Sunday, December 30, 2007

Deep in the Heart of Phil Romano's Dallas Mansion

SELLER: Phil Romano
LOCATION: Strait Lane, Dallas, TX
PRICE: $17,500,000
SIZE: 14,748 square feet, 8 bedrooms, 7 full and 4 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: This spectacular contemporary estate is situated on exclusive Strait Lane on a 4.697-acre gated estate with breathtaking views of a private lake with fountains and waterfalls flowing down to a creek, a jogging trail, tennis court, resort-like pool, and scenic grounds. Additional features: Guest Quarters, Handicap Amenities, Lake Front Lot, Library/Study, Media Room.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Alright children, Your Mama is going to bring y'all one more house of scratch out your eyes upsetting interior decor before we begin the New Year. Now puppies, this one is a doozy, so hurry and gitchyer nerve medication or your big bottle of booze or whatever else will prop you up as we wade through this decorating disaster deep in the heart of Texas.

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and trust Your Mama children, it is. We have been there, done that and seen just how big it can really be. And real estate is no exception to this old adage about the Lone Star State. This Texas-sized contemporary mansion occupies nearly five acres on Strait Lane in a swanky section of Dallas and belongs to Phil Romano, a well known restaurateur who mints money creating and developing mid-priced concept and themed restaurant chains including Fuddruckers, eatZi's (now nearly defunct), and Romano's Macaroni Grill.

According to public records, Mister Romano purchased the 4.7 acre property in February of 2000 for $4,535,300. Records provided to Your Mama by Texas's own Billy Blabbermouth indicate the current residence was built in 2001 and measures a Texas sized 14,748 square feet. Listing information for the property reveals a few other big numbers associated with the house: 8 bedrooms, 7 full and 4 half bathrooms (which adds up to enough damn terlits to require a part time gurl just to scrub all the bowls), 5 fireplaces, a 4 car garage, and a tremendous temperature controlled wine cellar large enough to satisfy any well to do winos oenophilic needs.

Accessed down a long and purdy tree lined driveway that terminates in a large circular motor court, the copper roofed Romano residence overlooks a small man made lake complete with the sort of fountain that only very rich people install in their back yard lakes. The estate features a tennis court at the front of the property, a large swimming pool complex with cabana, and a 1,204 square foot detached building that property records indicate are staff quarters. For all those amenities, property records reveal that the new owners can expect a staggering $180,000+ bill from the tax man each year.

Now children, Your Mama has looked hard at the photos of the interiors of this house. In fact, we have looked really damn HARD. We have tried and we have endeavored, but alas and with all do respect to the Romanos, we simply have nothing nice to say about what we see. Not. One. Thing.

It appears to Your Mama that the Romano's rather unwisely and unfortunately hired whichever person or company that is responsible for the interiors of Fuddruckers or one of the other money making chain restaurants Mister Romano created. And therein lies the crux of the interior decorating issues. Quite simply, a $17,500,000 home should never look like a mid-priced themed restaurant in some middle brow mall in Peoria, or Tallahassee or Dallas. Ever.

The "decorator" must have finagled some kid of steep discount on leather furniture and those alabaster bowl chandelier things. Your Mama is so troubled by all the leather seating groups and seeing that same fixture in just about every damn room that we are nearly speechless. Who does that? Who? Okay, so people who don't have the financial wherewithal to hire a high priced decorator might do it if the fixture is on sale at Home Despot, but it's just criminal for someone of Mister Romano's financial stature to allow this to have been down in his multi-million dollar home.

Your Mama does not even know how to begin to make sense of the kitchen with that horrific abstract pattern painted on the wood ceiling. What's left to say about his room except that Your Mama fully expected to see a overweight family of o-beasts in matching sweat suits chowing down on one-pound bacon cheddar burgers, milkshakes and a few baskets of chili cheese fries.

Up in the Master bedroom we are concerned about the wrath of PETA and we are perplexed and puzzled by that yellow lighted strip thing mid-way up the wall. A large and well equipped dressing room and closet is dee-voon of course. But a giant two floor dressing room fitted out with (more) leather furniture, another alabaster bowl chandelier thing looing like a not very elegant haberdashery in Milan, not so much.

Even with the help a big fat sleeping pill, Your Mama could never get a moments rest in a house like this. However Mister Romano and his family sleep well on Strait Lane secure in the knowledge their neighbors possess similar sized bank accounts including billionaire Kenny Troutt (Excel Communications), former loud-mouthed billionaire politico Ross Perot, and Ralph and Cathy Oats, who made boo-coo bucks selling water filters and Ephedra based weight loss supplements and currently live in a house that looks like a scaled down model of the damn White House. Now that's klassy.

Your Mama is not too familiar with the luxury real estate market in Dallas so we haven't any clue if $17,500,000 is a decent price for this house or not. Perhaps all your Texas real estate freaks can weigh in on that. In the meantime, Your Mama wishes Mister Romano and family a Happy New Year and we sincerely hope they make their New Year's resolution not to hire a restaurant designer to do up their next mansion.

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