Corey Pond Speaks on The Common Table’s New Frisco Location

For nearly eight years, The Common Table has been a hot brunch destination for Dallasites and Uptown dwellers. With its new location in The Star in Frisco, founder Corey Pond hopes to expand Common Table’s horizons and attract a wider demographic. As its name suggests, The Common Table is a haven for those who wish to bond over the love of beer and food.

“It’s more of a feeling than it is anything literal,” founder Corey Pond says of the eatery’s name. “A common table is a place where you would go and meet people you don’t know, and hopefully make new friends. We believe we’ve incorporated that sort of philosophy here.”

A “common table” inside The Common Table’s Frisco location (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Although The Common Table is arguably most known for its brunch and beer dinners, Pond notes that he hadn’t originally planned to serve food.

“I had a love for craft beer and wanted to open a craft beer bar,” Pond says, “but because of the location we ended up with, we also had to have a restaurant. It took us a little while to get the food right, but now I think the food in both places is very good, especially for the price.”

    Founder Corey Pond (left) with Operation Partner Rodman Shields (right)

Weekend brunch is a staple in Dallas. With so many restaurants to choose from, The Common Table has set itself apart by making quality dishes and creating an amped up atmosphere.

“Brunch food really isn’t difficult to prepare,” Ponds says. “It’s just all about buying good ingredients. It’s a chill vibe here most of the time, but at brunch time, we turn up hip-hop music a little louder than usual.”

Although The Star and Uptown are two vastly different scenes, The Star’s location shares a lot of the elements that the original location has become well known for.

“We’ve just recently started the live music series here [in The Star,] Pond says. “The music events are held every Thursday and Saturday night, like in Uptown. Some of the artists are the same, but we also have some new artists.”

Apart from the live music events, The Common Table’s Frisco location also has Live Trivia Wednesdays, Brewsday Tuesdays, and Pour Man’s Beer Dinner on Mondays.

Trivia Nights and Pour Man’s Beer Dinner are just a couple of The Common Table’s notable events

“The Pour Man’s Beer Dinner is different every week,” Pond says. “Each week, the chef in each location comes up with a different four-course menu, each of the courses is paired with a different beer.”

Because of the wide variety of beer available in house, The Common Table’s customers are able to taste unique pairings of beer and food.

“Beer’s such a versatile drink, more than wine.” Ponds says. “There are over 100 different styles of beer, so for any type of food you make, there’s a perfect beer to pair it with.”

The Common Table is currently open in both Uptown Dallas and in The Star in Frisco. Be sure to pay a visit and try their unique pairings.

Francesca Nor Details Dive’s New Renovations, Personal Journey to Dive

Dive Coastal Cuisine is going into its eighth year of serving hearty seafood in the Highland Park district. For the past three weeks, Dive has been undergoing some major renovations. They will officially reopen their doors on Wednesday.

“We are basically taking the front walk-up center and putting in a full-service bar,” owner Francesca Nor said of Dive’s renovations. “We’ve always been a walk-up concept and have never been ‘full service’ anything. There will be five or six seats at our bar where we will serve beer, wine, infused tequila, and our signature sangria.”

Apart from the bar and full-service aspects, Dive’s rebranding will also include changes to its aesthetic.

“Where there was a high-top communal table, there will now be a banquette,” Nor said. “We’ve added some lighting, we’ve redone the menu, we’ve redone the website, and we’ve added coral to our color palette. Our color palette was originally navy and turquoise, but now, it’s navy, turquoise, and coral, so it has a little bit more of a ‘poppy’ feel.”

From a very young age, Nor became fascinated by culinary arts, cultures, and unique dishes.

“I was about five or six years old when I first became interested in food,” Nor said. “I was born in Los Angeles and my parents would take us to upscale, hip restaurants. I would go into these restaurants and order things like the caviar or the shark, and the waiter would look at my parents like ‘Is she for real?’ I didn’t know any different, I just knew that I liked that food because my parents exposed me to it at a young age.”

Dive’s signature SURF+TURF dish, consisting of Churrasco steak, grilled shrimp, cilantro rice & black beans with house-made chimichurri sauce (Photo Credit: Claire McCormack)

Despite having developed an interest in food so early on in life, Nor began her higher studies in the realm of art.

“Funny enough, I went to school to study photography and mixed media art,” Nor said. “It wasn’t until I was about 21 years old until a light went off. I was living in Florence, Italy and I took a workshop at Cordon Bleu, and realized ‘this is what I need to be doing,’ so then I decided to go to culinary school.”

Nor finished culinary school at the top of her class. Following culinary school, Nor traveled the world, acquired knowledge of various world cultures, and eventually opened Dive. When selecting her employees, Nor believes in a personal approach, as opposed to modern technological pre-screenings.

“There are a lot of ways restaurants select their employees,” Nor said. “There are HR departments, there are all sorts of personality tests, but honestly, I just kind of go with my gut. I get the first impression of someone and I just kind of go off of how they click with me. Experience is always important, but if they don’t respect my business and what I do, then it’s just another job to them.”

For those wanting to follow in Nor’s footsteps and open a restaurant, Nor offers a bit of advice.

“Hands down, you’ve got to believe in what you’re doing,” Nor said. “Stay true to yourself and make sure that what you’re doing is something you enjoy. Staying honest with yourself and not doubting yourself is conveyed in everything you do. If you believe it, your customers will believe it too.”

Fish on the Grill (Photo Credit: Claire McCormack)

Dive Coastal Cuisine officially reopens on Wednesday and operates from 11 a.m to 9 p.m. They will also be open until 11 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday and will offer a variety of late night bites, including cheese boards, hummus boards, and more.