The lowdown on what’s up with neighborhood businesses

MoMo’s moves from Forest to … Forest

Darwin and Matteo Gattini began when they were little boys helping their dad, Antonio, in the pasta restaurant he founded in Lake Highlands 26 years ago. Now their father, born in Italy, has retired, and the sons moved MoMo’s from its longtime home at Forest and Greenville to the former Top Cat restaurant, closer to Texas Instruments. “There’s not enough parking here,” says Darwin Gattini of the longtime location. “It’s a busy shopping center.” The former space had seating capacity for 85, while the new spot can seat 60 inside and 20 on the patio. “We’re aware of people wanting to save money in this economy, so we still have our BYOB policy. We’ll make it nice, but not too cool, so that you don’t feel out of place if you aren’t dressed up. It’s a family restaurant, and many of our regulars say we’re like their second home or their own living room.” The new location, 8989 Forest, is between the library and TI, near Sheba’s Ethiopian Kitchen and around the corner from O’Riley’s Billiards. Groups can choose a long banquet bench seating 22 or an 8-top half -circle booth, and the Gattinis made sure to install their signature fireplace in the new location.

Chicken Express to open on Royal

Chicken Express will replace Backyard Burgers at Royal Lane and Central Expressway. Chicken Express is famous for its never-frozen chicken tenders with cream gravy and sweet tea. They tend to be located in small towns, and this will be the first one inside the I-635 loop in Dallas.

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Benny’s Classic Grill to open on Garland Road

Benny’s menu will include burgers, paninis and grilled pizzas, all under $10.

A new restaurant from the owners of Lover’s Pizza and Pasta, Benny’s Classic Grill is expected to open soon in the former Arby’s on Garland Road. Owner Benin Zeqiri, who is from a town in Slovenia on the Italian border, says a trip home inspired the new concept. He noticed that paninis and grilled pizzas with gourmet toppings are popular in his hometown and in Venice. Benny’s menu will include burgers, paninis and grilled pizzas, all under $10.

More business bits

1. Torchy’s Tacos, the taco chain that started several years ago in a trailer in Austin, will open at Casa Linda Plaza in the former Souper Salad spot.

2.Parents of teenagers 17 and younger are being asked by NorthPark Center to accompany their kids after 6 p.m., according to a new code of conduct issued by management. New policies also prohibit hoodies or masks that obscure the face, saggy pants that make undergarments visible, and going without shoes. Read the entire list of rules at


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