Plunk down on a bean-bag chair on a 2-acre playground with a pickle ball court and a 20-foot-wide TV nearby, and the hustle-bustle of the big city feels far away. And it is: This new food and drink development near Rockwall is in Heath, Texas, about 3 miles south of where Interstate 30 crosses Lake Ray Hubbard.
The expansive area is called SouthRidge. The whole project, which includes an office building, spans nearly 8 acres and is anchored by a restaurant called Standard Service. A restaurant by that same name closed in Rockwall recently so it could move out to shinier digs in owner Elias Pope’s hometown of Heath.
“The main reason we wanted this here is because we wanted a place where adults could go and have a great steak and glass of wine, but trust that kids could eat from food trucks and also be entertained,” Pope says. He also hopes it feels like the kind of place where you can stay while the kids play: “It always sucks when you go to a restaurant for and an hour and a half, but your kids want to go and you’re still enjoying the conversation.”
The backyard feels like a mix of Katy Trail Ice House, Truck Yard and the Lot, three Dallas establishments that have mastered outdoor drinkin’ in a laid-back setting. In Heath, the entire development is very kid-friendly — which was important to Pope, a father of five.
Pope is best known for his healthy-cool restaurant HG Sply Co, which has locations on Dallas’ Lower Greenville, in Fort Worth, and at a mega complex in Trophy Club. Pope operates Gung Ho on Greenville, too, and recently bought ownership in several more bars and restaurants on the block, one of which is expected to become a Standard Service this spring. His team also has Hero, Dallas’ biggest sports bar that flanks American Airlines Center in Victory Park.
6:00 AM on Jan 30, 2020