Oak Cliff diner flips format to focus on breakfast
An Oak Cliff restaurant is changing its mission and name, and will jump on the breakfast bandwagon big time. The former Kessler Park Eating House will become Jonathon's Diner, and will ditch its dinner service in favor of breakfast and lunch.
Kessler Park Eating House was the second concept from Jonathon and Christine Erdeljac, following their original Oak Cliff spot, the hugely popular Jonathon's Oak Cliff. They opened Kessler Park in 2015 as a slightly more upscale sibling, with house-made pasta, ham with red-eye gravy, and a house-made turkey pastrami sandwich on marble rye.
The restaurant did well, but the Erdeljacs made a discovery about its greater purpose during a recent remodel of Jonathon's.
"Jonathon's had a major renovation, the foundation was sinking, and the floor had to be redone," says Christine. "So for most of November, we relocated Jonathon's to the Kessler Park Eating House space. We were serving the entire Jonathon's menu there, and that's when we discovered the demand for breakfast."
Jonathon's serves breakfast as well, and Kessler Park is only a half-mile away. But the breakfast market is brisk enough to accommodate both. More to the point, the location had a long history with breakfast, with prior tenants such as Wayne's and Mama Connie’s Diner. "I think that's what people were looking for here," Christine says.
But it gave them the conviction to go ahead and do breakfast full steam. It will not replace Jonathan’s Oak Cliff, which will reopen once the renovation is finished, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
They're still polishing the menu, but they'll serve some of the same dishes they serve at Jonathon's, like chicken and waffles, as well as some favorites from the Kessler Park Eating House menu. "We'll try to work in elements from Kessler Park, because it sounds like there are a few things that people are wanting, but the majority will be Jonathon's menu," Christine says.
The switch in hours has already been made. The name change will become official once they get their new sign. "We learned through all the transition that this building is truly meant to be a diner and serve breakfast," she says.