Dallas chef John Tesar wants to open an Austin location of Eater 38 modern steakhouse Knife, as he revealed to Playboy this week. Austin is a "secondary market," according to the candid chef, where competition isn’t as stiff as it would be if he expanded to New York City. Also appealing is the visibility that comes with the city’s full schedule of events and festivals:
It’s advantageous for anybody to open a restaurant in Austin if you can afford it. Because by the time you get through South by Southwest and ACL (Austin City Limits), and you have the university down there, you get exposure forever. That’s why the chef from Austin always wins the James Beard award.
[Ed. note: He is referring to Aaron Franklin’s win this year and Bryce Gilmore’s finalist slot for the past two years.]
He also described Austin as unlike Dallas, but that some of its charm is "manufactured." He used South by Southwest and ACL’s growths as examples of selling out to "corporate America." Tesar, who is also looking to expand Knife to Memphis, Nashville, Chicago, and Las Vegas, along with opening three other new concepts in Dallas, is also involved with Oak.