works alongside her mom Donna, brother Chad and their friend Mark McKinney who has become a “brother” along the way.
“It just feels like family,” McKinney said.
The four all had food service connections or experience in previous careers. Cristal had climbed the ranks of the pastry world, working in some of Dallas top kitchens before she decided to leave five stars for her family.
“We worked in these places where empathy and love was missing and we though why don’t we open our own place,” Barnard said.
So that’s what they did. The business started as a food truck and then the team moved into a sub sandwich shop the sublet during the morning.
“It got to a point where we were making more money in those few morning hours than the other restaurant was making all day,” Barnard said.
After that the family moved into a space in Denton, but Cristal’s brother Chad had bigger dreams for the small operation.
“I’ve been trying to get them to come to Dallas for so long. I knew we were ready,” Barnard said.
The move has so far proved to be a success. Regular customers say it’s exactly what the area needed and the mom behind it says they’ve created something they can pass down to future generations.
“My dream for my children is to be happy and to have something that will last for their kids,” Barnard said.