FIRST LOOK: Hugo’s Lost Colony brings jungle-like setting to Highland Village

bar dining room
Hugo's Lost Colony in Highland Village is set to open Nov.15. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)

Hugo's Lost Colony in Highland Village is set to open Nov.15. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)

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The restaurant has an outdoor patio called the Back Porch. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Garden dining area offers more natural lighting in an intimate space. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Lodge dining area features a fireplace and jaguar mural. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Hugo Miranda, the restaurant's namesake, has been in the restaurant business since 1997. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The indoor bar, Bar Tulum, offers a variety of specialty margaritas with fresh fruit purees. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The outdoor bar, No Embargo, is an adults-only patio section. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Hugo's Lost Colony is located at 2420 Justin Road, Highland Village. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The restaurant is decorated to emulate the beaches and jungles of Riviera Maya. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Canopy is the largest dining room, featuring a large palm tree in the center. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The dinner menu includes a variety of fajitas, including skirt steak. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Hugo's menu includes several enchilada options, including chipotle shrimp enchiladas. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Dessert options at Hugo's include churros with vanilla ice cream and dulce de leche sauce. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
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More intimate seating areas are featured around the HIghland Village restaurant. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Upon entry to Hugo's Lost Colony, guests will see jungle-themed decor. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hugo’s Lost Colony offers a dining experience that goes beyond its menu of authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, inviting guests to discover its many unique spaces indoors and out.

The restaurant, with a jungle-like atmosphere, is set to open Nov. 15 in Highland Village.

“We can’t wait,” co-founder and managing partner Hugo Miranda said. “When you see something that you’ve been building for a while and now it’s alive, it’s a great excitement. You get the chills.”

The team behind the restaurant spent about 10 months planning, designing and constructing all the different spaces inside what used to be Fresco’s Mexicana on Justin Road.

Director of Brands Matt Whiteley said the outpouring of support and anticipation from the community in Highland Village and Flower Mound was something the team never expected.


“Everyone has been super, super supportive and helpful, and we’re grateful to get to be a part of the community,” Whiteley said. “We're as anxious as everyone else is for us to open.”

As the namesake behind Hugo’s Lost Colony, Miranda has worked in the restaurant business since moving from Mexico in 1997. He said he started out as a busser and thought it would just be a temporary job through high school. Nearly 25 years later, he’s still working in the restaurant industry.

“I just love being around people, seeing people smiling and just being a great host,” Miranda said. “ Mexicans, we’re well-known for throwing great parties, and that’s what I get to do every day.”

The restaurant’s design is the work of co-founder and owner Mark Hulme, who wanted to recreate the vibe in the Riviera Maya area along the coast of Mexico, Miranda said.

“His inspiration was Tulum, a town in Mexico where everything is very green and jungle-ish,” Miranda said. “We wanted people to feel like they’re eating outside while they’re inside–like they’re in the jungle.”

Early concepts for the restaurant began before the space was purchased. A small design team expanded the idea once they knew what the building would look like.

It also took some time to source all of the materials and decorations, Whiteley said, with the pandemic playing a factor in shipping and construction delays.

Hugo’s Lost Colony has three indoor dining rooms, each with different themes. The main room is called The Canopy, where guests dine under a ceiling covered in plants, vines and light fixtures designed to look like bushes.

Guests can also dine in The Lodge, a room that features a fireplace and a jaguar mural.

And there is The Garden, a slightly more intimate space with more natural lighting.

The restaurant includes an indoor bar, Bar Tulum, an adults-only patio and bar outside called No Embargo, and an open patio area called Back Porch.

Whiteley said guests are able to choose any dining area they would like upon entry, as long as space permits. Guests are also encouraged to explore the other areas of the restaurant while waiting for food or drinks.

The menu itself was created by Executive Chef Natalio Charles, and it combines Tex-Mex food with more traditional authentic Mexican cuisine. The menu for lunch and dinner features just a few main options—starters such as nachos and fried calamari, salads and bowls, enchiladas and fajitas. Whiteley said the shorter menu is intentional.

“We don't want you getting lost in the menu,” Whiteley said. “We want you getting lost in the space and your conversations. Ordering should be easy.”

Hugo’s Lost Colony will be open on weekends for brunch, with a variety of Tex-Mex favorites, such as huevos rancheros and a bacon sampler plate. It will be open daily for lunch and dinner. Many of the dishes feature vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free options.

Whiteley said this is only the first phase for the restaurant. Phase 2, which the team hopes to have open in the spring, will expand the outdoor area with a larger stage for live music and more covered seating, and offer new experiences such as tequila tastings.

Hugo’s Lost Colony is located at 2420 Justin Road, Highland Village. For more information visit www.hugoslostcolony.com or call 469-293-0015.

Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sat. 10 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Brunch is served on weekends only from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.


By Samantha Van Dyke
Samantha Van Dyke is Community Impact's DFW Metro Reporter. She previously served as managing editor of The Arkansas Traveler.


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