After months of massive construction at Plano mall The Shops At Willow Bend, chef John Tesar’s Knife and host of familiar local eateries are finally getting ready to open.
The second outpost of Tesar’s award-winning steakhouse is set to arrive at Willow Bend in September, and it’s going to be massive. The restaurant will occupy a sprawling 7,000 square feet, which will house a meat locker that’s large enough to hold 500 different cuts of meat for dry-aging. Fans of Tesar’s long-shuttered seafood restaurant Spoon will find popular dishes from that restaurant on the menu at Plano’s Knife, along with whole animal cookery. Next door, an outpost of fast-casual burger joint Knife Burger will serve Tesar’s famous Ozersky burger for a budget-friendly $5.95.
Chef Omar Flores’ Whistle Britches is also set to arrive in September, though no official opening date will be set just yet. The restaurant’s second location will offer patio seating, a large private dining room, and most importantly, a dedicated bakery for making Whistle Britches’s famous biscuits. New to this location is a market that will be located in the front of the restaurant, serving to-go food and selling spices, jams, and other goodies made by the restaurant’s chefs.
Also headed to Willow Bend is a new restaurant from the minds behind Ascension Coffee, called Ascension Annex. At a preview for media held at the mall, owner Russell Hayward announced that it will serve the growing chain’s stellar coffee offerings, along with “European cafe-inspired breakfast and lunch” dishes.
The Shops at Willow Bend are making a real go at becoming a Plano dining destination, and will also be home to an outpost of Terra Mediterranean, a restaurant from the owners of popular local chain Ali Baba. A new spot called Mexican Bar Company Cocina will serve chef Patricio Sandoval’s family-style Mexican dishes and a cocktail menu that’s focused on tequila and mezcal in a 7,000 square foot space.
Knife is expected to open on September 1, with Whistle Britches following sometime that month and Mexican Bar Company Cocina will debut in mid-September. All of the forthcoming restaurants are expected to be open by Willow Bend’s grand opening party on October 4.