Since his arrival in Dallas more than ten years ago, no one has made more noise in the local food scene than Chef John Tesar. The shamelessly opinionated and equally talented chef has seen his share of ups and downs in recent years, but right now, everything is coming up Tesar.
Last year, it was reported that Tesar was plotting an outpost of his steakhouse concept Knife in Plano, but now it appears that he’s got much bigger plans in the works. Today, Tesar has shared more details with Eater on the progress in Plano, plus intel on his new plans to bring Knife to San Francisco and Houston.
Construction is already underway on the second outpost of Knife, which will open at Plano’s The Shops At Willow Bend later this year. Tesar says that the steakhouse’s second location will be a triple threat — in addition to the full-service steakhouse, diners will also be able to order burgers to go via a takeaway counter, or grab a few 44 Farms steaks to grill at home from the adjacent butcher shop.
The burger counter will be an expansion of Knife Burger, the fast-casual eatery that Tesar is planning for the forthcoming Legacy Hall. The steakhouse’s more casual sibling will eventually expand within the metroplex, including potential locations in Frisco and Flower Mound. “The thing about Knife is it’s product and technique driven, not genius driven,” says Tesar. “Which is why we can expand to areas outside the city.”
With two new restaurants opening in the ‘burb, Tesar also plans to make Plano his “corporate headquarters.” According to the chef, the move up north is a practical decision intended to reach those who would rather not brave the Dallas North Tollway during rush hour for dinner. “With all of the corporate growth — that’s where all of the people over 30 live,” says Tesar, and by that he likely means “people who have $100 to spend on a hunk of dry-aged steak.”
Outside of DFW, Tesar says that he has deals in the works with Starwood Retail Partners (the group currently remodeling Willow Bend) to open a location of the steakhouse in San Fransisco, along with a project involving Hilton Worldwide in Houston. Tesar has flirted with concepts outside of Dallas before, but Tesar insists that deals to bring Knife to two major dining cities outside of Dallas are more concrete than previous plans.
At present, Tesar optimistically hopes to open Knife’s Plano outpost in November, two months after Knife Burger’s September debut at Legacy Hall. Stay tuned for official opening dates, plus more details on Tesar’s diabolical plans to take over the world of steak.