Chef driven restaurant off Oak Lawn Dallas closes despite a year of acclaim
After just a year, an acclaimed restaurant in Dallas' Oak Lawn neighborhood is closing: Modest Rogers, the ambitious mom-and-pop from chef Modesto Rodriguez has decided to close.
Rodriguez announced the news on social media, thanking friends, family, and customers, and alluding to the personal toll it had taken.
"With a heavy heart we have decided to close Modest Rogers. I won’t get into any specifics of why but it was definitely a hard time to start a business and it was a reflection of this decision," he said.
"The past year of my life has been an adventure that I have been working really hard to achieve. A dream that seemed unreachable when it surfaced has become a reality," his post said.
Modesto and and his wife Kathryn Rodriguez opened their charming restaurant in a cute house at 3811 Fairmount St., near Oak Lawn Avenue in October 2021.
An El Centro alum, Modesto had an unusual background, starting as a graphic designer who loved to cook for friends and family at home, before switching careers to worked at acclaimed restaurants such as Nonna and Carbone's.
At Modest Rogers, he created a menu that incorporated influences from his Venezuelan heritage, along with Spanish and Mexican flavors, such as Wagyu with chimichurri sauce and arugula salad, and seafood with elote corn "ribs" — long strips of corn kernels cut straight from the cob.
He earned critical praise for his efforts including a nomination for Best New Restaurant of 2022 in CultureMap's annual Tastemaker Awards.
A note on their Facebook page said they "had to close" — but it wasn't a landlord issue, Rodriguez said.
"We just ran out of money," he said. "The landlord was very supportive, but we never got out of debt — we were always underwater."
He said he gave it his all to make his dream possible.
"Sleep, who needs that," he said. "Pain, it’s only mental. Family and friends, they understand my absence because my dream was the only thing that mattered. That was the foundation of this path I chose for myself. A path that has finally come to an end."
He thanked his family, friends, staff, and wife, stating that "the future is unclear as I write this but I’m ready to take on this new challenge and chapter in my life."