Alfonso’s Italian Restaurant Still Strong after 35 Years
Expanded Bar, New Bartender and New “Ladies Night” Special Becoming Popular Option With Customers
While most stand-alone concept restaurants come and go in eight months, Alfonso’s Italian Restaurant is enjoying a renaissance.
After 35 successful years in Lake Highlands, Alfonso’s is updating its menu, atmosphere and staff to keep up with the times.
Established in 1982 in Casa Linda Plaza, serving pizza and pasta dishes in a rustic old style Italian setting, the restaurant was named after owner Peter Colombo’s father. Pete tries to keep his ingredients as fresh as possible, following in the footsteps of his dear ol’ dad and his love of enjoying only the freshest food available.
“In staying with my father’s dedication to fine food, all the foods listed on the menu are prepared to order,” Pete says. “Although this process may take a little longer, the end results are worth the wait.”
Anne Marie Alongi came to Alfonso’s for the first time on the recommendation of a friend. “I was in heaven,” says the Italian Food connoisseur and former Patriot’s Cheerleader. The New England transplant has been seeking a good Italian restaurant since her move to the north Texas area last year, and enjoyed her grilled Salmon dish and side of pasta and marinara sauce more than she could imagine. "I'll be back," she vowed, after her initial dining experience.
There were just six seats at the bar in Alfonso's for the past 25 years, since the restaurant's move to its current location in 1991. Recent renovations have made the restaurant more friendly to a lone diner. The expanded bar now seats 16 people, with another 20 seats at the tables in the bar area, 30 more than in the previous two decades.
Recognizing that the world-–and the neighborhood--is changing a new “Ladies Night” on Thursday at the bar has all entrees half-price for the women who dine there. On a recent Thursday evening, the bar area was full of diners including a DISD teacher, two friends, a few couples, and a single woman from the neighborhood who was happy to have people all around her to chat with.
Another new addition to the restaurant is a regular bartender. With the expanded bar area and special Ladies Night on Thursday, Pete recognized the need to have a familiar face behind the bar.
Josey Warnick has a Master’s of Science in Public Relations and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and Journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. A new resident of the Lake Highlands area, she is in Dallas as a project manager for ESPN, with a primary focus on the 17-week football season in the Fall, so her ability to chat with patrons about sports is a bonus. She’s behind the bar Thursday through Sunday, and Pete hopes that will keep regular customers coming back.
It seems to be working. Besides the delicious garlic rolls and the better service at the bar, the neighborhood-friendly atmosphere has been successful in attracting back former customers while bringing in new neighbors that have transferred into the area. Lone diners are surrounded by neighbors and new friends, making the experience more pleasant.
Pete hopes his place will be serving up the best in Italian dishes for the next 35 years. His neighbors--and new customers--hope so too.
Alfonso’s is located at 718 N Buckner Boulevard, #222 in Lake Highlands, Dallas, 75218.
Open Tuesday through Saturday at 11:00 a.m. for lunch and Sunday at 11:30, the restaurant closes on weeknights at 9:30, 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Contact the restaurant at: 214-327-7777 or see: http://www.alfonsositalianrestaurant.com