Smoke restaurant announces on Facebook that doors are closing at Plano location

Nancy Nichols reports Sunday morning on that Smoke will be closing its doors in Plano, Texas, on Preston Road.

We’ve never known Nancy Nichols to be wrong. She beat everyone to the story.

Smoke’s post on Facebook on Sunday confirmed the story a little later.

This is what Smoke posted …

“After 2 1/2 years of business, we are sad to announce that we are closing our Smoke Plano location after our brunch service August 13th.

We’d like to publicly thank our landlords at Eden, the City of Plano, the neighborhoods of Willow Bend, Prestonwood, and the other surrounding 13 neighborhood associations. We would also like to thank the many employees, past and current, who have contributed their time to help us try to succeed. We have made many great friends and employed a ton of great people.

We will be relocating our current staff to our other restaurant concepts. We truly tried to make it work, but to put it simply there is no more gas left in the tank. Thank you for your support. We could not have made it this far without you.

Please don’t forget to join us at our Smoke Restaurant Dallas location for the same great food. We would also love to serve you at our other sister restaurant concepts: Bolsa Restaurant The Theodore Chicken Scratch The Foundry Bar.”

That was from SMOKE on Facebook

Is it tough to make it in the restaurant business today. Consider: The average household income within a mile of Preston and Park is more than $100,000 a year per household in Plano.

Plano has already lost a number of restaurants recently such as Pollo Tropical, Spaghetti Warehouse, TGI Friday’s, Corner Bakery (because of fire).

One of our CPA friends said the she notes the average person between the ages of 20 and 50 no longer has as much free spendable income to go out to eat with the family, when meals for three or four could cost more than $50, including drinks.

She has been advising young families to not buy tea or soft drinks, because those now average almost $3 per person. Ask for water instead.

Also, the CPA notes, people are waiting longer to get married. Plus, many families now have one parent. And, CPA notes many no longer have extra money because health, auto and home insurance costs have erased dining out money. Whatever the reason some big names are closing, we continue to support local restaurants, shops and chambers of commerce and the BBB (see Brian Reagan in McKinney for way’s to build your local business

Here are local restaurants with locations we like because of the food and customer service. Continue supporting these …

Angelo and Vito’s Pizzeria in Plano (Legacy and Independence)

Babe’s Chicken in Frisco near railroad downtown

Bavarian Grill in Plano (west of 75 on Parker)

Brother’s Pizza in McKinney (on Eldorado)

Bill Smith’s Cafe in McKinney (Hwy. 380 east of U.S. 75)

Cadillac Pizza in McKinney (downtown square)

Campisi’s in Plano (Parker and Preston)

Covino’s in Plano (Parker and Independence)

Eddy’s Pizza in Plano (Custer and 15th)

El Norte in Plano (near the DPS driver’s license location on Parker)

Fishmonger’s in Plano on 75 near bridge

Harry’s at the Harbor in McKinney (Adriatica)

Hedary’s in Allen

Hutchin’s BBQ

Jasper’s in Plano at Shops of Legacy

Kula Revolving Sushi Bar in Plano (75 and Legacy)

Latin Pig in Plano (Custer and Parker)


Lockhart Smokehouse in downtown Plano

Norma’s Cafe in Frisco and Plano

Olive Burger

Pie Five pizza

Rick’s Chophouse in McKinney (Downtown Square)

Rio Bravo in Plano (Alma and Legacy)

Salsa TexMex in Frisco and Plano

Sea Breeze Fish Market and Grill in Plano

SMOKE in Plano (Closed Aug. 13, 2017)

Steve Fields Steak and Lobster in Plano

Sushi Shack in Plano (Parker and Independence)

The Original Pancake House in Plano (on 75 or on tollway)

The Pantry in McKinney (Downtown Square)

Tino’s Too in Plano north of downtown on Ave. K

Tony’s Cafe of Plano (Alma and Spring Creek)

Yama Izakaya and Sushi

and all the new spots at Legacy West

and you know what, we say thank you to the hard-working people at Fuddrucker’s, BJ’s Brewhouse, Market Street, Jason’s Deli, McDonald’s, Whataburger, In and Out and Denny’s and all the pizza and chinese delivery folks …

TRIP ADVISOR Best restaurants in Plano

We left a few good restaurants out. Wish ones should be recognized?

Be sure to leave a comment to tell everyone your favorite local restaurant that deserves attention and local support … Thank you for sharing, and supporting local chambers and business.


CHICAGO TRIBUNE – Applebee’s, IHOP closing locations

FOX BUSINESS – It is not just Applebee’s; other restaurants are closing too

FORBES – The 10 Big Chains that are closing restaurants

And thanks again to the great reporting by Nancy Nichols. Read all of her reviews in D Magazine and subscribe


Restaurants: Get your listing started with FREE SFI – TripleClicks membership

Waldrip family saw education as door to success; new Frisco ISD Superintendent ready to know every student by name and need as he guides fast-growing school district


Get to know Frisco ISD’s new Superintendent

SET COLLEGE AS A STEPPING STONE: Growing up in a small town in West Texas, there was never any doubt that Frisco ISD Supt. Mike Waldrip and his younger brother would go to college.

“It was a non-negotiable as far as my father was concerned,” Waldrip said. “He didn’t really care what we did or where we studied, but we were going to college because he always felt like it was going to do things for us that he and my Mom never had the ability to do because they lacked that kind of education.”

The Waldrip family viewed education as a gateway to success – a philosophy Mike Waldrip carried with him and has shared with thousands of students over the course of his 35-year career as a school teacher, coach and administrator.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS, CREATING CAREERS: Now as new Superintendent of schools at Frisco ISD, many of the lessons he learned as a young person, such as the importance of hard work and personal relationships, have shaped the leader and educator he is today.


CWPostAs a student in Post in northwest Texas – a rural community (pop. 3,800, 2,600 elevation) founded by C.W. Post, who launched Post Cereals – Waldrip played every sport available, including football, basketball and track. He says his coaches, along with his fourth grade teacher, inspired him to pursue a career in education.

“I made that decision very early on that that’s what I wanted to do with my life,” he said. “I just remember thinking in middle school, it would be really cool to teach and coach because these guys look like they’re having a lot of fun doing what they’re doing.”



Angelo State – San Angelo Texas

At a towering 6 feet-6 inches, Waldrip played basketball for a year after high school at Angelo State University.

Waldrip earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech, where he studied physical education and biology.


After graduation, he put Lubbock, Texas, in his rear view mirror to take on his first teaching and coaching job in in the South Texas community of Victoria, before moving on to Goliad and then west to Seminole. In all, he spent 16 years as a biology teacher and basketball coach.

“I always liked trying to create a situation in the classroom where kids could involve themselves in the learning and they could be inquisitive and ask questions and learn some things for themselves,” Waldrip said.

Sul Ross State University
Sul Ross State – Alpine Texas

He went on to serve as assistant principal at Seminole High School and earned his master’s degree from Sul Ross State University in 2000.


In 2002, a one-time rival on the basketball court – former Centennial High School and Clark Middle School Principal Randy Spain – recruited Waldrip to Frisco ISD.


Waldrip served first as principal at Clark Middle School; and then as the District’s first-ever director of secondary instruction.

Waldrip opened Liberty High School as principal in 2006, something he says was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of his career.


“Just being able to put a complete staff together, open a high school brand new and set the vision and course for what the school was going to be like,” Waldrip said. “I always said I wanted Liberty to be a place where kids enjoyed coming to school and teachers enjoyed coming to work, and that’s what we tried to focus on to create that type of environment for everyone.”



North Texas – Denton Texas

Waldrip earned his Doctor of Education from The University of North Texas in 2008 and  in 2010 he move to central administration, where he oversaw data systems, program evaluation and various Frisco ISD departments.

“I have always believed that you can’t make informed decisions unless you have some things to inform your decisions,” Waldrip said. “Data doesn’t necessarily give you all the answers, but it certainly helps narrow the areas where you need to look to find those answers.”


In 2014, Waldrip accepted the position of superintendent of schools in nearby Coppell ISD. He says the experience prepared him for the job in Frisco ISD, which now has more than 56,000 students. Frisco ISD is poised to soon become the third largest school district in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“I think being the leader of any school district, you see the importance of engaging the community in what you’re doing and telling your story,” Waldrip said. “It’s important to solicit the community’s input because it is their school district and you want to provide the kind of education that they want for their kids.”



Frisco ISD is home for Waldrip and his wife Lisa, who have two sons who graduated from Frisco ISD schools. Waldrip said he’s inspired by the school district’s mission statement to know every student by name and need

“I think they [Frisco families] think, ‘Well that’s a place that I would like for my kids to go to school, if those people are really focused on knowing my child by name and knowing what their needs are,’” he said. “I think that’s a huge unifying factor for the school district, even though people come from different communities, areas and backgrounds.

“Frisco ISD has a long legacy of providing a quality education and there is no reason for this not to continue,” he said. “We have educators up for the task and a community that desires and supports this type of education for their kids.

“I am very blessed to be able to lead Frisco ISD in that work,” he said. “My wife and I couldn’t be happier to be moving back to the place we call home.”

Dr. Waldrip succeeds Dr. Jeremy Lyon, who retired in June after more than four years as Frisco ISD superintendent and 31 years in public education. The selection of Dr. Waldrip as lone finalist concluded a two-month search for Dr. Lyon’s replacement. With the assistance of Jenny Preston Consulting, the Board garnered public input from community members as well as FISD staff to develop a wish list of qualities the District desired in a new superintendent.

During the almost 60-day process, applications were received from across the country.

Frisco ISD School Board President Anne McCausland said: “Hiring a superintendent is the most far-reaching decision a school board will ever make. This Board focused its energies to find the best fit for our students, staff, parents and community. We are thrilled to have Dr. Mike Waldrip continue our commitment to student achievement and keep Frisco ISD a destination district.”

%d bloggers like this: