Having recently opened a Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Austin, Fort Worth chef Tim Love is now setting his sights on Knoxville, Tenn., reports knoxnews.com, the website of the Knoxville News Sentinel.
When the website spoke to Love about the impending opening, he added that he would also open one of his Love Shack burger joints in Knoxville. Not too long ago, Love had two Love Shacks in Fort Worth and another in Denton, but he’s down to just the original in the Fort Worth Stockyards now — until the Knoxville one opens.
Why Knoxville? As knoxnews.com reports, Love attended the University of Tennessee in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and worked at various restaurants in the city.
In a DFW.com profile of Love a few years ago, Love, who grew up in Denton, told us that he gained much of his food knowledge at his father’s Tennessee farm, where he spent summers after his parents split when he was very young.
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During college, he wanted to be a bartender, a server or a host but he wound up getting a baptism by fire in the kitchen of a Greek restaurant when the guy who was supposed to train him didn’t show up. The adrenaline rush of the kitchen hooked him, and a year later, he was running it.
By the time he graduated with a finance degree when he was 22, he'd already been a chef for the Radisson hotel chain, which sent him to the Culinary Institute of America for a year.
Love tells knoxnews.com that the new Love Shack will be a 3,000-square-foot, double-tiered, completely outdoor restaurant with a mezzanine area — which sounds fairly similar to the Fort Worth Love Shack.
In 2006, Love opened a Manhattan location of Lonesome Dove that was panned by critics and lasted less than six months. “"[It was] kind of a kick in the nuts," Love said on our profile. "But at the same time, it's probably the best thing I ever did in my career, because of the respect I gained from some of the biggest chefs in the world, opening that restaurant. They all loved it. So while critically it wasn't great, I earned so much respect from so many people.”
He told us that the experience didn’t sour him on trying to open a restaurant outside of Texas again. The Knoxville locations, due to open in 2016, will mark his first restaurant openings outside the state in a decade.
Lonesome Dove Fort Worth is at 2406 N. Main St.; Love Shack is at 110 E. Exchange St.