A new "backyard" restaurant is debuting in Sunnyvale in a vintage building revered by the locals. Called Kearney's Feed Yard, it will open in the former Kearney's space at 3602 N. Belt Line Rd., and is coming from two familiar players in the restaurant world.
The concept is from Joe Duncan, founder of Baker's Ribs, in partnership with chef James Rose, a veteran chef who also owns The Hall Bar & Grill, the steakhouse at Trinity Groves.
According to Rose, Kearney's will be a restaurant and outdoor venue specializing in "backyard gourmet dining," with live music and laid-back vibes, and will open in mid-August.
Restaurants with big outdoor areas a la The Rustic in Uptown Dallas have become a major trend. It'll be the first of its kind in Sunnyvale, for sure.
"There's also not a whole lot of restaurants in Sunnyvale either, at least that aren't chains," Rose says.
The menu will incorporate some of the dishes for which Rose has become known.
"We'll have good steaks, good seafood, and pizza from a wood-burning oven, and we'll have hand-cut fries and onion rings we make in-house," he says. "We'll have what I'd call a 'comfortable' bar program — not too hard-core craft, but with good-quality drinks and with a generous 'big pour' approach."
Steaks will be aged a minimum of 28 days. Beer will include about a dozen local drafts on tap, with another "draft box" with more taps outside by the stage.
"The wine program, we'll keep it simple," he says. "We'll have a good base and then find out what people in the area like to drink."
Rose says that Duncan has a great passion for the project and the area.
"He lives in the area, and had a great vision," Rose says. "There's a lot coming to Sunnyvale, Forney, parts of Mesquite — there's a lot happening over on that east side of Dallas right now. Joe's entrenched in that and pays attention."
Rescuing the Kearney's building was a pretty big deal.
The building had been there since 1889, doing business as a feed store and general store, first as Ellis Mercantile, then Lander's Mercantile, then Kearney's. Earnest Kearney finally closed the business in 2017, serving as a kind of finale to the town's simpler farming past.
Rose says their renovation has been respectful, including keeping the original footprint of the building and salvaging materials to be re-used, such as the wood paneling on their bar.
"It's an area with mature trees that's nicely shaded, and an amazing piece of property," Rose says. "Joe got it right away, to see the vision of what it was and what it could be."