Details on The Commissary: John Tesar’s New Restaurant in One Arts Plaza

This just in: John Tesar’s new restaurant in the former Dali Wine Bar space at One Arts Plaza will be called The Commissary. A press release quotes The Tesar:  “The Commissary is a versatile, trend-forward menu with no boundaries,” Tesar explains. “The nucleus of the menu features chef-inspired burgers, wines-on-tap and creative touches like our chef’s table and small plates. We will always have something creative and new to share with customers.”

I reached The Tesar for some non-press release speak.

So, John. Why did you name it The Commissary?

“A commissary is where you go to get everything,” he says. “I  don’t want to be just burgers or fine dining. I want to have a kitchen where John Tesar can do what he wants to do. It will be fun with a Village-South-Beach-open-and-free feeling. With Lucy Billingsley as my partner, I will be in there cooking every night.”

Ambitious? Yep. It’s has a burger bar, chef’s table, monthly cooking classes, take out, wine bar and retail store, wine list by Scott Barber, and monthly wine dinners. Dress? Commissary Casual!

Acclaimed Chef John Tesar Brings Innovative ‘Commissary Casual’

to One Arts Plaza’s Dining Scene

(DALLAS, Texas) January 25, 2011 — One Arts Plaza, the popular dining destination one mile from Uptown Dallas,

is thrilled to announce that five-star chef John Tesar will open an affordable chef-driven concept called The

Commissary this April in the former Dali Wine Bar location.

“The Commissary is a versatile, trend-forward menu with no boundaries,” Tesar explains. “The nucleus of the menu features chef-inspired burgers, wines-on-tap and creative touches like our chef’s table and small plates. We will always have something creative and new to share with customers.”

The Commissary will serve a variety of distinctive hamburgers made with organic, grass-fed beef averaging $5 to $8 dollars. The burger bar and bistro will be open seven days a week serving lunch, dinner and late night meals. Tesar says to expect brunch and burger specials on weekends too.

Guests can dine in the revamped Dali space, enjoy the expansive patio and outdoor lounge, or take food to-go in eco-friendly packaging. Tesar also plans to offer delivery services to One Arts Plaza residents and area businesses.

In an innovative move by Tesar and his sommelier, featured wines will be available on tap, and wine aficionados can enjoy winemaker dinners and the wide selection of retail wine. The Commissary will be the only restaurant in the area offering a new experience in the emerging wines-on-tap trend that is creating buzz from coast to coast. In addition to the two tap wine selections from premier California wine makers, the burger bistro will offer an extensive wine by the glass list and 20 bottled beers including one featured Texas Micro Brew on tap.

Tesar also plans to elevate the experience with fine dining embellishments that include a cheese cart showcasing more than 30 gourmet cheeses from around the world, a wide range of exotic salumi selections and farm-to-table chef specials.

“John’s energy and creativity add another dimension to One Arts Plaza dining for uptown and downtown residents as well as tourists to the Arts District. The Commissary will be a gathering place where everyone can enjoy inspiring, creative food from one of the finest chefs in the nation,” says Lucy Billingsley, Partner at Billingsley Company.

According to Tesar, there is no location in Dallas where people can have a communal meal experience in an exciting, social setting. “The Commissary is about the fun of gathering together for a meal, and sharing a common love of wine and food.”

The Commissary’s website is currently under development and will be launching soon. For more information, contact Amy Power at [email protected] The Commissary is located at One Arts Plaza, 1722 Routh Street, conveniently located north of downtown Dallas in the heart of the Arts District in Dallas. For more information about dining at One Arts Plaza, visit


Located in the heart of Dallas Arts District at the end of Flora Street (1722 Routh Street), One Arts Plaza is a downtown destination for luxury urban living, business, dining and entertainment. The $125 million multiuse structure is the first of three buildings located on 10 acres in the downtown Dallas Arts District. Restaurants include Fedora Restaurant and Lounge, Jorge’s Tex-Mex Café, Screen Door, Tei-An and The Commissary, opening April 2011.

For more information about One Arts Plaza visit or You can also become a fan of One Arts Plaza on Facebook and follow One Arts Plaza on Twitter @OneArtsPlaza.

Talking points for THE COMMISSARY

*Affordable Chef Driven concept based on social gathering open 7 days a week serving

Lunch Dinner and Late night. Great place for Chefs and Industry people to unwind after

work serving full menu till midnight or later if necessary

*It is a Burger Bar, Wine Bar and Bistro

*Wine list Created by Dallas based Advanced Sommelier Scott Barber (there will also

be a Sommelier on the premises to assist customers with their selections and answer

questions about wine list and assist in retail sales) we will be offering two selections of

tap wine from Premier California wine makers, In addition The Commissary will have an

extensive wine by the glass list and 20 bottled beers and feature one Texas Micro Brew

on tap which will change seasonally

*We will also have retail wine sales in addition to our wine list

*The Chefs Room every Friday and Saturday night at our communal table (seates18)

Chef Tesar will prepare a 6 course Tasting menu using all sustainable ingredients and

from local or regional providers whenever possible /also available with wine pairings

*Extensive patio and outdoor lounge seating for before and after shows, after work happy

hours or just relaxing, not only in the Plaza but on the Routh street side as well

*Monthly wine dinners in our Chefs room with a featured Vintner

*Monthly Cooking Classes, weekly wine tastings with our sommelier and guest speakers

and cheese tastings with notable cheese makers not only from Texas, but from around the


*Food to Go and delivery to One Arts Plaza and surrounding Businesses for meeting and


*Saturday and Sunday Brunch in addition to the Burger Bar


  • absolutely can’t wait.

  • “The Tesar” LOL, Nance.

    Yep, let the games begin!

  • Steve

    Did he really refer to himself in the third person?

  • Andrew Chalk

    Mr. T?

  • luniz

    “According to Tesar, there is no location in Dallas where people can have a communal meal experience in an exciting, social setting.”

    I don’t think that’s really true, I guess it depends on what communal means.

  • Steve


    Where is there a table for 18 where potentially everyone might not know each other and share great food and excellent wine ?

  • jackie

    This is exactly what One Arts needs a young affordable yet creative spot to hang and who doesn’t love wine?

  • Billy A

    Scott Barber is a wine guru, Cedars has Martensen for Cocktails and The Commissary has Barber for wine. I can’t wait to eat and drink. Way to go Tesar

  • Scott–DFW

    This is the return of one of Dallas’s most talented chefs to a kitchen he can call his own. Whether he’s butter-poaching lobsters or grilling burgers, I’ll be there. Great news for downtown Dallas and OAP.

  • Tr

    Steve, how many can fit at the high table at Stephan Pyles? That’s got to be close to 18.

  • Joe Mannix

    Psychiatrists call this the “Tesar Cycle”. It’s the 6 month itch to quit what you’re doing and wow the world. There is no known cure to date.

    Prediction: 6 months later Commissary will be the Mint Julip Bar with the best mint julips, hipster julip fusions and fancy flights of mini julips served along side exoctic dishes such as puppy, panda, piranha and pierogies.

  • Susan

    Joe you know absolutely nothing about Chef Tesar and you are the exact reason I hate blogs, keep your toxic blah blah blah to the confines of your trailer and meth habit

  • Joe Mannix

    I know history. And I know what angers you, having yourself outed Tesar. Or Susan.

  • runDMC

    Joe – I think you’ve got it.
    Tesar and Avner, both, are long on creative ideas but woefully, criminally short on attention span. Lucy better be focused on figuring out a way to keep the sous chef from strangling Tesar, so she has someone to step in when he bolts.

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  • Marcus

    When I first saw this post today I had a reply queued up that predicited the first 6 comments.

    I was 5 of 6. Not bad.

  • Tesar

    Ok I made one promise to myself this year that was I am not going to sit idle and let people who know nothing about me besmirch my name, hard work and reputation or make up stories about me, especially on blogs.
    Everyone close to me tells me to let it go don’t read them but I and many others in this business work so hard and care so much about what we do, I can no longer stand idle and let these lies not be responded to .
    I have a body of work that not only speaks for itself it is something to be proud of and I am not going to recant it.
    I equate it to watching television if you don’t like it change the channel.
    If you worked for me it might be a little different, you all know in all your hearts I opened my life, my experience and often times my friendship and family to you.
    I taught you well and encouraged all of you to be your best because thats what I was hired to do or thats what we all agreed to do before we started .
    All of my projects here in Texas have been somewhat critically successful and well received.
    With a core group of people who have been steadfast friends and true professionals together we have succeeded to create great things and have fond memories and hopefully I will be blessed and lucky enough to do it again.
    Be certain I never take that for granted knowing that each new project requires focus, vision and a great team of people, a little luck and lots of hard work.
    Without great patrons and friends to support you you have nothing but empty dreams, I have been lucky enough to have all of these, so I do apologize to all my friends and patrons who may ask themselves why I am even writing this post.
    For the former employees If your hearts where not up to the task or you weren’t ready yet, or you choose to take the easy way out while the rest of the team was trying to build something special then yes it might have been uncomfortable for you.
    If I offended you or hurt your feels it was not my intention and I am truly sorry,but please take responsibility for your own performance and behaviors as well.
    If you misunderstood my NY sense of humor well it took me awhile to learn your gentle southern ways as well and on some occasions I find they are were no so gentle as they were judgmental.
    Lets get one thing straight I only post under my own name something I suggest should be come a requirement in this world, as more and more people preach lies and hatred threw blogs and other read this crap and think it’s the truth. Please read real articles written by real journalists whom are required to have proof or take time to research the truth because they live for it and support their integrity and the fourth estate if it still exists.
    Its like watching TMZ or reality TV a bunch of lost people chasing around other human beings trying to catch them doing something silly OMG how predictable how simple how senseless
    I love Dallas I am not going anywhere so get ready people I love to cook and will continue to do so .
    I look forward to showing all the negative mudslingers who hide behind falsehoods and false names what a couple of really new and fun concepts with great food and drink can be like, but those who know me know I am always up to that challenge!
    So If you come by one of these days and you like them please come back and if you don’t them please take the time to tell us what we can do better, but these nasty comments about supposed temper and staying power are not only hurtful they are now becoming urban legend
    I just want to let you mudslingers know I am out here for your culinary enjoyment if I should be so lucky however I am not here for your selfish amusement.
    If you feel the need or have the necessity or to be jealous or hateful turn the channel.
    To all the people who said I wasn’t Jimmy Sears or those who said I was fired from the Mansion or that the Fishtail review in the NY times was mine or that I even cooked for it or thats why I left NY after 3 months or that Burke fired me etc. etc. etc blah blah blah.
    Let’s get real folks if you want to know the real answers come out and ask them don’t make them up.
    Come enjoy the The Cedars Social look forward to The Commissary they are going to be FUN
    Come have a drink one night and like my Irish ancestors’ sit at the bar and we will entertain you with food and drink funny,sad and sometimes humorous stories about life. Recant other stories about family, friends, characters we have known or know, talk about travel, art, food,literature and culture, happy things sad things but not hateful things
    Peace to all the haters and I pray you find your own peace of mind and happiness in life because I have.
    Please try and move on from the same boring blog post we have all had to endure over the last 3 year. Try and enjoy yourselves, appreciate your friends and family, open your minds to new ideas and better ways of living because life is just way to short for this nonsense

  • Tesar

    I am dyslexic so please no pithy comments about typos and grammar.. sorry its just a learning disability. One more of my short comings .

  • Vic Endloe

    Good for you, John. People who lack either talent or things to do will continue to bash and attempt to discredit others. It’s a small-minded and thankfully small group of people. Most are happy to have you back in Dallas and love the fact that you are helping to build and reinvent the food scene. Bravo!

  • Arthur Spengler 75201

    Tesar – No one doubts your talent, in fact we relish it. But when you look at all the many kitchens you have been in and out of over the last 5 years, it’s an embarrassing train wreck. And then comes the big announcement of this stunning new, amazing, never been seen before culinary mecca called The Commissary and you expect everyone to roll over. I hope you are very successful and have an amazing run with this new “project” but history says you’ll be gone in 6 months. So to make an over the top yowsah yowsah step right up folks fanfare about your latest eatery and not expect substantial cynicism is just foolish on your part. Your history screams that you won’t stay the course. Prove us wrong. Please.

  • Jessica Jack John Susan

    Bismirch? Jesus H Christ Tesar. We ALL know your comments, your posts and your strengths and weaknessess. Really. You can cook and you’re creative but your track record sux and those of us who know you personnally don;t like you and we are not buying your new zen BS. And no one dissed avner samuel more than you did so to see you giving props to him is such a farce.

  • Tesar

    Arthur the last five years ? I was Chef at RM seafood for 3 years then Chef of the Mansion for almost 3. I worked for David Burke for 3 months as a friend because his staff walked out and opened an under funded Tesars and worked on that project for almost a year I built it from scratch to much critical acclaim and I only walked away so they could pay the bills because they mislead me as too how much money they had to begin with. Don’t call that much of Train Wreck thats life and a damn good one at that . This is exactly what I am talking about you know nothing about the details of my history or who I am. No one is asking for anything we are opening two new projects and hope that people can enjoy them … what isyour history ? except one of presumption and regurgitation of the “urban legend”

  • RidemCowgirl

    Wow thanks for the comment John. I think your move to One Arts is a good move. I look forward to eating your food. One question. Were you fired from the Mansion? Or asked to leave? Would you stand up and swear to your answer in court? Thanks.

  • Gastronome

    Funny thing about Urban Legends (great name for a restaurant) and Reputations – while a very few are created over night with one act, most are the cumulative product of consistent acts and behavior over time. John, your cooking is legendary – now is a great time to go to work on improving your reputation. Once you admit that you had a central role in its creation and growth you can then examine what that role was and ultimately change the behaviors that fostered it. Sincere best wishes for a highly successful and long lived new venture.

  • Tesar

    Ridemcowgirl If you tell us your real name yes I will tell you everything , but be careful what you ask for,It may open Pandoras box. You seem to have a vested interest Hum?

  • Tesar

    I have never had anything but respect for Avner and where do you come off ? This is not zen this is who I am. You are just validating my post fake names fake accusations and if you know me say who you are and pick up a phone or show your face … I have not lost it I have just drawn a line in the sand… No more BullS#8T…

  • Tesar

    See when you have nothing to hide and a clear agenda you can go on the internet and be yourself , defend your talent and your honor. When I was a corporate lackey I had to bend and flex thats what money and PR will do to people … I just love to cook and work which is all I have ever done fix restaurants and train young cooks. Only a few close friends here in Dallas know who I really am,so keep coming haters lets get this all out in the open and end this trash

  • Aunt Jimmie

    Poor Tesar. This is just sad.

  • John Bailey

    This is TOO funny. Wait, what’s that smell wafting from the kitchen?


    By the way, I love all the Tesar fans coming out in droves with the preemptive strike to fill up the blog with positive comments for this nutjob.

  • df\dub-foodie

    I’m a fan of Chef Tesar (never met him) and have respect for Scott regardless of the past. Whether it succeeds or fails you know the product is going to be solid.

    I’m not to keen on the spot but I’m sure the theater crowd will apreciate the pricing and convenience. It’s going to take a lot of $5-$8 burgers to pay for that territory though.

  • LJT

    Sheesh – I think someone should have gone to bed a few hours earlier.

  • DGirl

    I haven’t weighed in on any of this and wasn’t going to, but after reading these comments, I’m compelled to ask: Doesn’t anyone sleep anymore?

  • Blake

    John- Thrilled to have you back in town and I look forward to eating at both of your new concepts. Dali was a terrible restaurant and your concept definitely fits what that neighborhood needs. Bravo!

  • Mark Woods

    “Susan” said: …keep your toxic blah blah blah to the confines of your trailer…

    “Tesar” said: …I left NY after 3 months or that Burke fired me etc. etc. etc blah blah blah.

    Who else is Mr. Sears pretending to be?

  • chef groupie

    Tesar has “trash-talked” every chef in Dallas behind their backs. Karma’s a bitch, huh buddy?

  • Vic Endloe

    Most talented people also posses a little Darth Vader. Tesar is one of those that does so well with his craft that people long to be him…as well as despise him. Sometimes it’s hard to be around talented people when you have a fragile ego. JT, you will always land on your feet wherever you go. Why? Because you are talented. Most people on this blog are clearly threatened by that. Make great food. Love the cheese card. We’ll be at The Commissary every chance we get.

  • Vic Endloe

    oops, that’s cheese cart. Really hate blogging. Oh well, Welcome to the Dark Side!

  • Edward Eater

    Funny, I know several very talented chefs who are also actually respected and liked. Tesar doesn’t appear to be one of them. I do look forward to trying his new place, however. Maybe he’ll redeem himself.

  • Jennifer Triptow

    He’s a CHEF. He is not running for public office and he is not angling to be anyone’s best friend. His restaurant will open and you can choose to dine there or not. If you have enjoyed his food in the past, then you will certainly enjoy it again in the future. It’s rather simple. The personal commentary on his failures (whether real or perceived) is juvenile and detrimental to our little corner of the food world. I hope he succeeds in this venture – it will only add more vibrancy to Dallas’ dining scene.

    Full disclosure: I am married to one of his former Sous Chefs, so I am privy to the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. I have no stake in his successes or his failures. All I know is that he can cook. Period.

    Truly, the rest does not matter.

  • slade

    fantastic friday lunch read, thanks to everyone. I live and work in downtown, and look forward to something new and different to the scene that isnt tied to the west end.

  • Well said Jennifer!