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The original Jon’s Grille of Fort Worth, Texas, has a pretty lengthy history. Established in 1989, it was a popular restaurant and hang out spot for students and faculty of Texas Christian University. In late 2001, however, things took an unexpected turn after founder and owner, Jon Meyerson, was found dead at his home. Following his death, the restaurant was closed indefinitely.
Now, years later, it’s being revived. Or at least the namesake is and by none other than one of Fort Worth’s culinary finest.
Acclaimed Chef Jon Bonnell is a native of the North Central Texas city and is most known for his two fine dining restaurants, Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine and Waters Restaurant. He is also the owner of Buffalo Bros, a game-day hangout spot on the TCU campus, and oversees the menu for all home football games at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Bonnell is often called THE resource on fine Texas cuisine.
Regarding the inspiration behind bringing Jon’s Grille back, for Bonnell, it has everything to do with honoring Meyerson who was a personal friend of his. “He passed away not long after I opened my first restaurant in 2001,” Bonnell said. “I’ve always wanted to do a burger restaurant with a special nod to my old friend who knew how to grill up a killer burger and how to spell his first name correctly!”
The original Jon’s Grille was located at 3009 S. University Drive, a spot that now houses Dutch’s Hamburgers. According to the building permit that was recently filed, Bonnell’s version will be located at 2905 W. Berry St., still putting it on the TCU campus and right around the corner from the original restaurant location.
Per a 360 West report, the newly acquired space was once home to The Hop, another landmark Fort Worth food-and-music hangout. And while there will certainly be a portrait of Jon Meyerson in the restaurant, Bonnell’s concept will be pretty different from how it was back in the day. “Yes, we are going to focus on burgers, but we will also bring brisket and some BBQ elements into play at the new Jon’s Grille,” Bonnell said.
The burgers will be focused on Bonnell Ranch Beef as the chef and his brother, Ric, who is a professor at TCU’s School of Medicine, have been raising their own cattle for some time now. Bonnell shared that they are excited to bring their beef to the Fort Worth market.
“A cross of Akaushi and Red Angus, we believe our beef will be the most heart-healthy and tastiest beef that money can buy,” Bonnell said. “The ribeyes, tenderloins, and strips will likely find their place on the menus at Bonnell’s and Waters, but then we will grind the rest to produce some of the finest quality ground meat offered anywhere.”
While the new concept is not set to open until 2022 based on an official note from the restaurant, steps are already being taken to promote it. An Instagram account was launched earlier this year for the restaurant with the first post on March 3rd reading “Hello World”.