A neighborhood favorite on Oak Cliff is undergoing a major transformation. Earlier this month, Beckley 1115 announced via social media that former Savor and Cathedral chef Luke Rogers has bought a majority stake in the restaurant from chef Sharon Van Meter. Rogers will now work as executive chef at Beckley 1115 alongside Van Meter as partner.
Rogers’ journey to Beckley 1115 began last summer when he was a temporary worker for Van Meter in anticipation of the opening of Cathedral, an Italian restaurant in Plano. After parting ways with Cathedral earlier this year, a return to Beckley 1115 was an obvious decision for Rogers, and the opportunity came just in time.
“When [Van Meter] he called me and said, ‘Hey, wanna buy Beckley?’ my heart skipped a beat and I said, ‘Yes,’ immediately,” Rogers says.
Rogers wants Beckley 1115 to maintain the feel of a neighborhood joint, but his priority is keeping the menu seasonal.
“This is an important thing for us,” says Rogers, “The menu has to be seasonal. It has to change frequently so that there is always something new and exciting for our diners. Plus, it’s great for us creatively.”
We visited Beckley 1115 just days after Rogers took the helm. We started with the land and sea trio (surf and turf, $22), a plate of chips and croutons along with a shrimp ceviche, tasty raw tuna, and punchy beef tartare.
Perhaps the highlight of the appetizers was a duck confit tostada ($22). Here a green, puffed tostada is topped with duck confit, pico de gallo, and a lemon sriracha aioli, giving it just the right sweet-and-spicy kick. This particular appetizer pairs well with a glass of Post Malone’s Maison No. 9 rosé ($14).
For mains, we tried lobster mac and cheese, served with cavatappi pasta; the corkscrew design carries plenty of sharp, white cheddar cheeses. Chunks of Maine lobster are mixed in and the dish is topped with seasoned breadcrumbs, giving it a crunchy texture.
A must-try is the roasted half chicken with a drizzle of lemon peppercorn gravy, which sits atop grilled asparagus and whipped corn potatoes. The chicken is certainly flavorful, but perhaps the most adventurous part of this dish is the whipped corn potatoes, a golden mound of soft, fluffy goodness.
“I’m actually not even using butter in that recipe, because it doesn’t need it,” says Rogers. “It’s so rich and flavorful, and it has the sweetness of corn because it’s fresh.”
For dessert, we had the creme brulee, which is topped with fresh blueberries, strawberries, and whipped cream. Beneath that shimmering caramel shell is a divine, soft, indulgent treat.
For Rogers, this is just the beginning of a new era. He wants to keep the place’s eclectic vibe, while he experiments with the avant-garde neighborhood and appeals to the refined crowd.
“I like being able to put things on the menu that I wouldn’t be able to put on my menu in another suburb,” Rogers says. “But here, customers will say, ‘Hey, let me try that dish.’ I’ve always tried to have the kindest kitchens possible with people who have always been hospitable and have that vibe in all of our restaurants. That’s what I hope continues to happen here.”
Beckley 1115. 1115 N. Beckley Ave (Oak Cliff). Tuesday and Wednesday, 3pm-9pm; Thursday – Saturday, 11:00 – 21:00; Sunday, 11am – 3pm