Closure News

Former Kent Rathbun restaurant closes longtime location in Plano

Former Kent Rathbun restaurant closes longtime location in Plano

Jasper's friend chicken
No more chickie and waffles. Photo courtesy of Jasper's

After more than 15 years, Plano has lost its location of Jasper's, the "backyard cuisine" concept founded by chef Kent Rathbun.

The restaurant was shut down on November 4. According to a statement from current owner W.L. Hyde, the closure was due to the expiration of its lease.

"In May 2003, we brought the concept of elevated gourmet backyard cuisine to Plano and the city welcomed us with open arms," the statement says. "Today however we must bid farewell to the community which embraced us so long ago. Concurrent with the expiration of our lease agreement with The Shops at Legacy, we have decided to permanently close our Plano location."

That's an interesting lease. Don't leases usually fall on round numbers, like a 5-year lease? So was this one a 16-year-and-six-month lease?

Rathbun first opened Jasper's in the heyday of his career as a casual, slightly cheaper counterpoint to Abacus, his fine-dining restaurant in Dallas' Knox Street neighborhood. The restaurant was one of the early settlers of the Shops at Legacy, serving as a cornerstone for the shopping center and helping to foster symbiotic growth.

Rathbun parted ways with Hyde in 2016, then became embroiled in a lengthy legal battle over the use of his name. He won that right in November 2017.

As recently as November 2, employees at Jasper's did not know of the looming closure. A sign posted to the front door says "Unfortunately, we will be closed today in order to perform maintenance to our kitchen ventilation. We apologize for any inconvenience."

That sign might lead one to presume that the restaurant is going to be open "tomorrow," but even Google Maps has the restaurant marked in red as "Permanently closed."

"We thank all of our employees who have been with or will remain part of the Jasper’s family," Hyde's statement says. "And especially our loyal guests who have shared glasses of wine, our famous blue-cheese chips, slow smoke baby back ribs, and our daily happy hours gatherings with friends and family."

"While it is goodbye for now to our Plano backyard, our guests can still dine with us just 15 minutes away at our new Jasper’s Richardson location, our Jasper’s The Woodlands location in Houston and look for our relocation in the near future."