Weinberger opened Jeffrey’s in 1975 with collaborators Ron and Peggy Weiss, aiming to be a high-end but unstuffy restaurant, inspired by Chez Panisse in Berkeley. When it opened, Jeffrey’s was a one-room restaurant in Clarksville, a neighborhood that was historically Black, and, at the time, some of the neighborhood streets were not yet paved. The team sold Jeffrey’s in 2011 to McGuire Moorman Hospitality (now McGuire Moorman Lambert) but retained a small equity role.
Weinberger had a part in several restaurants in the Austin area with the Weisses, including Cipollina and Jeffrey’s, as well as now-shuttered restaurants Clarksville Cafe, Tortugas, Wiley’s, Shoreline Grill, and O’s Cafe at the University of Texas, as well as Bloom in Dallas. He also was part of the team behind the short-lived revival of Texas fried chicken chain Youngblood’s.
Weinberger was a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and started his career as a surgical technician. He fell in love with food during a trip to England and ultimately spent three years in Europe studying culinary arts. He was also committed to sustainability — Shoreline Grill was one of the first restaurants in Texas to follow sustainable seafood practices laid out by Monterrey Bay Seafood Watch. Each year during Thanksgiving, he cooked 100 turkeys for the unhoused at Shoreline Grill.
Friends and family are invited to share tributes to Weinberger on the Austin Natural Funerals site.