Culture / Restaurants

The Real Story Behind a Dallas Area Hotspot’s Sudden Shuttering

Restaurant Fueled by Friendship Undone by Economics

BY // 04.02.17

One short year after opening, Plano’s Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine closed its doors in late March, a few days after culinary director Tre Wilcox and executive chef Jermaine Brown both left the kitchen. The modern comfort food restaurant is in the middle of an eviction lawsuit from Enterprise Central LLC, the company that owns Julia Pearl’s building.

Word of Wilcox and Brown’s departures came prior to the news of Julia Pearl’s closing.

Wilcox, a veteran of Top Chef and Iron Chef America, was given a stake in the restaurant for his efforts as culinary director, but was not involved the day-to-day happenings. After finding and training staff, and appointing Jermaine Brown executive chef, Wilcox took a minimal role at Julia Pearl.

He plans to continue building his company Tre Wilcox Cooking Concepts, which caters, and serves as an event venue for cooking classes, corporate team building events, and private parties.

“I don’t want to ever make it sound like Tre Cooking Concepts was part time,” Wilcox tells PaperCity. “That’s my full time, my number one. I’m 100 percent owner of Tre Wilcox Cooking Concepts, and Julia Pearl was something I did in an effort to help my little brother, Jermaine Brown.

“The restaurant industry is oversaturated as it is right now in this metroplex, so I’m good with what I’m doing, because it’s very unique.”

Meanwhile, Jermaine Brown has already moved to on to Great Scott, a holistic Grapevine “meatery” specializing in charcuterie with an expansive wine list. The restaurant, whose slogan is “Praise the Pig,” prides itself on providing Certified Humane Raised and Handled meats of the highest quality, and wines from sustainable vineyards.

While the Plano restaurant scene is still booming, the closure is certainly a significant hit. Only time will tell if another local spot will be able to serve up comfort food with the same finesse as Julia Pearl. The two men who made that happen have clearly already moved on.


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