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La Casita Is Moving Into Dallas’ Flagship Half Price Books Cafe

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La Casita Is Moving Into Dallas’ Flagship Half Price Books Cafe


La Casita Coffee, the coffee shop from James Beard-nominated pastry chef Maricsa Trejo, will join the Half Price Books flagship store on Northwest Highway in early summer as the bookstore’s new cafe. It’ll replace Black Forest Coffee, which moved out of Half Price Books last summer after more than 20 years.

This is a huge step for La Casita, which has locations in Richardson and Rowlett and a garden in Frisco. Trejo has been a fan of Half Price Books for years and knows the cafe location is famous among North Texans.

“This is a wonderland for any kid or any adult who loves to read, and I was like, ‘Man, it would be so cool to be part of that,’” Trejo says. “It’s been a dream come true.”

The new location will serve coffee, matcha, and tea-based drinks like at their Rowlett coffee shop and bakery locations. (Not to fangirl too much, but those Turkish lattes are quite good.) Pastries and bread from the James Beard-nominated bakery in Richardson, of course, will be abundant. The coffee shop will have those sought-after cruffins, croissants, cinnamon rolls, and more lining the displays.

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Trejo says La Casita Coffee will serve only coffee and pastries for the first few months. Then, brunch and lunch will be added. The La Casita Bakeshop in Richardson recently launched a new brunch menu, and it’s received impeccable feedback.

Half Price Books’ owners have added a patio for outdoor seating, and renovations to the cafe itself are expected to last two or three more months, Trejo says.

Once permitting allows, the shop will add a tiki bar called La Tiki Paisa, which will serve cocktails and dinner, a first for La Casita concepts. The flagship store is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Trejo says she wanted to offer more than just coffee and pastries throughout the day.

“People spend hours there, and they have book signings and author readings,” she says. “So [the Half Price Books owners are] really excited to have a space that will cater and do little cupcakes and things like that.”

Paisa is short for paisano, which means countryman in Spanish. It’s a hint at the tiki bar menu, which has Mexican, Pacific Islander, and Asian flavors. The bar will serve mezcal and tequila cocktails, plus food items such as kimchi carbonara, chicken pibil with pickles and tortillas, beef tongue buns, and sourdough with bone marrow. It’ll be a sit-down restaurant with plated meals and desserts, Trejo says. When it’s up and running, the plan is to close the coffee shop for an hour and transform the place into a Mexican tiki bar. A neon sign inside the shop will let customers know when tiki hours start.

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It might seem like a pivot, but Trejo and her husband Alex Henderson come from dinner service worlds. This will be their first project since getting married last fall.

“My husband, he’s been a chef his whole life, and he gave up doing that to be a baker for three years with me. We’re just now starting to do food. All of that success has been both of us, but he’s been coming up with all those menus,” Trejo says. “I’m most excited about doing this with Alex and sharing our love for food with the rest of Dallas.”

La Casita Coffee and La Tiki Paisa, 5803 E. Northwest Hwy.

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Nataly Keomoungkhoun

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Nataly Keomoungkhoun joined D Magazine as the online dining editor in 2022. She previously worked at the Dallas Morning News,…





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Dallas, TX

December death in Far East Dallas now being investigated as homicide, police say

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December death in Far East Dallas now being investigated as homicide, police say


A man found dead at a Far East Dallas home last year suffered “homicidal violence,” police say.

On Dec. 5, officers discovered the body of Rory Thacker, 46, during a welfare check in the 8000 block of Hunnicut Road, southeast of the intersection of Ferguson Road and Highland Road, according to Dallas police.

In a Monday news release, police said the Dallas County medical examiner’s office in February ruled that Thacker “died from homicidal violence,” adding that the department’s homicide unit has been assigned to the case.

The department had been investigating the incident as an “unexplained death,” according to the release.

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Police on Monday did not provide further information about why the death was later ruled a homicide or whether authorities have identified a suspect.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Dallas Police Department by calling 214-671-4226 or emailing joshua.romero@dallaspolice.gov. They should refer to case No. 216536-2023.



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Dallas mayor says Christian faith played role in decision to switch party affiliation

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Dallas mayor says Christian faith played role in decision to switch party affiliation


Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson (left) poses with Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas. | Public Domain/Office of Congressman Colin Allred

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson cited his Christian faith as one of the reasons behind his decision to switch his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. 

Johnson, who leads the ninth-largest city in the United States and the third-largest city in Texas, was a guest on last Monday’s edition of the “Verdict with Ted Cruz” podcast. He discussed the factors that motivated him to switch parties after winning reelection as Dallas mayor with more than 90% of the vote. 

Johnson, an African American, described his decision as an “evolution” resulting from “coming to accept who I have always been and why I’ve struggled as a Democrat the whole time.” He described his transition as a “manifestation of problems I had been having with the Democratic Party because of who I am as a person for a long time.” 

“I was raised in a … family that was very, very faith-oriented,” he explained. “The church was hugely important to us.”

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Johnson recalled how, as a child, he “spent more time in church than really any place else.”

He added, “We’d go to church Sunday morning, stay almost all day, go home for just a couple of hours and come back for Sunday evening. We’d go to Bible class on Wednesday.”

While he acknowledged that he did not participate in the choir because he “couldn’t sing,” Johnson identified “song practice” as another staple of his childhood. Reiterating how he “spent a lot of time in the church,” he said he also spent “a lot of time with grandparents who were very, very, very about the Church of Christ” that he was raised in. 

“My family wasn’t political at all,” Johnson added. He credited his family with instilling in him “a strong sense of just right, wrong” and teaching him “this is how you treat people,” “this is how you behave” and “you follow the law.” 

Reflecting on the values his family taught him, Johnson remarked, “I think I was always politically in a weird posture with the Democratic Party.” He suggested that “you sort of inherit the Democratic Party as a cultural heirloom when you’re African American in this country.” 

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“It sort of gets handed to you as part of who you are,” he said. “I know I had … more phone calls with people distraught about this party switch than I ever would have gotten if I had told people that I was actually leaving the church.” 

He characterized the disturbance with his “fit” with the Democratic Party as “inevitable” because of its “belief that how things turn out for you in this country are largely determined by things that are outside of your control” such as “the race you’re born, the neighborhood you’re born in.” Johnson condemned this philosophy as an excusal of “failures” and “successes” to “something that’s out of your control.” 

“If you’re successful and you’re white male, it’s because of course you are,” he maintained. On the other hand, “if you’re unsuccessful as an African American, it’s, well, the deck was stacked against you.” 

Johnson identified this philosophy as not “how I was raised” and “not how I was taught.” He stated that, on the contrary, “If I put the work in, I was told repeatedly over and over by people who didn’t look like me, who didn’t come from my community, ‘We’re proud of you and we’d like to give you more opportunity.’”

“The story of my life and then the rhetoric my party wanted me to put out there as the justification for what we were doing politically just never really matched,” he concluded. 

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Johnson announced his decision to switch parties in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published in September 2023. His move made Dallas the largest city in the U.S. to be led by a Republican.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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Alabama baseball loses its first game in Frisco Classic championship to Dallas Baptist

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Alabama baseball loses its first game in Frisco Classic championship to Dallas Baptist


No. 15 Alabama baseball lost its first game of the season on Sunday, falling to No. 24 Dallas Baptist 7-5 in 12 innings at the Frisco College Baseball Classic.

DBU (10-1) got the scoring started by stealing home in the second inning, and Alabama (11-1) responded with a three-spot in the bottom of the frame. Evan Sleight hit a solo home run for his third of the year, and T.J. McCants followed with a 2-RBI single through the left side that scored Justin Lebron and Mac Guscette to give Alabama an early 3-1 lead.

DBU cut into the deficit with a solo home run by Alex Pendergast in the third inning. In the fourth, Lebron hit his third home run of the season to bring home himself and Guscette again for their second runs of the day. That score gave Alabama a 5-2 lead, but then things started to go awry for the Crimson Tide.

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Another solo home run for the Patriots made the score 5-3. It seemed like Alabama was going to respond with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the fifth, but a pop fly followed by a double play left all three stranded and gave DBU some momentum. After an error in left field by Ian Petrutz gave DBU a runner on second, another home run by the next batter allowed them to tie the game 5-5 in the sixth.

That score would hold for another five innings, as neither team was able to score until DBU catcher Grant Jay hit his second solo home run of the day in the 12th inning to give the Patriots a 6-5 lead. An RBI single added another run for the Patriots, and Alabama was unable to answer leading to the 7-5 final.

Missed opportunities haunted Alabama all game. The Crimson Tide left 13 runners on base, by far its most in a single game this season.

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Up next, Alabama will return home for a pair of midweek games against Jacksonville State (Tuesday, March 5, 4 p.m. CT) and Troy (Wednesday, March 6, 4 p.m. CT).



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