2 Neighbors at DeSoto Market Spins Off Burger Joint Next Door

2 Neighbors at DeSoto Market Spins Off Burger Joint Next Door

2 Neighbors at DeSoto Market Spins Off Burger Joint Next Door


Thursday, April 7, 2021

A DeSoto restaurant that has perfected the fried chicken sandwich has launched a new sibling which promises to do the same for burgers.

Called 2 Neighbors Burgers and Shakes, it’s a spinoff of 2 Neighbors Chicken, which has been doing the hot chicken thing since 2017.

2 Neighbors is a mother-and-daughter venture from Carlonda Marshall, a former DeSoto High School teacher, and her daughter, who originally opened 2 Neighbors Chicken in Cedar Hill, the relocated to the Grow DeSoto Market Place at 324 E. Belt Line Rd. in 2020.

They’ve prospered at the marketplace, even despite the pandemic — with business brisk enough to warrant branching off into something new.

“We were originally doing wings and soul food, but we slimmed down the menu once we moved,” Carlonda says. “I’m from Nashville, which is known for hot chicken, but we do it in more of a natural style. We’re known for our chicken sandwich with chicken breast, we fry it and then dip it in the seasoning — like Popeye’s, but it’s bigger than Popeye’s.”

For their new burger venture, they took over the space next door that was previously home to Shelley’s, a Chicago-style hot dog spot.

“We knew we wanted to do burgers and shakes, but we only had so much working space use at 2 Neighbors Chicken,” she says. “We use all the fryers for our chicken and we had no place to put a grill for cooking the burgers.”

They’re still working up their online presence, but their menu includes burgers, which can be ordered regular or plant-based. “I’m doing a vegan version with Impossible burgers,” she says.

They do a thin patty which you can stack with multiples, and top it with melty cheese. It’s served on a brioche bun with pickles and special sauce.

They also do sliders, milkshakes, and vegan cupcakes — and as a backup, you can always order hot chicken from 2 Neighbors Chicken, right next door.


Get Food Just Like Mom Used to Make at Tyler Station

Get Food Just Like Mom Used to Make at Tyler Station

Get Food Just Like Mom Used to Make at Tyler Station


Thursday, March 4th 2021

From the streets of Mexico City, through a home kitchen in Dallas and then a food truck, Tacos La Gloria has landed a permanent home in Oak Cliff’s Tyler Station after getting off to a chilly start.

The owners of the former food truck opened the location Feb. 6 only to be shut down a week later when Winter Storm Uri coated North Texas in ice, snow and darkness. Now it’s going full-steam serving taco lovers dishes crafted by Maria Gloria Serrato, the business’ namesake and head of the family behind it.

Serrato started selling food in the streets of Mexico City in the 1980s to provide for her family. When she came to the U.S. in 1986, she worked various jobs in restaurants and the food industry, preparing items for food trucks and catering events on weekends. Tacos La Gloria started when the family began selling dishes made by Serrata in her kitchen. The business soon outgrew her home, and the family moved operations to a truck.

“When she wasn’t working in the kitchen at her job, she was in our kitchen at home preparing our dinner,” said daughter Daisy Wall, the restaurant’s operations manager. 

“Her dream has always been to own her own business, and as her children, there are five of us, we’ve always recognized how hard she’s worked to be able to provide for us. We all have one goal in common — make her dreams come true. My brother Mingo called me one day about three years ago and came up with the idea of buying a food truck for our mom.”

They purchased the food truck in 2019, and things were clicking along until the pandemic hit last March, forcing it to close for several months. The family reopened in October doing pop-ups and event catering before settling in Oak Cliff Brewing’s beer garden, which offers plenty of outdoor seating with tables set up for social distancing.

Serrato prepares all the food, though the entire family decides what goes on the menu. Most items are what Serrato cooked for her kids when they were growing up. They offer street-style tacos ($1.85), quesadillas $4.75/$7.75), sopes ($4.50), gorditas ($3.50), huaraches ($7.25), flautas ($8) and menudo ($12/$20). The proteins available are fajitas (beef and chicken), birria, pastor and chicharron (pork skin). They also offer breakfast tacos ($2.50), burritos ($3) and breakfast plates like chilaquiles verde or rojo ($9.50).

On my visit, we ordered the quesabirria, a beef taco with cheese added, which Wall says was put on the menu when they started seeing it trending on social media. The quesabirria tacos had great flavor and just the right char or crunch. We also tried the gordita, available soft or fried; we choose soft, and the masa was cooked just right so it didn’t break apart when bitten. The well-seasoned tacos de pastor came on a handmade corn tortilla. The star of the show was the carne asada fries, served hot and crispy topped with your choice of protein, a mound of cheese and pico de gallo.

Tacos La Gloria does not have any veggie/vegan options now, but it‘s set up next to OG Vegan, another truck that operates at Oak Cliff Brewing. Also on the menu are homemade aguas: horchata, limon, pina, sandia and Jamaica.

You can find Taco La Gloria on Instagram (@tacoslagloria), Facebook (Tacos La Gloria), and Snapchat (@Tacoslagloria)

Tacos La Gloria, 1330 S Polk St (Oak Cliff). Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.



Urban Design Strategies for Urgent Challenges

Urban Design Strategies for Urgent Challenges

Urban Design Strategies for Urgent Challenges

By June Williamson &
Ellen Dunham-Jones

February 2021

However, business incubators shouldn’t only focus on high tech. Too often the “innovation economy” privileges large corporations that can afford robots, and patent attorneys. Lower-tech food and farming businesses tend to be highly local and compete well against e-commerce. For example, cannabis production and sales have dramatically reduced vacancies in strip malls and warehouses in states where marijuana has been legalized. As such businesses grow more corporate, communities should consider subdividing large retail spaces into “mercados” that provide launching pads for smaller entrepreneurs.

That’s been the case at Grow Desoto Marketplace, a business incubator in a Texas strip mall. When the only retailer interested in occupying the vacant space was 99 Cents Only Stores, the mayor asked the owner, Monte Anderson, “Is there anything better we can do?” Together, they came up with ways to lower the barriers to entry and kick-start locally owned start-ups, many of which are eateries and most of which are Black-owned businesses. At “Pitch Mondays” entrepreneurs pitch their proposals to earn one of the 60 spots with reasonable rents, build-out construction costs included, and access to a marketing consultant. In 2019 it was 80% leased. Anderson said, “What I find in the African American community is an extreme amount of creativity and a lack of experience when it comes to access to practice business. I think it’s so important that we figure out how to build wealth for local people, bottom line.”‘


New Life for a 102-Year-Old Bakery in South Bend

New Life for a 102-Year-Old Bakery in South Bend

New Life for a 102-Year-Old Bakery in South Bend

By Jacob Titus

February 24, 2021
West S.B.

In 1919, Busse Baking company built a new, modern bakery on Portage Avenue in the heart of the Near Northwest neighborhood. The South Bend Tribune avidly documented its opening and early days:

Among the institutions in which South Bend takes special pride is the Busse Baking Company, located at 906 Portage Avenue. The new plant shown in the above illustration was erected a year ago at a cost of $90,000. The plant is the most modern that expert bakery designers could devise and has been pronounced one of the finest bread plants in the central west. Housewives in and around South Bend keep this big plant taxed to capacity supplying bread for their tables and the growth of the business has been little short of marvelous.

It represented a leap forward in bakery design. But even so, the company would be taken over just three years later by Ward Baking Company, marking an end to the “South Bend Bread War”—a story we’ll surely tell another day.

Suffice it to say, the building has lived a curious 102 years of life (81 years for the addition on the North end), but that might only be the beginning of its story.

After sitting vacant for a decade in which the Near Northwest Neighborhood was six times denied tax credit funding to turn it into affordable housing, a new plan is emerging from a team of incremental developers, including local Mike Keen and Texas-based Monte Anderson. Monte discussed their plans with WVPE in October:

Instead of housing, the current plan being considered would turn the building into a neighborhood hub for business, arts and retail.  

“I like to call it a collaborator village,” said Texas developer Monte Anderson. “You know, somebody does graphic design, somebody’s got a restaurant, somebody might make cupcakes for the restaurant, all of these things. You begin to work together and it becomes this cultural hub.”

Anderson has teamed up with local developers Mike Keen, Greg Kil and Dwayne Borkholder to refurbish the building and fill it with tenants whose business the neighborhood would likely value.

“What matters is what the neighborhood and the market say to put in here,” Anderson said. “We’re going to create the environment where the neighborhood can express itself.”

So in the late afternoon of Thursday, December 31st, I, along with Camille Zyniewicz and Mike, spent a couple of hours making photographs of the building and filming what we saw on a makeshift chest-mounted GoPro.

You can call it Portage Place now. Here is what I saw.


New plans in the works for abandoned South Bend building

New plans in the works for abandoned South Bend building

New plans in the works for abandoned South Bend building

By Erica Finke

Friday, February 5th 2021

The Ward Baking Company building has been abandoned in South Bend’s Near Northwest neighborhood for 12 years.

The building has new ownership and new plans for the future. The developers are turning it into a “collaborative village” for the neighborhood

The building is now going to be called Portage Place. The goal is to create an open space where professional and creative services can work alongside one another.

Built more than100 years ago the Ward Baking Company Building is standing on the outside, but crumbling on the inside.

Bakery Group President Mike Keen has lived blocks away from this building for 20 years. After clearing out clutter and asbestos for the past month, Keen says the building wouldn’t have made it another year.

“For many years this has been sitting here, beautiful old building but totally falling apart and really scaring everyone out of the neighborhood. People see this and if you’re not used to it, it just frightens them.”

The Near Northwest Neighborhood Organization wanted to turn the building into affordable senior apartments, but wasn’t successful.

Keen says they needed to renovate or demolish the space.

Project Partner Monte Anderson is based out of Dallas. He encouraged the group to keep the building and turn it into Portage Place.

“When I first saw this building, I said look at this.. this is a jewel. right now, you have a diamond in the neighborhood, and it will be.”

The framework for Portage Place was based off Anderson’s Tyler Station in Dallas.

Tyler Station was an old wax paper manufacturer before Anderson turned it into a collaborative community for the Dallas area.

Keen and Anderson say this new space will help revitalize the Near Northwest Neighborhood.

“You give people a place where they can be inspired and they can be creative,” said Anderson.

“We think it’s going be the place to be, the place for you to come and create your dreamscreate your future and help us build our neighborhood and build our community,” said Keen.

Keen says they’re working on the brochure and rent prices for the different spaces. They’re hoping for a wide range of services from a beauty shop to a café and even insurance workers to make it a well-rounded hub for the neighborhood.


Ward Baking Building Becoming Space for Shops and Artists

Ward Baking Building Becoming Space for Shops and Artists

Ward Baking Building Becoming Space for Shops and Artists

By joseph dits

Thursday, February 4th 2021

SOUTH BEND — Mike Keen’s vision for what he calls Portage Midtown continues to move closer to reality.

An attempt to reclaim tired and vacant spaces on a 3-acre spread of Portage Avenue, the project now includes two renovated houses, the groundbreaking Wednesday for two 600-square-foot tiny houses in the 900 block and, as of two weeks ago, the long-vacant, brick Ward Baking Co. building, which is across the street from the renovated houses and the lot for the tiny houses.

“We’re trying to build it up for everybody,” said Keen, a long-time resident, living on Riverside Drive, as he talks about a collective process that involves and supports the neighbors.

He and three other individuals bought the Ward building with plans to renovate and open the two-story, 30,000-square-foot space this summer, said one partner, Dwayne Borkholder, owner of Borkholder Buildings in Nappanee.


The group gained ownership two weeks ago and since then have gutted it, he said. Work began this week to repair the roof on the building, built in 1919.

They will be seeking shops, businesses, artists and other tenants to share space inside.

Other partners in the Ward building include local architect Greg Kil and Texas developer Monte Anderson, who Keen said has worked on other local projects.

The Near Northwest Neighborhood Inc. had aimed to convert the Ward structure into housing, but, after six attempts, it couldn’t secure the highly competitive low-income tax credits that it needed for financing, NNN Executive Directory Kathy Schuth said.

But, she said, as she listens to what neighbors want, “There’s a stronger interest in retail and gathering places.”

Neighbors have called for an eatery, bakery and artist spaces, she said, noting hope for perhaps some shared spaces: “It’s difficult for artists to rent small offices.”

“We will let the local market dictate what goes in there,” Borkholder said. “We have no preconceived ideas.”



Texas Hospitality & Entertainment – A Look Ahead

Texas Hospitality & Entertainment – A Look Ahead

Texas Hospitality & Entertainment – A Look Ahead

By REjournals

Friday, December 4, 2020

  • Update on the Retail Marketplace during and Post-Covid
  • How are Districts pivoting – What’s working & what’s not?
  • What is in store for Entertainment developments & design in 2021?
  • How is Covid changing Mixed Use Developments?
  • How do Venues, Restaurants & Water Parks, etc gain confidence to attract crowds back?
  • What are some of the opportunities that you see for investors and developers in this type of market?
  • Future Trends -New Development vs. Re-Purposing
  • Hospitality/Entertainment District Predictions for 2021
Locally owned, Small Business focus on South Beckley

Locally owned, Small Business focus on South Beckley

[This article was originally posted by at oakcliff.advocatemag.com on October 19th, 2020.] By Rachel Stone An unremarkable L-shaped building on South Beckley is bringing small-business opportunities to South Oak Cliff. Real estate developer Monte Anderson is renovating the building, once used for Dallas ISD alternative-school classrooms, to create affordable commercial spaces for local entrepreneurs. OG Vegan food truck already leased the end space facing Beckley at East Brownlee Avenue for a restaurant. Other businesses signed include Shanta Maxey’s Lovable Braids N Styles, I Am A Queen Hair Salon, Lash Minute Beauty and Lloyalty Tax Solutions. Anderson, who is known for his redevelopment of the Belmont Hotel and Tyler Station, bought the building in April. He named it Beckley Settlement. “It had been vacant for many years and the thieves had stolen anything good off the property,” he says. Now his company is turning the former school into a “micro mixed-use retail, office and studio collaboration development.” It’s like a smaller version of Tyler Station and with less complicated reconstruction. “We intend to lease space to locals who have always wanted to start their own business,” Anderson says. Six businesses already have signed leases, and construction is expected to be complete in spring 2021. Alicia Quintans is the architect. David Pickett and Tara Stargrove are doing the construction.
Artists, Makers, and Entrepreneurs Embrace Tyler Station

Artists, Makers, and Entrepreneurs Embrace Tyler Station

[This article was originally posted by at dallasinnovates.com on September 5, 2019.]

The mixed-use creative development in Oak Cliff was the brainchild of new urbanist pioneer Monte Anderson. As one tenant puts it: “I don’t know of anything like it in Dallas or really any other city.”

Three years in the making, Tyler Station—housed in the former Dixie Wax Paper Co. building—has settled into its new life in Oak Cliff, Its diverse roster of tenants are reaping the benefits. The mixed-use “collaborative village” is an eclectic home that brings together artisans, craftsmen, creatives, and entrepreneurs.

It’s a new kind of community—the brainchild of new urbanist pioneer Monte Anderson, who saw potential in the industrial building that was originally built in 1925. Anderson, whose transformations include the renovation of the Belmont Hotel, saw the old brick warehouse as a destination that could serve as a business incubator.

It’s come a long way since 2017, when more than 500 “genuinely curious” people got a firsthand look at the repurposed wax paper plant on Polk Street in the heart of Southern Dallas.

Today, it’s at 100 percent occupancy.

[Photo: Courtesy Tyler Station]

It’s a space for startups of every stripe with office space, light manufacturing, and retail, Anderson says, who’s also the president and owner of Options Real Estate and a managing partner of Tyler Station. 

Anchored by coworking joint Wax Space, Tyler Station now has a broad range of tenants—from shops and service businesses to nonprofits and craft beer brewers.

READ NEXT Look Inside: Tyler Station is now full to the brim with entrepreneurs. See what makes the collaborative village one-of-a-kind with our photo gallery.

Anderson says the greatest asset Tyler Station brings its tenants is a penchant for collision, fueled by humans’ most primal desires: shelter, social connection, and reproduction. And with Tyler Station now at full capacity, the odds of that collision are greater than ever.

The impact is already visible in the collaboration between a number of entrepreneurs based there.

Tenants like The TX Studio’s Doug Klembara attest to that: “I don’t know of anything like it in Dallas or really any other city.” It’s historic and architecturally inspiring, with a nod to Anderson’s “vision,” he notes. And, he says it’s the people who make it a place to be.

Tyler Station in 2019. [Photo: Courtesy Tyler Station]

Anderson says he often passed by the building that’s now Tyler Station, but it wasn’t until five to eight years ago that he contacted the building’s owner—at first, just to help her sell it. 

Anderson’s background in real estate has allowed him to help broker a number of leases for commercial tenants, budding entrepreneurs, and creative professionals. Despite his experience though, he says he had a hard time garnering interest, partly because the site was contaminated from years of manufacturing.

[Photo: Tyler Station/Facebook]


So, he and his partners teamed up and bought the old warehouse building in 2016, dedicating themselves to “turn it into something.”

Today, the 110,000-square-foot building spans two floors and is occupied by some 60 diverse businesses, ranging from a tattoo parlor to a Baptist church. But that’s part of its charm.

According to Anderson, Tyler Station “became this ball of momentum rolling down the hill.” The building’s popularity skyrocketed and began securing leases with aplomb.

As prospective tenants piled up, Anderson and his partners worked to create niche, outfitted spaces to meet the needs of each occupant. They adjusted the sizes, implemented running water, and enclosed certain areas.

Tyler Station caters to a wide range of businesses, small and large, including Oak Cliff Brewing Co. [Photo: Courtesy Tyler Station]

“We’re doing something that’s social and community-oriented,” he says. “At the same time, we’re capitalists, so we have to make money. I found if I shrink the space down small enough, I can get a high rate per square foot—which is what I need—and yet keep the dollars down for the occupants.”

TAKE A (PHOTO) TOUR: Look inside Oak Cliff’s Tyler Station

A quick walk-through of Tyler Station reveals its secret to success: Enclosed office spaces that give occupants peace of mind without limiting communication. 

Most of the square rooms are made from a combination of wood and metal fencing, allowing passersby to look inside or have a chat with a specific business owner. The walls of the grids were made by Stash Design, a firm specializing in repurposed and salvaged materials for interior and exterior design and decorative purposes. Stash Design was one of Tyler Station’s first tenants. 

[Photo: Dana McCurdy]

As a result of Tyler Station’s high ceilings and limited privacy, Anderson says it sometimes gets noisy and distracting. But that’s part of what makes it work.

“The benefits of not being perfectly quiet far outweigh [the distractions],” he says. “We can see each other working. And if we can see each other working, we can hear each other working. Then we can begin to collaborate.”

People, not products

Anderson is a helper at heart, and only when pressed did he admit he often invests his time and money in entrepreneurs he believes in, many of whom rent space from him at Tyler Station and other developments.

“I’m always trying to get the artists and the craftsmen to own real estate so they can build wealth and get a piece of the action,” he says.

For Anderson, investments are usually small, consisting of loaning someone a little money to get their business off the ground or making a down-payment on office space. Sometimes he doesn’t even collect interest on the loans. Although his generosity is doled out on a case-by-case basis, he’s been known to cosign for loans, too.

What makes him different from other investors, he says, is he has no interest in long-term, high-interest loans, nor in having equity in a company or entrepreneur: “Eventually, I want you to get rid of me.”

Social innovation at the core 

Because Anderson believes strongly in connecting people to influence positive change, he also encourages the occupants in Tyler Station to invest in their communities. And, that’s paying off.

Wood and metalworkers with manufacturing facilities in Tyler Station sometimes employ what Anderson calls “housing-challenged” workers. There’s also a provided travel trailer behind the station to give them a safe place to stay.

“Under the right set of circumstances, they could have been homeless—and have been homeless before,” he says.

Going green

Anderson has been called a green-leaning developer, and Tyler Station has a variety of green features. But, Anderson stresses the largest “green” hurdle was salvaging the building itself.

“Instead of demolishing the building and putting the rubble in a landfill, we partnered with the city of Dallas and Recycle Revolution to recycle and reuse the commercial materials removed from the building. Over 350,000 pounds of material have been recycled,” he told Green Source DFW.

That’s “something many people overlook as an eco-friendly approach,” Anderson said. “We recycled the building, we recycle our trash, we are capturing rainwater, we are walkable, bikeable, and are located on a light rail station.”

Monte Anderson

Monte Anderson at Tyler Station in 2017.  [Photo: Dave Moore]

Removing barriers

Tyler Station, which is located on the red line at the Tyler/Vernon DART station, embraces access of all kinds. DART’s light rail system opened in 1996, and at the time, there was no need for a pedestrian connection to the old wax warehouse.

A wall was built to separate the former industrial-use building from the station. That’s something that may change to make the access more user-friendly for the community.

Earlier this year, plans were discussed to remove sections of the wall while preserving the art on it, Tyler’s Property Manager Tara Stargrove told the Elmwood Neighborhood Association in Oak Cliff. The wall incorporates a four-panel mural titled “A Community Honored” by Judith Inglesa. It depicts a concept of community combined with intricate images of nature and Texas’ diverse ecological communities.

[Courtesy: DART]

Collision collateral 

Zakti, a specialty tea distributor based within Tyler Station, recently had firsthand experience with the benefits of working in the collaborative workspace. Pamela Miller of Zakti says she was inspired to roll out a line of CBD tea after meeting the proprietors of Rawsome, a new CBD retailer in Tyler Station.

“I started learning about CBD, and I started taking CBD oil,” Miller says. “And I started thinking, ‘What if we combined it?’ So it started out as our mini R&D department.”

Miller says she can’t use Rawsome’s CBD products in her teas because they’re oil-based, but it was the collision of their businesses that inspired her to create CBD tea. She now sells a variety of refrigerated teas ranging from 20 to 40 milligrams of CBD dosage.

Anderson says he knows collaboration comes from an entrepreneurial drive to solve problems together. He’s just grateful to be able to cultivate a place for that to happen.

Dallas Innovates had its own creative collision with Tyler Station last December, when we shot the cover and feature layout for our Dallas Innovates annual magazine. Photographer and Tyler tenant Skyler Fike came to the rescue when unavoidable traffic delayed one of our photographers on a time-sensitive shoot. Fike shot our 26 Innovators feature while Creative Director Michael Samples shot the cover in the industrial building’s wide-open spaces. (You can check out their handiwork here.)

Like Anderson says, “It’s about the people. It’s not about the buildings. It doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is what customers think, what the people here think.”

Check it out

Tyler Station hosts First Thursdays each month. The open house brings artisans, musicians, craftsmen, food trucks, and customers together on the first Thursday of every month from 6 to 10 p.m. Tyler Station is located at 1300 S. Polk St.

Quincy Preston contributed to this report. This article was updated with additional information on Sept. 7, 2019, at 10:36 a.m, and Sept. 15, 2019 at 3:24 p.m.