La Bodega is one of Bishop Arts’ newest businesses.
“I always knew I wanted it to be small,” owner Skye McDaniel said. “I always knew I wanted it to be in Oak Cliff because I grew up here.”
The bright, colorful space is the realization of McDaniel’s decadelong dream to open her own business. The simple menu includes organic rotisserie chicken, salads and sandwiches.
“I want the menu to be delicious,” McDaniel said. “It’s food for everyone and it’s healthy and good.”
For McDaniel, it took something bad to make the leap to good.
“2020 was just a really scary year for all of us,” McDaniel said. “How should you come out on the other side of this? Like, you shouldn’t be the same person.”
McDaniel was working at a Deep Ellum coffee shop when the pandemic hit and she was without a job. She had a little success day trading, which reframed her thinking about risk and reward.
“So for me, that space is what pushed me to do this because I had time to evaluate how important it was, whether or not I should take a risk,” McDaniel said she started thinking during her pandemic downtime. “Like a do-over. If I wanted to go back in, what would it look like? And of course, it would look like working for myself.”
McDaniel took some lessons from the pandemic. Her business is grab-and-go to limit pandemic risk of being closed if there was another shutdown.
La Bodega’s business hours are unconventional, too; closed Friday and Saturday.
“They’re funky, yeah,” McDaniel said. “Because this is my neighborhood and my community. I didn’t make it for weekenders.”
McDaniel hopes her brand of healthy comfort food makes those neighbors/customers feel what was put into it.
“I want them to notice how much love and care has been put into it,” McDaniel said.
La Bodega is located at 208 West 8th Street in Dallas.