Chef Kent Rathbun has closed his Preston Center restaurant, Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen, and plans to reconcept it with a re-opening in the fall. The restaurant was officially closed as of 3 pm on Sunday May 18; Rathbun broke the news via an announcement on the restaurant's Facebook page:
After four years of operations, Kent Rathbun Concepts has decided to close Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen at its current location and re-concept the space in the fall of 2014. 'We have thoroughly enjoyed satisfying our Blue Plate guests over the years and look forward to hosting them at our other restaurants in the market, Abacus, Jasper's or an event hosted by Kent Rathbun Catering,' said owner and chef Kent Rathbun. 'We are actively engaged in discussions on future locations, excited about the recently new menu innovations introduced at our existing restaurants, and continuing our broad community involvement of which we have been a participant over the last 14 years.'
Despite the similarity of its down-home menu to Rathbun's successful Jasper's mini-chain, with family-inspired recipes such as Dr Pepper rotisserie kitchen, Blue Plate Kitchen hasn't had an easy time of it in that space. It was one of the first nicer restaurants to blaze a trail in the now-prosperous Preston Center neighborhood. A new spring menu was introduced at the end of March, with nice-sounding salads such as the strawberry farm field green salad with candied Texas pecans, and the trendy quinoa-kale salad with walnuts and blueberry vinaigrette.