The lunch crowd is pictured at the Theodore in NorthPark Center, photographed on Thursday, January 21, 2016. (Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News)

The lunch crowd is pictured at the Theodore in NorthPark Center, photographed on Thursday, January 21, 2016. (Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News)

Louis DeLuca/Staff Photographer

When bright, interesting restaurant The Theodore opened inside NorthPark Center in late 2015, we wondered: Can a non-chain sit-down restaurant thrive there, even if it's located inside D-FW's most interesting and upscale shopping center?

Partner Chris Jeffers says he "gave it everything." But The Theodore is no longer in operation, as of July 25, 2018.

"We just tried so hard," Jeffers says. The restaurant was located on NorthPark Center's north side, between Nordstrom and Macy's. The name of the restaurant was a nod to Teddy Roosevelt, our 26th president and one of the four guys on Mount Rushmore.

Walking into NorthPark Center, diners would check in at a hotel-style desk before being escorted into a dining room that never felt like it was a few hundred feet from a Banana Republic and a Zara.

Walking into NorthPark Center, diners would check in at a hotel-style desk before being escorted into a dining room that never felt like it was a few hundred feet from a Banana Republic and a Zara.

Louis DeLuca/Staff Photographer

A few weeks after The Theodore opened, then-restaurant critic Leslie Brenner called it "a blast and a half" in a headline, making the point that holiday shoppers could find respite in "one of the most unusual mall restaurants anywhere." The restaurant was handsomely decorated a la Wes Anderson and the restaurateurs -- Jeffers and his partners Tim Byres and Chris Zielke --  seemed popular among Dallas diners. (They already operated Smoke, the Oak Cliff restaurant that spawned a Plano spinoff which closed in 2017.) Brenner gave The Theodore three stars.

A spokeswoman at NorthPark confirmed The Theodore closed and wrote in an email "we are looking forward to bringing in a new and exciting restaurant to the space soon."

Jeffers called NorthPark "more than accommodating" and says "sales weren't there." 

"I loved the place and it really meant a lot to me," he says.

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