In the early days of this blog, I noted in the Fun Facts post that one of my favorite restaurants was Copeland's of New Orleans. For years, they had a Dallas outlet over by the late Prestonwood Mall, and I would have my birthday dinner there (if not on the "day of," then at least whenever my parents came to visit) for the better part of a decade.
But when the mall went under in 1999, Copeland's bravely hung on for a few more years (in a by-then-isolated corner next to a defunct Don Pablo's) before closing sometime in 2004. If only they could have managed to wait long enough for Prestonwood to reborn as a big-box "power center" last year with the likes of Barnes and Noble, Circuit City, etc.
So in recent years, a Copeland's trip would mean a visit to New Orleans; I had eaten at the one at St. Charles and Napoleon in the Garden District on a few occasions, though I missed it by mere minutes on the New Orleans Bowl trip in '04. Then Katrina came, and the Napoleon location closed (according to the website, it has yet to reopen). I did get to visit a West Bank location when I visited a friend in New Orleans on a spring break trip in '06, but that had been it so far.
So what I saw this evening came as a total surprise to me. While eating on a patio in Southlake Town Square with that same friend (the by now former New Orleanian), we were comparing Southlake to Firewheel. I noted that Southlake was a bit more upscale, and, while it didn't have any anchor stores, it did have a luxury hotel...and I pointed to the brand-new Hilton behind me. My friend took a look, froze, and pointed towards the hotel: "Oh my God, look!" I turned back and saw what he saw: The familiar Copeland's logo on the side of the hotel.
Yes indeed, there is a Copeland's at the Hilton. Believe me, if we hadn't already ordered drinks at the place we were eating, we would have changed our dinner plans right then and there. But since we'd already made the trek to Southlake pretty much on the strength of a gift card from one of their restaurants, a trip back for one of my favorite Big Easy imports is a no-brainer. And the birthday tradition can be revived as well.
I'll have a full report once we actually go there, but I'm sure that if they waited this long to return to the area, it'll be worth the wait.