Dallas diners have a surprising new place to find chef Kent Rathbun: on the Katy Trail.
The acclaimed chef is holding court at a new concept called the Katy Trail Station, located in an offbeat segment on the northern edge of of the popular jogging/bicycling path. The address is 4825 Cole Ave., at Monticello, right at the 122 KT mark and a few feet south of Javier’s.
The restaurant is an unusual partnership between Rathbun and Prescott Realty Group, who wanted to bring something new for neighbors and visitors of the Katy Trail. Rathbun describes it as "a place for people to take a little break from their run or walk."
It'll open softly on October 28.
It consists of a 300-foot trailer tacked onto the back of a parking garage (owned by Prescott Realty), plus an expansive umbrella-covered patio with seating for about 30.
They'll serve breakfast and lunch, with a menu that includes:
- breakfast tacos with choices from cheese, potatoes, sausage, brisket, and pork
- pastries and biscuit sandwiches
- fruits and parfaits
- Lavazza coffee, including cold brew and nitro
- Wagyu beef burgers
- cilantro jalapeño grilled chicken sandwiches
- pulled pork sandwiches
- barbecued brisket
- pecan smoked pork ribs
- sides and salads
Beverages will incorporate a variety of sports drinks and flavored waters and sodas for those running and walking on the trail.
Initially, they'll be open weekends only from 11 am-4 pm, but plan to open daily from 7 am to late dinner, with an extension of the lunch menu as well as grilled steaks and seafood items. They also hope to offer catering to area businesses, and host catered parties on a soon-to-be-built deck.
Prescott Realty, which has a track record of doing interesting urban projects such as SMU Boulevard and University Crossing., owns the building at 3100 Monticello Ave. and saw a gap to be filled, says Prescott CEO Jud Pankey who approached the award-winning Rathbun about the concept.
"We looked up and saw Katy Trail and Glencoe Park across 75, but no place for breakfast, lunch, or coffee," he says. "Two Sisters Catering had shut down, and other restaurants in the area like Javier's and Chelsea Corner weren't open."
"We wanted to figure out something that would be good for building tenants and neighbors, and also for people using Katy Trail," he says. "The garage that comes with the building backs right up to the Katy Trail, so we turned it into a platform for Kent’s trailer."
Rathbun already co-owns Shinsei, Lovers Seafood & Market, and the recently-opened Dea along with his wife Tracy and partner Lynae Fearing. During the pandemic, he launched Catering by Chef Kent Rathbun and his Curbside BBQ venture, which surfaces at the Lovers Seafood parking lot at weekends. He's also set up his trailer at 4825 Cole monthly during the summer to do a test run. A portion of the current BBQ menu will be included at the Katy Trail Station.
The restaurant is part of a pilot program Pankey forged with the Dallas City Council and the Park Board to build a deck that would lead into the park. They'll donate a percentage of sales to the Friends of Katy Trail and the White Rock Conservancy.
“We're grateful to council members Paul Ridley and Paula Blackmon for their help," Pankey says. "Anybody that operates this has got to be able to give money back to the park. We could do it at other parks and generate lot of revenue."
"It's been a labor of love but I also want to be able to go down there and get a breakfast taco and a coffee," he says.