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Las Vegas restaurant operator plans to open Mexican concept La Neta Cocina y Lounge in Dallas

Ryan Labbe of 81/82 Group discusses growth plans

Popular Las Vegas restaurant La Neta Cocina y Lounge will be expanding to Dallas this year, according to 81/82 Group, which operates the Mexican concept.

Ryan Labbe, the partner in 81/82 who designed the Las Vegas location, said the 7,000-square-foot space in Dallas is slated to open at the end of the year, providing locals with something unique.

“Often at a restaurant you have an amazing meal and cocktail and people are sitting in a box,” he said. “I didn’t want that. I wanted to give the feeling of stepping out of realty and walking into an immersive experience.”

Inside the Las Vegas venue, there’s a sense of bringing the outside indoors, complete with hanging foliage and a tree in the center that is about 14 feet high, along with stained glass installations throughout and retractable windows.

The food, overseen by chef Israel Castro, includes flautas, stuffed corn pies called molotes, and the signature Para La Mesa, a 4-pound braised short rib with manchego polenta and fried onions. It’s all intentionally eye-catching.

“We like to do good food presented differently. People eat with their eyes before their mouth and the food has to be very appealing these days with social media,” Labbe said.

Prices range from $12 to $30 for appetizers and $20-$55 for entrées. Large-format shareable platters also are available starting at $75.

Labbe said the group was also looking for more opportunities to open restaurants and clubs in Las Vegas, but did not elaborate.

The 81/82 group also owns Más Por Favor restaurant in Las Vegas. In partnership with Clique Hospitality it operates Clique Bar & Lounge and The Barbershop.

TAGS: West
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