Restaurant veteran Johnny Carros (most recently general manager of Kent Rathbun’s Jasper’s restaurant) and chef Jon Thompson (most recently executive chef for Samar and Stampede 66 by Stephan Pyles) have partnered to create Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen. Located at 216 W. Virginia Street in McKinney’s historic downtown, this casual yet sophisticated restaurant set to open Wednesday, June 24th will serve lunch and dinner with weekend brunch service following later in the summer.
Carros and Thompson explain the concept as upscale casual with fresh, flavorful, uncomplicated food. “The philosophy behind our menu is that simple ingredients, when sourced well, can be elevated by an experienced chef to an unbelievable level of flavor. We are staying away from complex sauces and layers and instead allowing the food itself to shine. The smoked Berkshire pork chop with green chile hominy casserole is a soon-to-be-favorite that signifies this New American menu with Texas undertones,” says Thompson who has worked as a chef in the kitchens of Stephan Pyles and Bradley Ogden.
The fresh ingredients that go into Sugarbacon’s menu are chosen for their quality and are never frozen. Chef Thompson continues, “In fact, the only things you will find in the freezer are our ice creams and ice cubes.”
“Everything on our menu is fresh, direct and approachable so it made sense to bring on award-winning Dallas beverage director and bartender, Sean Conner, to implement our ‘garden to glass’ cocktail program where we will be growing our own herbs on-site for his recipes,” says Carros. Local craft beers and a global wine list all will round out the bar offerings.
Inspired by the historic downtown and housed in what was a service station for more than 80 years, Sugarbacon is a reflection of the community, complete with blue and gold accents in honor of McKinney High School. Dana Foley’s (ID4 Studio) design is warm, simple and authentic. Inspired by the beauty of the existing brick walls that define the dining spaces and private dining room, the design utilizes the natural concrete floors while surrounding walls are finished with reclaimed oak, natural zinc panels and artistic elements like steel, copper, and warm, grey subway tile. The restaurant has a welcoming aesthetic of modern sensibility combined with a comfortable, timeless feel.
The finishes in the restaurant are another important nod to Sugarbacon’s home, as they showcase the work of many local artisans including the windows, chairs, tables, doors and folding barn doors, which are all custom-made for the space. A climate-controlled patio will provide year-round al fresco dining and a comfortable bar complete the space. Every detail from the design to the menu has been well planned and is thoughtfully approached. From interior design to menu and service, Sugarbacon is modern, approachable and free of gimmicks.
“Our passion is creating a memorable dining experience for every guest with superior service and food. I think the key to success is having the drive to stand for excellence everyday. This project is the culmination of many years of experience that led us to living out our dream today,” says Carros.