Photos by Kathy Tran.

Reporting a restaurant closure feels a tad like writing an obituary, especially when the joint is one whose survival seemed certain.

Alas, the restaurant industry is fickle at best. Respected veterans of the business aren’t guaranteed to create thriving establishments. The Theodore at NorthPark Center succumbed to poor sales, even though chef Tim Byres was one of its masterminds.

Christopher Jeffers, Chris Zielke and Byres opened The Theodore in 2015.  Byres is the culinary director of Turn the Tables Hospitality, a venture that juggles Bolsa, Smoke, Chicken Scratch and The Foundry.

Themed after Teddy Roosevelt, the menu’s “classic American food story” featured pizzas, pot pie and beef tenderloin. A full-production bakery and whimsical wall decor added to its nostalgic vibe.

“It’s all about creating an atmosphere, an energy,” Byres told the Advocate in 2016. “We set up the story of the place and then fill in the details of the menu.”

Nostalgia wasn’t enough to attract customers to NorthPark. “We did everything we could for almost three years,” co-owner Chris Zielke told CultureMap. “It’s not been an easy time for restaurants in general, and summer is always tough.”

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