Dakota’s Steakhouse was established in 1984 and has been a downtown Dallas dining icon for over 30 years. Dakota’s unique underground location has an interesting story behind it. The site was once occupied by the First Dallas Baptist Church, who put a legally binding clause in the deed that prohibits any future owner from selling alcohol on former church grounds. When they bought the property, Lincoln Property Company was determined to have a restaurant to anchor their international headquarters. They discovered that “on the grounds” does not include “below ground,” so they excavated the land and placed their restaurant 18 feet below street grade.
The story below the street
The Dakota’s experience begins in the elevator. Customers ride down to Dakota's in a canopied glass elevator accessed from street level that overlooks the 1,800 square-foot subterranean courtyard. This cool oasis is complete with a 5-tiered granite water wall, multi-tiered landscaping, lava rock fire pit and black granite bar. Dakota's below-ground patio has long been considered one of the city's most romantic dining spots.
Dakota’s is decorated in a timeless style with a hand-cut Italian Carrera marble floor in a basket weave pattern, dark wood paneling, brown leather, marble trim and New Orleans style brass gas lamps. There are authentic art deco lamps and mirrors located in the back of the restaurant and stately classical wood columns from an early 20th century beaux-arts Dallas home that rise above the bow-shaped bar topped with green marble and Corinthian capitals. The large French doors allow sunlight to stream through, giving the dining room warmth and light.
The name Dakota’s was chosen in homage to the eight million pounds of Dakota mahogany granite that give the restaurant and Lincoln Plaza its signature look.