Quality Employees Flee Bailey’s Prime Steakhouse in Dallas

Last week Andrew Chalk attended a dinner at Bailey’s Prime Steakhouse. He reported former execuchef Grant Morgan had left. Chalk also said Michael Ehlert, the chef owner Ed Bailey hired to get The Chesterfield up and running, “will become the executive chef of a new high-end modern French restaurant backed by Bailey later this year.” Today, according Steven Doyle, Ehlert and his fiancee Jennifer Jaco, who is also the sommelier at Bailey’s, have left the restaurant and are now “on the loose.” Methinks Mr. Bailey may be difficult to please? He’s got a lot of money and has seduced a lot of talent to his businesses but he seems to have trouble keeping them on board.


  • Paul

    Thanks for the article. I wish I could say this surprises me. My friends and i love the Bailey’s in Fairview. Great food, great atmosphere, and for the most part really great people! We always start off with a couple of the great cocktails in the bar, and the staff has be amazing. Lately though it just isn’t the same. The vibe is different, and truthfully – it’s just not as friendly. Looks like they rotated the bar staff to the dinning room, and brought in some new people. We’re not giving up, but from our side of the bar – it’s not working. Can’t wait to do the Chesterfield later this month for a friends birthday. From all the press I’m expecting a great time.

  • Steakgal

    Ive never seen more than five tables at Baileys. We go to the bar but the restaurant is dead. Not surprised to read this. He should just make it cheaper to eat there.

  • LadyDallas

    Has anyone ever considered that perhaps some of these talented people that have been seduced to Bailey’s businesses and were given opportunities to perform their talents with the support of whatever they needed had reputations that some how exceeded their actual talents and know how? Who says that there is truth in them fleeing rather than they were let go? Perhaps this story comes from disgruntled employees who’s egos are beside themselves. All I know is when the steaks are done right accompanied with a well priced recognizable wine, the price point of the ambiance and food is well worth the cost and is actually a little cheaper compared to the other less attractive steakhouses in Dallas.

    @Paul Chesterfield is great ask for Eddie”Lucky” Campbell to hook you up with a Pisco Sour he makes the best cocktails.

  • That Guy

    If they pay their employees like they pay their vendors, I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone would stay working there.

  • John Blake

    If I am going to go to a steakhouse, I would choose Pappas or Al Biernat’s. I do not typically choose to go to a steakhouse more than twice a year though. (I grew up on going once a week.)

  • Cooper

    @LadyDallas, that was harsh. Where do you read “disgruntled employees” in this post? If you where actually acquainted with any of these people or their work, I don’t think you could say that in all honesty. Have you ever considered that Mr. Bailey has a reputation of firing managers and changing directions about every 6 months? Maybe he just does not know how to run a fine-dining steak restaurant (which, by the way, typically include wines on the menu that are not “recognizable” because that is part of the fun). Maybe he has just decided to make another Steak and Ale type restaurant. (He did make his money in McDonald’s after all.) Obviously, you would be more comfortable in that setting with your Medium Sirloin and Cabernet.

  • WineLover

    That is really sad!!! I attended a few of the wine dinners at Baileys and had a great time. The food and wine were excellent. How can I find out where they will be going?

  • LadyDallas

    @Cooper…you’re comical, but what do you know about any part of this topic other than what you’ve read? I didn’t read disgruntled I merely provoked the thought for the readers that only get one side f the story. In all honesty I know and speak from facts rather than speculations or rumors I’ve heard. If you’ve ever stepped foot in any of the Baileys Steakhouse locations I think it might be hard to argue that they are anywhere close to a Steak and Ale or McDonald’s, which is why I have visited the location of topic and I don’t recall ever having seen a sirloin on the menu. If you’re ever interested in discussing the topic in person I prefer a filet mignon and like mine medium with a juicy tail and a Pinot Noir or Petit Syrah, but I’ll never turn down an Opus One Cab.

  • FOH

    Waiters/ waitresses flee all the time if they aren’t making money. It’s all about money for waitstaff. The waiters I know will put up w bullcrap if they can make money. Any professional waiter will tell you that. No good waiter making money gives a crap about the managers. waiters get paid by customers that’s who they care about.

  • Jo Bennett

    You ALL opened up more than one can of worms about Dallas area restaurants and practices…my daughter was wait staff in several restaurants in the area after coming from Ct. where she not only made a LOT of money but was treated fairly by both management and patrons but here in this area because the restaurants under schedule wait staff to only a few tables EVEN if they are adept and can handle more they end up making No money because of that policy.The over abundance of STEAK restaurants in the area is just showing the level of such a limited interest in cuisine other than tex-mex or steak….once again Zagat NO longer publishes a Dallas edition because of it…

  • O. Contrary

    It is such a sad shame that young culinary artists and wine specialists won’t be at Bailey locations any longer. Here’s an undisputable fact: Attendees and Press at the recent Wine Dinner at Bailey’s Park Lane that featured Ehlert’s cooking thoughtfully paired with Jaco’s selection of Soter wines heard nothing but glowing compliments coming from the diners/drinkers. Superb food, wine and company, they said, made for a memorable evening. Frustrating that it won’t happen there again — at least under the direction of Ehlert and Jaco. Y’all please share if you hear where they have landed next to ply their food and wine artistry. And make sure Zagat gets the memo, because they then will have something to record. There are wonderful foodies and wine enthusiasts in Dallas who deserve, and will appreciate, what Ehlert and Jaco have to offer.