by Steven Doyle
Last week Ken Kuczwaj invited me to have dinner at the last Bailey’s Prime Plus located in the Shops at Park Lane. During dinner we chatted about how each location had closed, and that the last Bailey’s steakhouse would shutter January 1, 2012. It was a bitter, sweet meal we enjoyed as we savored the last remnants of our Wagyu tomahawk.
Bitter, because the restaurant was actually very good. Chef Ryan Carbery is quite talented and his hand in the kitchen will be missed.
This was also a very sweet occasion for Kuczwaj as it would mean that he could focus his management and people skills on the extremely successful Patrizio. Bailey’s bled huge amounts of cash from day one, and no one could change that fact. Each of the locations were hand chosen on speculation that the real estate would somehow be inviting in the very near future, but nothing could be further from the truth. Originally there was to be a boutique hotel cozied up next to the steakhouse on Park Lane and Bailey’s was to serve as the kitchen for that project. This would explain the mammoth over-the-top hotel-sized kitchen. The deal on the hotel fell through and Bailey;’s never realized its potential.
Bailey’s also suffered PR troubles due to poor management decisions, and that was not corrected until Kuczwaj stepped in with his own team. The stabilization was too late and the damage had been done for this extremely expensive operation.
As reported over a week ago here, there will be plenty more coming from the Patrizio operations, including locations on McKinney and in Arlington. In addition, Kuczwaj would like to bring back Carbery to help design the menu at another restaurant is reported to be settling next to the Southlake location called Signature. The plan there is to actually tunnel between Patrizio to the new restaurant creating an underground wine cellar that would pull double duty as a unique dining area for the two restaurants.
Meanwhile, Bailey wants out of the bar business, so both Chesterfield and Uptown Bar and Grill are to be sold. Barmen Eddie Campbell has been offered Chesterfield downtown if he is about to raise the cash necessary, and a deal is about to be penned for the Uptown bar. The prospective new owners of Uptown will prove extremely interesting and we will release information on that after it has been signed.
As for that last dinner, it was amazing.