Dallasite June Chow commutes 7,000 miles to work.
Really: She opened a Tex-Mex restaurant in Beijing with her brother Schubert Chow and has hopped from Texas to China for six years, growing a tacos and burritos shop called Lucky Lopez.
"I thought that commute was a little bit difficult," she assents.
On Wednesday, she, Schubert and her husband Thomas Gillette will open a second restaurant, this one much closer to home. June Chow is a 2.7-mile commute away from Hello Dumpling, her new Beijing street food restaurant in East Dallas inspired by the mantra that "food has no borders," she says.
Though it won't serve any of the food that Lucky Lopez does 7,000 miles away, the two restaurants are intrinsically linked. "We brought Tex-Mex over there," she says, referring to Beijing, "why don't we bring dumplings over here?"
Hello Dumpling moves into the beloved former Good 2 Go Taco space, which shared a spot with the now-closed Cow Tipping Creamery for a time. That corner of Peavy and Garland roads, which is also home to Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House and seafood restaurant 20 Feet, "has become a little center where people gather," Chow says. "It's very community driven."
Chow's menu is inspired by the cuisine in northern China, where her mother grew up and where dumplings and noodles are staples. "We have always taken for granted that dumplings and noodles were our go-to foods," Chow says. "Working in Beijing made us realize how important dumplings are to the fabric of our lives, and how it should cross back over here."
The order-at-the-counter restaurant will serve dumplings with six fillings: pork, chicken, beef, shrimp, fish and vegetarian. She'll also sell a steamed sticky-rice dumpling that's gluten-free. The menu includes several hand-cut and house-made noodle dishes as well as meat skewers, salads and boba tea.
Nothing at Hello Dumpling costs more than $10. The restaurant is BYOB (and if you really want to visit East Dallas like a regular, pop across the street to Goodfriend Package for a six-pack before dinner).
Chow hopes her customers get a little bit of Beijing in her corner of East Dallas.
"It's food people would eat at home, on the street," she explains. "This is a spin on the kind of food that's very very popular in Beijing."
Hello Dumpling is located at 1146 Peavy Rd, Dallas.