Modest Rogers, a small but mighty Venezuelan-inspired restaurant in Oak Lawn, has permanently closed. A post on the restaurant’s Instagram announced the closure.
“I won’t get into any specifics of why but it was definitely a hard time to start a business and it was a reflection of this decision,” the post said. “I want to thank my family, who without their encouragement I would have not been able to accomplish any of this.”
Chef-owner Modesto Rodriguez told D Magazine Monday the restaurant shuttered because of financial issues.
“We literally just ran out of money,” he says. “We just never had good funding.”
Rodriguez said the closure is effective immediately. Modest Rogers operated a cozy 24-seat dining room inside a small Oak Lawn house. Rodriguez spent six years at Nonna and Carbone’s before opening up Modest Rogers last year. The menu—which boasted the likes of carne asada, burgers, blackened redfish, and more—was an ode to Rodriguez’s Venezuelan roots and Texas upbringing.
Dining Critic Brian Reinhart reviewed the restaurant for the Dallas Morning News earlier this year and declared Modest Rogers to be one of Dallas’ most exciting new restaurants. D Magazine named Modest Rogers the best Latin American restaurant in our Best of Big D 2022 Awards.
Rodriguez says business was incredibly slow for a few months, and even on its busiest nights, it was hard for the restaurant to make any money. The small space and limited seating contributed to the lack of revenue, Rodriguez says. From the time it was open until it closed, Rodriguez says he was financially underwater.
“I feel defeated,” Rodriguez says. “It’s tough to give something your all and then it just never really comes to fruition.”
He also says he felt that access in the area surrounding Modest Rogers was “weird.” The neighborhood has been plagued by construction for several months. Rodriguez doesn’t have any immediate plans to open up a new concept, but he does want to stay in a kitchen, he says.
“I’m just thankful that I was able to do it,” he says. “I’m thankful that I was able to meet wonderful people that I probably wouldn’t have gotten a chance to meet prior to this. Just gotta move forward and then try to figure out what I’m going to do next.”
Modest Rogers was located at 3811 Fairmount St.