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2. assorted snacks.jpg Gentl + Hyers
Assorted snacks, including popcorn, crispy chickpeas and “pickled things.”

Brooklyn mainstay restaurant James Provisions moves to Texas after 15 years in New York

After 15 years in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, owner and Dallas-Fort Worth native Deborah Williamson moved her operation closer to home in Hurst — a suburb of Dallas.

The thriving New York to Texas pipeline — where prominent New York-based restaurant groups and concepts like Major Food Group and Redfarm expand their presence into the Texas market — now includes James Provisions. 

James Provisions opened in Brooklyn in 2008 and ran successfully for 15-plus years, but owner and DFW native Deborah Williamson was ready for a change. So, in 2022, she packed up and moved back to Texas. Specifically, she moved to Hurst: one of Texas’s mid-cities, a colloquial term for the towns located between Dallas and Fort Worth.

“I was ready for the next adventure,” Williamson said. “Being in New York was the greatest thing that ever happened to me — it is the true love of my life — but it was time to do other things. It feels good to be back, take my city experience with me, figure out how to roll it into my life here. My whole appreciation for Texas has changed having been gone this long. I love Texas. It’s full circle.” 

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The dining room at James Provisions.

James Provisions is a nod to the Brooklyn restaurant, which was originally named James but added the “Provisions” suffix during the pandemic, when the lockdown spurred it to begin selling farmers market baskets, flowers and culinary care packages — items typically sourced for the restaurant — to its neighbors. 

The Hurst offshoot opened on March 2. The restaurant is 2,500 square feet and has a bright and airy feel, with floor-to-ceiling windows and minimalist elements and textures, like wood, steel, and stone. The patio is lined with plants and culinary herbs, including yuzu, avocado trees, aloe, sage and rosemary as an homage to the Brooklyn restaurant, which encouraged neighbors to pluck herbs straight from the restaurant patio’s garden. 

“This space is big and breezy, making for a whole experience that is much more casual,” Williamson said. “We’re doing a counter-meets-full-service model, and what I like to call a ‘fine-casual’ menu. That’s something I wasn’t doing in Brooklyn, but it lends itself to this location really well.”

Patrons order food and drinks at the counter. The restaurant takes reservations, but they aren’t necessary, as there’s plenty of room for walk-ins.

James Provisions’ menu emphasizes market-driven whole food with natural ingredients and thoughtful sourcing, and Williamson operates with the singular philosophy: “eat well to live well.” The kitchen eschews seed oils, and the menu features plenty of vegetarian, gluten-free, and keto-friendly options.

Sample dishes include smoked carrot soup, a farm greens salad, burgers, roasted chicken, salmon tacos, and the butcher’s steak served with crushed potatoes, charred onions, and chimichurri. The salmon tacos, keto burger and flatbreads are new to Texas. 

“I tried to take our greatest hits from Brooklyn and bring them to Texas, while still keeping the climate, sensibility and overall vibe in mind,” Williamson said. 

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The salmon tacos are a new item for Texas.

The provisions side of the business is launching slowly with items that are already made in-house, like seeded crackers, seasoned nuts, salted oat crunch, and the High Vibe Popcorn that’s currently featured on the menu and seasoned with turmeric, sea salt, and Aleppo pepper. Culinary salts are also used to highlight various ingredients, like ramps, celery, and chrysanthemum, that can be used in home cooking or given as gifts.

Products including CAP Beauty matcha, Fine & Raw Chocolates, Opinel knives, and textiles hand-crafted by a Brooklyn artist are also available.

Brooklyn to Hurst is a big move, and the markets don’t have much in common, but Williamson is excited about her new homebase.

“We had an instant audience in Brooklyn, as we were situated on a residential street with constant foot traffic,” she said. “DFW is a different animal, and our place is in a shopping center, like many restaurants in the area. It’s more of a ‘build it and they will come’ scenario, which takes longer for people to find out about us.” 

She noted that the new space is larger than what they had in Brooklyn, and the bigger kitchen is a luxury. The rent is also cheaper, but not by much. So far, morning and midday meals have been popular with guests. 

“Breakfast and lunch are bigger here than I expected; that was a surprise,” Williamson said. “We’re planning to expand our daytime hours later this year.”

Williamson and the James Provisions team are looking toward the future and hope to open three more Texas-area stores in the next five years. 

“[It would be] lots of work to make that happen, but there seems to be a hungry audience for what we do,” she said. 

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