UPDATE: A spokesperson for the Ellmans released a statement as follows: "A well-known bar/restaurant owner and operator will be taking over Belly & Trumpet and creating a new concept for the space. They will be reaching out with more details as they become available."
UPDATE: Co-owner Tiffanee Ellman said that she and husband co-owner Richard will be "reconcepting," meaning that they'll re-open something, and it will be in the same location. "Details to follow!" she said.
Uptown Dallas restaurant Belly & Trumpet shut down abruptly over Labor Day weekend, as confirmed by a staffer at sister restaurant Oak.
"Unfortunately, Belly & Trumpet's last night was Saturday," said the staffer, who did not know he was talking to a reporter (so no 50 lashes with a wet noodle for him).
Belly & Trumpet opened in February 2013, as a replacement for the short-lived hot dog joint The Bowery. Situated in a rambling house, the restaurant was given a makeover with some trippy decor that included magenta walls, lacquered black furniture and white crown molding.
The chef situation was always fractured. The original menu was created by Tastemaker Award winner Brian Zenner while he was still chef de cuisine at Oak. He was eventually appointed full-time chef at Belly & Trumpet, although his real desire was to stay at Oak.
Belly & Trumpet got positive reviews for its fresh seafood and inventive spirit, with new items folded in regularly. But Uptown didn't seem to know what to do with a fine-dining spot — even one as laid back as B&T.
It didn't matter; Zenner got his wish fulfilled in June 2014 when he was promoted to chef at Oak after the resignation of chef Richard Gras. At that point, Zenner took on the task of overseeing both restaurants, but the clock seemed to be ticking for B&T.
Owners Tiffanee and Richard Ellman were not available for comment, but the likelihood of their opening another concept in McKinney space seems unlikely. According to a bystander, employees could be seen removing objects from the restaurant late on the night of August 31.