Jeffrey’s, one of Austin’s longest-running restaurants, is soon to get an extreme makeover courtesy of Austin chef and restaurateur Larry McGuire of Lamberts and Perla’s. Half a year from now Jeffrey’s will have a new chef and menu, a new look—and a new lease on life.
Jeffrey’s three founders and owners, Ron and Peggy Weiss and Jeffrey Weinberger, have partnered with McGuire’s hospitality group to revitalize the 36-year-old Austin dining venue. Long one of the city’s most iconic restaurants, Jeffrey’s has struggled in recent years with a succession of chefs, starting with the departure of David Garrido, then Alma Alcocer-Thomas, and most recently, Deegan McClung. It seemed as if its culinary identity was in a constant state of flux.
That will change when 29-year-old McGuire, who has enjoyed considerable success with both Lamberts Downtown Barbecue and Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, becomes executive chef. McGuire says his intention is maintain the restaurant as a fine dining destination but redo the menu. He will release details later but has been quoted as saying that French-American is a likely direction. McGuire, a native Austinite who first visited Jeffrey’s at the age of ten, says he has always held the restaurant in high regard. The Weisses and Weinberger will retain partial ownership.
The changes will take place starting in the spring of 2012, when the restaurant closes briefly for a top-to-bottom remodeling. It will reopen in the summer with McGuire at the helm.
Another major ongoing project of the McGuire Moorman Hospitality group is the French-Vietnamese restaurant Elizabeth Street Cafe, to be located at the corner of Elizabeth Street and S. First Streets, in the former Bouldin Creek Coffee House.