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Emerging Brands

Wingstop founder Antonio Swad has a new concept

Porch Swing offers “polished comfort food” and marks Swad’s return to the restaurant business.
Photograph courtesy of Porch Swing

Antonio Swad is back in the restaurant business. And he’s “come back swinging.”

The founder of Wingstop and Pizza Patron on Friday announced the creation of a new restaurant called Porch Swing.

The restaurant is located in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, Texas, and features a menu of classic Southern dishes such as grilled meatloaf, pork loin, shrimp, chicken fried steak and pie. The menu features “labor-intensive, slow-cooked” items that are “usually reserved for Sundays” because of the time required.

The restaurant also features a huge outdoor patio with double-sided porch swings and a sound system with a live music stage. There’s also an in-house pie shop called Pie Company that offers pies whole or by the slice.

“This concept revealed itself over time and in the end gelled together like no other,” Swad said in a statement. “It’s a blend of contemporary and classic Southern touches with a real social, comfortable, fun atmosphere. And it’s all about the soul foods we love and crave.”

Swad has a long history in the restaurant business, having started as a dishwasher when he was 15 . He went on to work for companies such as Ponderosa, Smuggler’s Inn and Village Inn. He also developed an appetite for creating concepts. He founded pizza chain Pizza Patron in 1986 and in 1994 created Wingstop in Garland, Texas.

Pizza Patron currently has 93 locations. Wingstop has nearly 1,300 and is publicly traded. He sold both chains when they neared the 100-unit mark.

In Porch Swing, Swad tackles polished casual. The location is open for lunch and dinner and seats 150 indoors and another 130 on the outdoor covered porch. The restaurant opened for business Feb. 18.

The restaurant features hot, homemade buttermilk cheddar biscuits and two kinds of honey, including a spicy honey. And it has a full bar with drinks such as the Frozen Jack ‘N Coke and Lemon Hooch with lemonade and moonshine.

“We’ve created a space where people can relax and enjoy good Southern food, spirits, pie and watch a game or enjoy live entertainment on the weekends,” Swad said.

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