A Dallas restaurant that's been a popular lunch haunt and light-dinner destination since 1999 has quietly closed: the Baker Bros. American Deli at 5500 Greenville Ave. in the Old Town shopping center served its last meal on November 7.
A manager who was cleaning up after lunch service confirmed that the restaurant had closed. "We could barely pay our rent, it got so high, so the owners chose to shut us down," he said.
Their exit follows other closures in the area including Fuddrucker's, another old-timer, which closed in September 2018. "We're not the only ones, and there are a few other businesses that aren't renewing their leases," he said.
This is the very last location of Baker Bros., which was founded in 1999 by Ken Reimer — a former CEO of Tony Roma's and Furr's Cafeterias — and Tom Dahl. The concept was an early entry in the fast-casual world, serving sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and baked potatoes.
Signature items included salads such as the Santa Barbara, Texas Cobb, and Asian-inspired Kowloon; and sandwiches such as the Texas Star (roast beef in a barbecue sauce with bacon, cheddar, and red onion on a toasted roll; and the Reuben with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on a rye roll.
They were among the first to do stuffed baked potatoes, loaded with toppings that were sufficient to serve as an entree.
They built the chain to 11 locations but its fortunes began to decline after getting bought by The Chalak Group, owner of the Genghis Grill chain, in 2011; then sold again by The Chalak Group in 2017.
Locations began to close in 2015, including the Quadrangle at Dallas; Plano; and Amarillo, which closed in 2016. A location in Fort Worth's West Seventh Street district closed in August 2019.
The location page on the chain's website has a note over the map that says "This page can't load Google Maps correctly."
The chain was sold to Dallas franchise operator FGR Food Corp., but a phone number for the company was disconnected.