Photo by Kathy Tran.

In July of 2023, Lake Highlands couple Brandon Hays and Brittany Grignon were about to bring their second-born into the world.

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The gender of the baby remained a surprise until birth, but their names were certain.

If it was a girl, Goldie. If it was a boy, Miles.

They ended up having a boy, but the name Goldie was too good to pass up.

A 15-year hospitality veteran, Hays co-owns This and That Hospitality with Phil Schanbaum, launching concepts like Ferris Wheelers, Tiny Victories and Double D’s.

When he realized there was a lack of upscale dining in Lake Highlands, a light bulb lit. With a vacant space at 9850 Walnut Hill Lane in Lakeridge Village at the former home of RM 12:20, Hays decided he’d open Goldie’s Dallas with his wife Brittany and business partner Brittni Clayton, an homage to the name they would have used for their daughter.

Throughout the interior of the 1,500-square-foot restaurant, you’ll find quirky hints of gold that play fun with the restaurant’s name, Marie Antoinette-style images of the Golden Girls, gold records, a goldfish picture, marigold sunflowers and the intimate golden bar.

Alongside the gold garnishes are large brass light fixtures, velvet red booths and dark wood tables along with black and white awnings.

“Everything is very whimsical and romantic,” Clayton says.

While the refined ambiance of Goldie’s can be intimidating, the restaurant emphasizes it is a mixture of two main things: upscale dining and neighborhood-oriented.

Photo by Kathy Tran.

“Brandon, Brittany and I want to bring a neighborhood restaurant to the community that is the spot you stop in on your way home from work to enjoy a tasty cocktail,” Clayton previously told The Advocate. “A date night spot. A place to celebrate your birthday and anniversary or friends coming to town. We want to be the trusted restaurant where you can come in early with your kids to beat the crowd and enjoy a great meal. A place to make memories.”

Ensuring they were good neighbors was a priority. But they would need to extend that by creating a foundation of incredible food for the restaurant, Hays adds.

“When people think about us, we want them to think [of us as] a neighborhood staple, a classic restaurant [with] timeless cuisines,” Hays says. “Our original thought process and approach to [Goldie’s] was to not fly over anyone’s head with the food and to create cravings within dishes that are familiar to people.”

When crafting the appropriate Goldie’s menu they decided to go with nostalgic-inspired dishes that are spin-offs of American classics crafted by chef Matthew Perry who has worked at Neighborhood Services, Montlake Cut, The Porch and Alice.

The No, Not a Seafood Tower includes shrimp and crab cocktail, fresh horseradish and “spiced-up saltines.” The homestyle pork chop and Magic Chicken Thighs are served with sides like Just Mac and 20-foot fries, a playful name inspired by 20 Feet Seafood Joint off Peavy Road.

The drink menu assembled by Clayton and Perry is intended to be fun and playful, like the cherry limeade or the Henderson classic, which has Cazcabel Blanco, simple syrup, cucumber and lime juice. The J.T., in honor of Jeff Taylor, who was involved in the construction process but died in a car accident before the opening, contains Rosaluna mezcal, lemon, simple syrup, limoncello and Liquor 43.

So far neighborhood response has been extremely supportive of Goldie’s, the three share. With over 200 reviews on Resy, most of the residents have shared the same thought — “This is exactly what Lake Highlands needed, thank you so much, we wanted elevated dining.”

“What never lies is people’s wallets and the number of repeat diners we’re seeing from the neighborhood already is the biggest encouragement [towards] everything that we’re doing [and] showing us their loyalty by coming back again and again and again,” Hays says.

The next phase of Goldie’s includes the addition of a private dining room, turning their grow garden patio into a grab-and-go spot for cocktails for casual drinks with a TV to watch a game and potentially adding lunch to their menu.

“When you see that people are excited to have something in their neighborhood that they’re proud of, and they’re gonna take pride in and tell others,” Hays says. “It’s like you’re part of [our] team … and that [gives me] goosebumps.”

Goldie’s Dallas, 9850 Walnut Hill Lane #305, 214.586.3033