John Tesar will close Spoon Bar & Kitchen, his Preston Center fine-dining seafood restaurant, on December 31. The chef says he has amicably parted ways with his partners at Chanticleer Holdings Inc., the owner-operator of Hooters restaurants, which acquired Spoon a year ago.
Chanticleer envisioned a plan to work with Tesar on creating a fast-casual seafood concept. But Tesar says that plan shifted.
"We're not calling it a day," Tesar says. "I think there's a place for a good seafood restaurant, and we'll find another location for it."
"I have a lot of things going on in 2015, including the opening of Fork, an Italian restaurant, in the spring," he says. "Chanticleer is going in one direction, with things like Just Fresh, a hamburger concept. When they bought Spoon and where they are today is two different places."
Tesar opened Spoon in November 2012, in the style of Le Bernardin in New York. It earned rave reviews and a following, but its profile has receded since the 2014 opening of Knife, Tesar's steakhouse at The Highlands Dallas hotel.
Its closure marks the second wipeout of a seafood-centric restaurant since the November closure of Driftwood in Oak Cliff, raising the age-old question of whether steak-happy Dallas-Fort Worth can ever really sustain a long-term respect for fish, although Dallas Fish Market in downtown Dallas still prevails.
There's also the location: Preston Center is a mixed bag as far as restaurants go, with casual places like Hopdoddy doing better than a chef-driven restaurants like Spoon or Kent Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen, which closed in May.
"Spoon does really well three to four days a week, but that's always been a strange location," Tesar says. "But we're not calling it a day. I think there's a place for a good seafood restaurant, and we'll find another location for it."