Category Archives: News

This Company Is Rolling Out Covid Test Vending Machines In Airports, Hotels, Subways And More


FORBES EDITORS’ PICK
|Feb 1, 2021 @ 09:14am EST – Suzanne Rowan Kelleher Forbes Staff

You can now buy a Covid-19 test just like you would a can of Coke or a bag of M&M’s. | WELLNESS 4 HUMANITY

You can now buy a Covid-19 test at Oakland International Airport just like you would a can of Coke or a bag of M&M’s. For less than a week, black-and-white vending machines in each of the airport’s terminals have been dispensing RT-PCR saliva tests that have been approved under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

For travelers, this is good timing. Right now, airline passengers are not required to show a negative Covid-19 test before boarding a domestic flight, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is apparently considering it. “We are actively looking at it,” said Martin Cetron, director of the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, on a call with reporters last week.

Wellness 4 Humanity, the company behind the DIY-test vending machines, is currently in discussions with other major airports across the country, including at Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania. The company also has partnerships with Marriott, IHG Hotels & Resorts and a slew of other organizations, including professional sports teams like the Atlanta Hawks.

Like many U.S. airports, Oakland airport has been offering curbside testing for several months. “We realized that travelers are going through a tough time right now, especially as we all navigate this COVID pandemic,” an Oakland airport spokesman told the Los Angeles Times. “We wanted to give travelers another option for testing.”

For Wellness 4 Humanity, the goal is to roll out 1,000 of its “automated stores,” also known as vending machines, throughout the U.S. in the coming months. Future locations will include subway stations, entertainment venues and more hotels and airports, as well as college campuses, grocery stores, and shopping malls.

“These vending machines are a significant milestone in helping to provide Americans with easier access to fast, highly accurate Covid-19 testing,” said Lian Nguyen Pham, CEO and co-founder of Wellness 4 Humanity. “We’ve seen similar vending machines placed in highly populated, highly trafficked areas of Hong Kong and the United Kingdom to help contain the spread of the virus and, given the surge in cases the U.S. is currently experiencing, we hope to roll out our vending machines as soon as possible.”

Wellness 4 Humanity’s vending machines make the tests available through contactless purchase and payment on a mobile device.

As of now, the vending machines sell only a saliva RT-PCR test kit, which requires sending your sample to a partner lab using a prepaid FedEx shipping label. Customers receive their results within 48 hours with 99% accuracy. Results are sent to customers via the TRUSTPASS app. The saliva test sells for about $150.

At a later date, a slightly cheaper rapid antigen test kit will also be available. The antigen test sells for about $120 and provides results in just 15 minutes, with no shipping, lab work or app download required. Wellness 4 Humanity says this test has 97.4% accuracy and 100% specificity, meaning false negatives are unlikely.

The testing kit vending machines were developed in partnership with San Francisco-based Swyft, Inc., a software and technology services company that works with retailers and brands. Swyft had previously partnered with New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority to place PPE-dispensing vending machines in 10 subway stations throughout the city. Other major clients include CVS Pharmacy, 7-Eleven, and Best Buy.

Wellness 4 Humanity says travelers can soon expect to see these vending machines popping up in major cities across the U.S., from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Boston and Dallas.

Starting this week, for example, New York City residents and visitors will be able to buy Covid tests out of two vending machines at a brick-and-mortar Wellness 4 Humanity location in at 225 West 34th Street in midtown Manhattan, just a block from Penn Station.

If your local airport, train station or hotel wants a vending machine, $15,000 buys a six-month lease, including delivery, set up, software integration, and full stocking of the vending machine with the test kits.

But be prepared to take a number, though. According to Wellness 4 Humanity’s website, the vending machines are currently sold out.

Cafe Momentum Built a Restaurant to Revolutionize Juvenile Justice in Dallas. Now, It’s Going National.

The Dallas-based nonprofit is looking to expand to cities across the country with smoked fried chicken and a suite of social services for systems-involved youth

by Amy McCarthy  Nov 9, 2020, 11:30am CST – EATER DALLAS

Chef Chad Houser chats with a Cafe Momentum intern  | Cafe Momentum [Official Photo]

Nearly six years after opening its brick-and-mortar restaurant, Cafe Momentum is, improbably, back where it started: doing pop-up dinners. The organization, which employs young people who have been incarcerated by the juvenile justice system to run a fine dining restaurant, got its start hosting local pop-ups at venues across the city before landing in its own home in Downtown Dallas in 2015.

Founded by chef Chad Houser, who got the idea for Cafe Momentum after working alongside incarcerated youth at an ice cream fundraiser in 2011, the organization has demonstrated a proven model for both running a restaurant and positively impacting the lives of systems-involved youth, or young people who have been involved with the juvenile justice or child welfare systems. Since its first pop-up dinners in 2011, the organization has seen its interns beat the odds that are thoroughly stacked against them.

Cafe Momentum, even in its most rudimentary format, has never been just a restaurant. Originally started to provide a path to economic independence and job training for formerly incarcerated youth, the organization now offers a host of social services and other resources for the young people that it employs. It helps its workers apply for assistance, find public transportation, and, in many cases, provide for their families. In 2019, Cafe Momentum even launched its own high school after recognizing that the young people it served were struggling to find a place in the public school system. This year alone, even during the pandemic, the school has graduated more than a dozen students.

Now, despite COVID-19, Cafe Momentum is planning to go national. The plan is to bring its acclaimed internship program, which provides paying jobs to systems-involved youth and a host of social services, while teaching them to work in the service industry. During their 12-month stint at Cafe Momentum, interns rotate through virtually every job in a restaurant, from dishwasher to cook to front-of-house staffer. Compared to the broader population of formerly incarcerated youth, the 1,000 or so young people who’ve passed through Cafe Momentum’s doors over the past nine years are dramatically less likely to end up in the system again.

To this end, Houser spent almost all of 2019 traveling to introduce the country to the Cafe Momentum model. After teaming up with the National Football League, the organization hosted dinners in Nashville ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft, working with systems-involved youth there to showcase how much of a difference the organization can make in just a few days of work with young people. “We had the opportunity to showcase the public-facing component of our model,” Houser says. “People walk in and have one of the best meals of their entire lives, and it changes them.”

Cafe Momentum staffers pose with NFL players at a pop-up dinner hosted at the 2019 Super Bowl. | Cafe Momentum [Official Photo]

Later, Houser brought Cafe Momentum interns to Miami to cook at events surrounding Super Bowl LIV. The dinners are a Trojan horse of sorts, using delicious dishes like smoked fried chicken and coffee-rubbed strip steak to make philanthropists, policymakers, and potential donors care about the futures of the program’s participants.

“It’s been a great reminder of who we are, what we stand for, and why we’re here,” Houser says. “It reminds me of the very first pop-up we did in 2011, when everyone was just awestruck at what these kids could do. Seeing that same reaction across the country has been amazing, and invigorating.”

To bring its unique approach to both operating a restaurant and juvenile justice reform nationwide, Cafe Momentum has teamed up with the Stand Together Foundation. Established by Charles Koch in 2003, the organization functions as a funding and expertise network for nonprofits like Cafe Momentum, which focus on what executive director Evan Feinberg calls a “bottom-up” approach to center the autonomy of those who are experiencing poverty, homelessness, or incarceration.

“Most well-intentioned people out there that are administering programs like this have the wrong mental model about people who they’re trying to serve,” Feinberg says. “They have the wrong opinion of people who are experiencing poverty or have been affiliated with the criminal justice system. Their belief is that individuals are broken, they’re deficient, they’re in need of expert help from someone on the outside. Cafe Momentum doesn’t work that way.”

And amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shuttered or stymied most of the country’s restaurants, Cafe Momentum has charged forward with its plans to bring its proven model to cities across the country. “This work was crucial to begin with because of the dysfunctional way that juvenile justice works all over the country,” Houser says. “But coming through a global pandemic that is disproportionately impacting communities of color, that makes our push to expand that much more important.”

The young people that Cafe Momentum employs are, often, forgotten and failed by the institutions that are intended to serve them. They’re children who have been incarcerated, experienced extreme poverty, and are likely behind several years in school.

“The system officially calls these kids throwaways, and insists that the only option is to lock them up over and over again,” Feinberg says. “What’s so different about Cafe Momentum is this deep belief in the people they serve. They’re trusted to run one of the best restaurants in Dallas, and they’re able to take great pride in that incredible accomplishment. The problem is that there are so few programs across the country that take that approach.”

Cafe Momentum founder Chad Houser |  Cafe Momentum [Official Photo]

Like the original Cafe Momentum, future outposts of the restaurant will offer the same suite of services, ranging from anger management training to financial literacy education and career advice, to teens in new cities. The organization will bring its near-decade of experience partnering with systems-involved youth, its deep understanding of what works best for them on a human level, and its restaurant operations training method for young people who don’t have a typical culinary background.

To bring those practices to life in new cities, Houser and his team will work with local chefs and community organizations to improve the lives of systems-involved youth. The organization will share its wealth of knowledge, best practices, and systems with people interested in starting their own restaurants like Cafe Momentum, while the Stand Together Foundation will help these fledgling restaurants secure funding and build relationships with donors in their communities.

It’s not clear exactly what these new Cafe Momentum restaurants will look like. Maybe they’ll have slightly different names, or serve a cuisine that is a better fit for their city than what works in Dallas. But what will remain the same is Cafe Momentum’s commitment to proving that these young people are just as capable of turning out high-quality food and exceptional service as any other worker in the restaurant industry.

“We’re flexible enough, but one of the defining characteristics of Cafe Momentum, and one of the things we’re not willing to compromise on, is that the people we work with can and will rise to whatever expectation is set for them,” Houser says.

For now, Houser isn’t quite ready to say where the next Cafe Momentum will be, but he’s got big plans for the future, some of which are already in the works. The organization recently launched some virtual programming for young people in Nashville, and “active talks” are underway to bring the restaurant to multiple cities across the country in the coming months.

“Our goal is to change the narrative,” Houser says. “We want to rebuild the conversation about what juvenile justice should look like, and what kinds of opportunities these young men and women deserve.”

Walk On’s Sports Bistreaux Now Open at Grandcape in The Colony

Congrats to Walk On’s Sports Bistreaux on the opening of their newest location in The Colony!

Walk On’s 39th location is now open!

GRANDSCAPE – THE COLONY
5774 Grandscape Boulevard
The Colony, TX 75056



about Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux:

Based in Baton Rouge, La., Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux was founded by Brandon Landry, a former walk-on basketball player at Louisiana State University and is co-owned by New Orleans Saints superstar Drew Brees. Leaning on the true spirit of a walk-on and building a winning culture, the brand is rapidly expanding across the United States with 39 locations currently open and operating and over 150 in development. Its Louisiana-inspired menu combines food and drinks made from scratch, daily. Walk-On’s All-American team serves up a game day experience in a fun, welcoming family-friendly atmosphere that ensures every guest is a winner.

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux’s diverse menu continues offer unique twists on game day staples – such as the Smoked Gouda Turkey Burger, Boom Boom Shrimp PoBoy, and Cajundillas, in addition to upscale takes on Louisiana mainstays – such as Crawfish Two Ways, Mardi Gras Mahi, and Duck and Andouille Gumbo. Its innovative menu provides vast and flavorful dishes for every guest.

Other locations:

Alabama (3) // Arkansas (2) // Florida (2 + 5 coming soon) // Louisiana (18) // Mississippi (1) // North Carolina (1) // South Carolina (1) // Texas (11 + 6 coming soon)


For more information please contact:
Tucker Szybala
​​(972) 404-7002 [direct]tucker@falconcompanies.com

Keeping Projects Rolling…

Watch and listen HERE as Artemio De La Vega of De La Vega Development, Tim Hughes of Falcon Realty Advisors, and Don Powell of BOKA Powell discuss moving forward with project development in this Bisnow webinar covering the following topics:

1. The latest news on De La Vega Development’s three major DFW projects.

2. How to manage development timelines, costs and expectations during times of economic uncertainty.

3. The challenges and opportunities for developers in the coming years.

4. How changing commodities prices will impact development timelines.

5. De La Vega’s insights into meeting the expectations of end-users in today’s environment.

6. How mixed-use projects can incorporate new designs and concepts in response to the coronavirus crisis.

#theleaningtowerofdallas #thecentral #dallas #development #bisnow #webinar #commercialrealestate

Introducing Dr. Sammy Tyser

Introducing Dr. Sammy Tyser! Randy DeWitt tells us a little bit about what Front Burner Restaurants has done to go above and beyond in meeting & exceeding expectations for cleanliness and safety for staff and customers alike at their restaurant locations.

Watch the full forward-thinking discussion with Randy DeWitt and Lane Cardwell here: https://youtu.be/HjKhRVHGZvs

Learn more about the Front Burner Restaurants family of brands:
• https://www.frontburnergroupdining.com/

#restaurants #restaurantbusiness #restaurantindustry #lookingforward

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux Now Open in Texarkana!

Congrats to Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux on the opening of their newest location in Texarkana!

Walk On’s 35th location is now open:

WALK-ON’S – TEXARKANA
5209 W Park Boulevard
Texarkana, TX 75503
(903) 716-6203



about Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux:

Based in Baton Rouge, La., Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux was founded in 2003 by Brandon Landry, a former walk-on basketball player at Louisiana State University. Leaning on the true spirit of a walk-on and building a winning culture, the brand is rapidly expanding across the United States with 35 locations currently open and operating and over 150 in development. Its Louisiana-inspired menu combines food and drinks made from scratch, daily. Walk-On’s All-American team serves up a game day experience in a fun, welcoming family-friendly atmosphere that ensures every guest is a winner.

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux’s diverse menu continues offer unique twists on game day staples – such as the Smoked Gouda Turkey Burger, Boom Boom Shrimp PoBoy, and Cajundillas, in addition to upscale takes on Louisiana mainstays – such as Crawfish Two Ways, Mardi Gras Mahi, and Duck and Andouille Gumbo. Its innovative menu provides vast and flavorful dishes for every guest.

Other locations:

Alabama (3) // Arkansas (1 + 1 coming soon) // Florida (2 + 4 coming soon) // Louisiana (18) // Mississippi (1) // North Carolina (1) // South Carolina (1 coming soon) // Texas (9 + 8 coming soon)


For more information please contact:
Tucker Szybala
​​(972) 404-7002 [direct]tucker@falconcompanies.com

Red Circle Ice Cream Now Open in Pearland, TX!

Congrats to Red Circle Ice Cream on the opening of their newest location in Pearland!

Red Circle Ice Cream is now open at their newest location:

RED CIRCLE – PEARLAND
8201 Broadway St, Suite 131
Pearland, Texas 77581



about Red Circle Ice Cream:

Red Circle Ice Cream first humbly opened its doors in August of 2017, in Houston, Texas. The name sounds simple, but there is actually a deeper meaning. In the Asian culture, the color red signifies good luck, good fortune. A circle represents a sense of continuity and infinity. When you combine both aspects, what our name really gives you is “continuous luck and fortune”. 

 

Eat Ice Cream. Live Happy. This is our motto.  We feel there’s nothing that brings more people together and is more universally enjoyed than ice cream! Located in the heart of The International District, our goal is to create delicious and memorable desserts in a fun, modern, diverse, and family-oriented atmosphere for people of all cultures to come and experience!

As Red Circle Ice Cream continues to grow in popularity, our team is committed to maintaining a positive environment where fans can come with their friends and family to enjoy our unique desserts!

Other locations:

6838 Ranchester Dr, Houston, TX 77036


For more information please contact:
Sean Lockovich
​​(972) 866-4998 direct
seanl@falconcompanies.com

New York ICSC 2019

New York ICSC 2019

The Falcon team is out enjoying another successful New York #ICSC show! 

The Biscuit Bar opens their 3rd DFW location!

Congrats to The Biscuit Bar on the opening of their 3rd DFW location in Deep Ellum at The Epic!

The Biscuit Bar is now open at their newest location in DFW:

THE EPIC – DEEP ELLUM
2550 Pacific Ave, Ste 150, Dallas, TX

This is their 3rd location in the DFW area with more coming soon!



about The Biscuit Bar:

The Biscuit Bar is an approachable, fast casual restaurant serving up Southern goodness on a biscuit! We are open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late nights offering biscuits, tots and taps. Our menu features an assortment of savory and sweet biscuit sandwiches made from scratch, in house, daily. Guests can also accompany their biscuit sandwich with tots styled to personal taste and tipple on a craft cocktail, locally sourced brew, cold brew coffee or kombucha, all offered on tap!

Other locations:

The Boardwalk at Granite Park: 5880 TX-121, Ste 102B, Plano, TX
SMU / University Park: 6501 Hillcrest Ave, Dallas, TX


For more information please contact:

Jacquie Stone​
​​(972) 449-0516 direct
​jstone@falconcompanies.com

Now Open! First Watch Has 5 New DFW Locations

Congrats to FIRST WATCH on the opening of FIVE new DFW area locations!

new locations now open at:

• Lake Highlands @ Walnut Hill & Skillman
• Medallion @ Northwest Hwy & Abrams
• McKinney South @ Custer & Eldorado
• McKinney West @ Hwy 380 & Hardin
• Glade Road @ 1230 Red River Dr



about First Watch:

First Watch is the largest and fastest-growing daytime-only restaurant concept in the U.S. with more than 350 restaurants in 28 states specializing in award-winning, made-to-order Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch.

A recipient of more than 200 “Best Breakfast” and “Best Brunch” accolades, First Watch offers traditional favorites, such as omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and salads, and unique specialty items like Quinoa Power Bowls, Avocado Toast and the Chickichanga.


For more information please contact:
Jacquie Stone​Michael Walters
​​(972) 449-0516 direct
​jstone@falconcompanies.com
​(214) 206-4063 direct ​
mwalters@falconcompanies.com

HOTWORX Now Open on McKinney Avenue in Dallas, TX!

Congratulations to HOTWORX on the opening of their 13th DFW area location!
HOTWORX – Uptown: 2808 McKinney Ave, Suite 109 – Dallas, TX

For more information, please reach out to Sean Lockovich:
• (972) 866‑4998


about HOTWORX:

HOTWORX is a virtually instructed exercise program created for users to experience the many benefits of infrared heat absorption, while completing a 30-minute isometric workout or 15-min High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session. As the infrared heat penetrates your body causing you to sweat, the isometric postures further accelerate detoxification by physically removing the toxins from your organs through muscle contraction. The results our users achieve make HOTWORX one of the most efficient 30-minute workout programs in the fitness and beauty industry today! 

Middle Market Digest: This Week in the South and Mountain Regions (GlobeSt.com)

Falcon Realty Advisors recently helped Halcyon Dallas secure a five-year, 3,600-square foot lease for its first expansion into DFW. Check it out under news & notables in GlobeSt’s Middle Market Digest.

Click here to read more.

MRM News Bites: #BookResponsibly PSA, Achievements in Catering and More Impossible (Modern Restaurant Management)

Before you head out for the weekend, catch up on Modern Restaurant Management’s news bites! Falcon Realty Advisors & Halcyon Coffee Bar + Lounge are featured for the restaurant’s exciting opening.

Click here to read more.

Halcyon Opens Greenville Location in Dallas as Mueller Location in Austin is Built (Bisnow)

Check out Falcon Realty Advisors’ Michael Walters in Bisnow for working with Madison Partners’ Jon Hetzel to negotiate the deal that brought Halcyon Coffee Bar + Lounge to lower Greenville.

Click here to read more.

Halcyon Coffee Bar + Lounge Expands to Dallas (Restaurant Magazine)

With the help of Falcon Realty Advisors,​ ​Halcyon Coffee Bar + Lounge has opened its first Dallas location​! Check out Restaurant Magazine’s feature on the coffee and cocktail bar successfully breaking into new territory.

Click here to read more.

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