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Smoke Founders Sell Restaurant to Belmont Hotel

Christopher Jeffers, Tim Byres, and Christopher Zielke are out.
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Smoke founders Christopher Jeffers, Tim Byres, and Christopher Zielke are selling the restaurant to the neighboring Belmont Hotel.

The North Oak Cliff smokehouse opened in September 2009. At the time, Monte Anderson, who then owned the Belmont Hotel, approached the team and asked them to manage his property’s food and beverage program.

“If it wasn’t for the Smoke restaurant partnership, the Belmont would have never become what it did when I sold it in 2015,” says Anderson in a statement. “The food and beverage portion of this project was vital to the hotel becoming a sought after destination. We were pioneers in the revitalization of this corridor, and I am looking forward to working with the team on other projects in the very near future.”

He sold the hotel to Behringer Lodging Group that summer.

So, what’s to become of the restaurant? No statements have been made other than the sale will be final on December 16, and all founding partners are out. Some media outlets are reporting that the restaurant is closing, but that has not been confirmed.

“Smoke has been such a large part of my life for the past decade. I am looking forward to seeing what the next chapter holds for the Belmont,” says Jeffers in a release.

Jeffers and Zielke are focusing on the food and beverage programs at the Statler Hotel.

In a statement, Byres said:

Smoke has shown me how to be the person I always wanted to become. I have too many memories of struggle, grit, celebration, love and companionship around our tables. We have been gifted with the opportunity to craft our own way and do it surrounded by closest friends and family. Nobody was ever a stranger here. Our employees and guests over the years created a powerful synergy of stewardship of Smoke. They have been with us all the way, for this I am beyond grateful.

Byres opened veggie-centric Tight Quarters at Legacy Hall earlier this year. The spot has since closed and will be replaced by Chez Dip, a sandwich spot from Tom Fleming, the executive chef behind Crossroads Diner. So, what’s next for the chef? More smoked meats? More power bowls? Buying a boat and sailing away into the sunset along the coast of Tahiti? We’ve contacted him to find out.

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Leading Off (12/25/20)

Merry Christmas from all of us to all of you. Be safe out there.