Category Archives: oak cliff

Hanging Out at Jack’s Backyard

 

Jack's Backyard Sign

Jack’s Backyard has to be one of my new favorite places to hang out with friends and drink a beer. The name of the place pretty much sums up what kind of atmosphere you’re going to find there.  It is very laid back and chill, a perfect place to relax and enjoy good company.

Jack’s used to be an old mechanic’s garage that has been turned into a bar/lounge, if that helps give you a better picture. It’s also part of it’s charm. They have a huge outdoor area with plenty of seating and several fireplaces. Inside, there are several low-lit lounge areas and a couple of pool tables by the jukebox. They occasionally have live music from local acts playing there as well. You can check their website for more information regarding live music shows and events: jacksbackyarddallas.com. And if you get hungry, you can enjoy delicious southern cooking from the Chill Grill located just next door (they will bring the food to you). Food is served until the standard 10 p.m. Sundays thru Thursdays, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Whether you swing by for the music, the food, or the atmosphere, Jack’s Backyard is definitely worth a visit. 

Jack’s Backyard (click here for directions)

2303 Pittman

Dallas, Tx 75208

Super Mercado Mexico vs Economy

 

Super Mercado Mexico

In a previous post, I talked about my favorite neighborhood grocery store, the Super Mercado Mexico. I contacted the Martinez family that owns the store, and they were kind enough to answer some questions for me. Here is the interview with Fernando Martinez Jr.

How long have you been in business?

My family started the business in Oak Cliff in 1977.  From there they were able to expand the business to the three current stores in Oak Cliff, East Dallas, and Pleasant Grove.

Has your business been affected by the current economic crisis? 
Like everyone else, we’ve felt the effects of the crisis.  Customers have become more concerned with buying only the essentials that they need, and they often forego certain supplemental goods that they used to buy regularly.  We see that they may opt to buy unmarinated meat to save the money that they can, buy ingredients for salsa instead of buying premade, stuff like that.
 
What changes have you had to make?
We’ve had to be more scrutinizing in the products we recieve from larger companies.  We have to make sure that the products we sell are affordable, but still mainain the quality that the customer expects and needs.  We cater to the current spending ability of the consumer, but we keep the same service and quality that keeps people coming back smiling. 
 
When Fiesta opened,  many thought that would be the end of your neighborhood supermarket. Is there any benefit to being a smaller neighborhood store than a larger chain? 
Fiesta affected us when it first opened, we knew it would.  At first, we did see a loss of business.  Whenever a large store like that opens, it’s natural that the excitement and appeal of such a large establishment will take away some of your clientele.  Ultimately though, they found that at our store, they could find something that Fiesta couldn’t offer.  They came back to us because they know that we provide authentic foods, the flavor that people of our culture know and want.  They know we provide the best customer service, preparing cuts of meat made to order, and always with more care to the quality of the meats that a large chain cannot provide.

What have you done to set yourself apart from the larger chains? 
Again, we can only give what we can, and we do the best we can at it.  The reason our stores exist and are still visited by customers is because we are very concerned with keeping the customer happy.  The quality of the cuts and the attention given to the customers are our highest priorities. 
 
What have you done to keep your current customers coming back? For me it is the fact that you make some of the best tortillas. 
Yeah, the tortillas are a crowd pleaser.  Actually, weekends usually bring people from the suburbs who come to the city to visit family, and they stop by just to buy tortillas and marinated meat.  They tell us “we came all the way from…just to get these, they’re amazing.”  But as for the people from the neighborhood, the stores provide them that “mom and pop” feel and give them exactly what they’re looking for when it comes to preparation and quality.

How do you see the future for your business?
Despite the current crisis, we’re pretty optimistic.  The stores will always remain a family run establishment meant to cater to the neighborhood.  Our reason for being there is to provide a service to the community, and if we can do that, then we’re happy.

Custom Sneakers and Apparel @ 10 Footwear

10 Footwear

     10 Footwear hails itself, according to its website, as a place for the “sneaker connoisseur.” They have everything from hard-to-find, limited editions, to custom designed shoes and clothing. In this store you will find big name brands like Nike and DC, and even some brands that, unless you are a sneaker super-fan, you might not be as familiar with like Supra and PF Flyers.

10 Footwear      Located in the Bishop Arts District, 10 Footwear has been around for almost a year. They celebrated their grand opening party on June 14 with local rapper Tum Tum and The Sour Grapes (their graffiti work is on the side of the store). Unfortunately, they have experienced four robberies since opening, the most recent occurring on March 5th. Good news is there are no plans of closing their doors.

     On my recent visit I was able to talk to owner Richard Hernandez’s nephew, Fredrick. He told me, “What is really popular is our custom shoes and gear!” 1o Footwear has graffiti artist that design shoes, hats, and other items. Quality is guaranteed! You can choose from a wide variety of custom designs or bring your own design in as well. Prices range from $15 to $40. As for clothing “right now, t-shirts from local clothing line Rich Boy Gone Bad are selling well,” said Fredrick. Occasionally, 10 Footwear will hold an event to debut some of artist’s newer designs. “We’ll have a barbecue, Fredrick explains, “where the artist come in and show the public what’s new.” For those who can’t always make it to these events, you can view the latest arrivals on their website, 10Footwear.com or sign up for email updates.

    Now, selling custom designed shoes is not the only unique thing about this store. Unlike other shoe stores that I know about, 10 Footwear has free wi-fi along with a small lounge area. This makes it convenient for those who want to hang out and wait while their shoes get worked on. The last thing I asked Fredrick was if the economy had affected business at all, he said, “At first, I didn’t feel it, but now I feel it. But next week our spring merchandise comes in and that always good for business.”  

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10 Footwear (click here for map)

332 W. Davis Blvd

Dallas, Tx 75208