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SMU Grad’s Nightlife Homecoming: Las Vegas Restaurant and Lounge Concept Slated for Dallas’ Arts District » Dallas Innovates
SMU Grad's Nightlife Homecoming: Las Vegas Restaurant and Lounge Concept Slated for Dallas' Arts District » Dallas Innovates


Dallas is set to welcome an exciting new addition to its restaurant scene next year, as Drai’s Group collaborates with the Dallas-based hospitality group, GAP Concepts. The venture, Drai’s Dallas, is an evolution of a successful Las Vegas celebrity eatery and will feature a restaurant, lounge, and exclusive membership club.

Drai’s Group said the new Drai’s Dallas will join long-standing locations in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and other cities. The company said Drai’s Dallas will have a “singular” vibe with gourmet cuisine and bespoke mixology.

Dallas has an “unmatched hospitality scene, sense of community and culture,” said Dustin Drai, VP of Entertainment at Drai’s Group, who also happens to be an SMU graduate. “I fell in love with the vibrancy of Dallas during my time at SMU and always knew I would return.”

Drai’s Group, founded by Victor Drai, began as a celebrated Los Angeles restaurant in 1993 that quickly became a favorite of celebrities. It later expanded to Las Vegas in 1997, launching Drai’s Restaurant and After Hours—a nightlife hub that became a staple on the Las Vegas Strip. The brand was rejuvenated in 2016 with Drai’s Nightclub and Beachclub, which has hosted prominent talent like singer-songwriter like The Weeknd and Chris Brown.

The eponymous brand’s latest endeavor—Drai’s Dallas—aims to merge Drai’s history and reputation with the expertise of GAP Concepts. GAP, co-founded by Veeral Rathod and Obi Ibeto, is responsible for local hotspots like Lyla, PostScript HTX, and XOXO Dining Room.

Drai’s Dallas promises a unique experience, combining curated French-inspired dining with cabaret-style entertainment, the company said.

Dustin Drai, who has been friends with GAP co-founder Ibeto “for years,” says he knew the group would be the best partner to bring a concept from Las Vegas and “infuse it with the authenticity Dallas is known for.”

Drai’s Dallas Muse: Frank Sinatra

The venue’s design, envisioned by Victor Drai, will take a cue from the Drai’s After Hours in Las Vegas, and will embody its signature look and feel, including rich hues, tufted lounge furniture, and signature decor. Architect Arnie Martinez Jr. and designer Christy Coleman of Leo A Daly will work alongside Drai to create the design.

GAP Concepts’ Rathod looks forward to bringing the respected Drai’s brand to Dallas—and working with its team to prepare for a grand launch next year.

“We look forward to opening our doors in 2024,” Rathod said in a statement.

Drai’s said that once customers enter the newly built 15,000-square-foot complex, they will discover an upscale supper club with French-inspired cuisine.

A performance stage will rest at the center of the dining room and will spotlight cabaret-style live entertainment.

Drai’s called Frank Sinatra its muse, saying the venue will feel like a classic yet state-of-the-art experience. The room’s four corners will be adorned with a palm motif, and floral-inspired stadium-seating will provide great views of the stage.

The private members’ lounge will offer small bites and classic cocktails within an intimate speakeasy-style lounge that highlights Drai’s signature crimson color palette.

Members will recognize the iconic design elements from the original Drai’s After Hours lounge in Las Vegas. The company said that Drai’s Dallas will offer a limited number of Founding Memberships that offer a suite of VIP benefits for the upcoming Drai’s Dallas and Drai’s Las Vegas, including priority reservations and special invite-only events.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of food, music, and culture,” Victor Drai said in a statement. “With Drai’s Dallas, I wanted to create a space where people could come together to enjoy all three in a way that’s never been done before.”

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