Dallas entrepreneur Ray Washburne has two passions: restaurants and real estate. The 49-year-old married father of three is a co-founder of MCrowd Restaurant Group, which is the creator of the bustling Dallas-area eateries Mi Cocina and Taco Diner, and the CEO of Charter Holdings, a real estate investment company. Garnering him the most attention was last year’s acquisition of the country’s oldest outdoor shopping complex, Highland Park Village, the tony town center for one of the wealthiest enclaves in Texas. Though it may be his crown jewel, Washburne says he’s “not done yet.” To stay motivated he keeps a regular rotation of inspiring designs—tear sheets, photographs, and souvenirs—taped to his office wall. “Stuff comes up and down on a daily basis,” he says. “I read more magazines than Sarah Palin.”

• I got this ruler when Park Cities Bank and Trust opened in 1968. I was eight. The bank closed in the late eighties, and now I own the building.

• I got this at the Rangers’ home-game opener last year.

• We’re rethinking many parts of the Village, and I’m studying Spanish Colonial architecture. This is just an idea for tile work.

• A good friend from Tyler found these thirties and forties pictures of Highland Park Village and gave them to me.

• I eat at a different restaurant every day. This is a menu from Burguesa Burger, a cool new concept that’s aimed at Hispanics.

• The garage door opener to one of our buildings.

• It wouldn’t be a Texas business deal without a gimme cap.

• Chris Ward, my partner at Mercury restaurant, was the runner-up to be the White House chef for Bush 43. We published this book together.

• I served many years as an adjunct professor at SMU, where I taught a class on entrepreneurial skills.


With event listings, sales information, and a helpful map that pinpoints store locations, hpvillage.com helps you plan visits to Highland Park Village.

Find the Burgeusa Burger story, menu, and locations at burguesa.com.

Watch videos, read student blogs, and learn about all things related to Southern Methodist University at smu.edu.

Texas Rangers merchandise, schedules, and tickets can be found at texas.rangers.mlb.com.