Thirty-six years old might seem young for a facelift, but not when you’re a restaurant.
Jeffrey’s, the longtime Clarksville fine-dining institution, will be the new project of Larry McGuire, the chef and restaurateur behind Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue and Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, which have both experienced success.
As Jeffrey’s new executive chef, McGuire, an Austin native, is joining forces with owners Ron and Peggy Weiss and Jeffrey Weinberger to give the restaurant not only a new menu, but a new look as well.
“There were rumors that Jeffrey’s was closing, that it was for sale, that the Uchi people were going to buy the restaurant, and then Larry came along with his group,” says owner Ron Weiss. “It just feels really good to put the restaurant in the hands of someone who is young, energetic and bright – the next generation of restaurateurs.”
At 29 years old, McGuire is the same age Weiss was when he opened the restaurant.
In recent years, several chefs have been in and out of the Jeffrey’s kitchen including David Garrido, who opened his own restaurant Garrido’s a few years ago in Downtown Austin; Alma Alcocer-Thomas, now the executive chef at El Alma, which is owned by El Chile; and Deegan McClung, who has moved away.
Garrido feels the Weisses have done an amazing job serving Jeffrey’s, “It has always been an upscale place, and people like it because it’s just trendy enough,” he says. But he recognizes McGuire is a positive asset. “I think it’s a great thing,” Garrido says of the restaurant’s upcoming changes.
“Larry’s presentation stands for itself,” he says. “He is an incredible chef and he has an incredible ability to run a restaurant.”
McGuire intends to maintain the fine-dining experience Jeffrey’s is known for, but the menu, which will be announced at a later date, will be entirely new. Although not set in stone, McGuire is leaning towards French-American cuisine.
“Rather than do something totally different, McGuire has a lot of respect for the restaurant,” Weiss says. “This is the next era for Jeffrey’s.”
The restaurant will close for a short time in the spring for a complete remodel and will reopen during the summer. Mark Ashby will handle the interior design, and Emily Little will be the project’s architect.