Here’s The Scoop About the End of Suze

So long, Suze.

Suze, the beloved Preston Hollow restaurant that first opened in March of 1998, will serve its last meal on June 28, 2024.

Current Chef/Owner Gilbert Garza announced Thursday that he’s closing the restaurant that has been a Dallas favorite for 24 years. I reached out to Garza who said, “This is great news. It’s not just a narrative, I’m genuinely thrilled. I can’t wait to see what Greg will do. It’s a great fit.”

The Beginning

Susie Bauer, fresh off a divorce and with little money, took over the original Suze’s space from Ettore and Oona Settembre who ran Going Gourmet. She updated the space, hired a chef, developed a menu, and ordered a new sign for the restaurant she wanted to name Susie. After spending what little she had on everything else, she only had $2,000 remaining for the sign. The letters cost $500 each so she decided the restaurant would be named Suze instead.

Not long after she opened, she “went looking” she told me, for a young chef named Gilbert Garza to run the kitchen. “Gilbert is a wonderful chef he wasn’t where he needed to be” she said of the since-closed Italian restaurant where he worked. “He needed his own place.”

Gilbert brought his exceptional culinary skills and deep business acumen to Suze and soon, the restaurant was a huge commercial and critical success.

The Middle

In 2000, Susie wanted a career change. She moved to California and joined the Peace Corps. She knew her namesake restaurant was in excellent hands with Gilbert. By September, Susie was on the west coast and Garza was the new owner of Suze.

In the 24 years he’s been chef/owner of Suze, Gilbert has created a beloved neighborhood institution where generations of families have enjoyed Garza’s excellent pastas, salads, fish and meat.

In 2017, Garza seized on that opportunity to take the space once occupied by Ball’s Hamburgers. Central Market was opening in the shopping center and the move across the parking lot provided a larger, more visible space that includes a shaded patio. He also added a bar, since the former place only served beer and wine. That’s been Suze’s home ever since.

The End

I asked Susie how she felt about the end of this chapter. “I’m not sad, I’m wistful. I only owned it for a few years, but I loved it. I’m proud of the restaurant and proud of Gilbert.” But, she added, “I would be sad if it was anyone other than Greg Katz taking it. He will do great, whatever it becomes.”

Gilbert is going to miss his customers, which are so much more to him than that word connotes. “It feels really good to step away on my own terms, though.”

“I’ve experienced all phases of life with people,” he says of his guests. “From weddings to funerals, first dates and engagements, we have been together.” He adds that he’s built magnificent friendships with Suze regulars and looks forward to staying connected with them, which will be easy to do since he lives in the neighborhood.

How do Suze guests feel about this closure? “Since the news broke, I’ve received so many kind messages from people.” He says guests have been supportive and happy for him and expressed “loving appreciation” for the many good meals and good memories they’ve had at Suze.

A New Beginning

Suze is closing because Gilbert is ready for another phase of life and an amazing hospitality group came along at the right time.  He said he and Greg Katz have been conversing about various options since 2022, shortly after Clifton Club opened. Personally, Garza wants to sit back, enjoy family time and take a well-deserved break from the industry he’s been in for nearly 40 years.

“Greg is a sweet, passionate person. He’s such a good guy. He and his brother will bring youthful energy to this space. Katz also lives in Preston Hollow and recognizes the opportunity for elevated dining experiences in that section of town.

“I’ve seen some of the design and architectural renderings and they are stunning. He’s going to do something elevated. I’ll be calling him to make sure I get a table,” he laughs.

Greg Katz and his brother Nik, the hospitality experts who’ve given us Beverly’s Bistro and Bar, Clifton Club and Green Point Seafood & Oyster Bar expect the new place to open November of this year.

Though many people will miss Suze, the Katz brothers create pitch perfect concepts with great food, décor, and hospitality and there’s every reason to look forward to this spot. I, too, will be calling Mr. Katz to make sure I get a table.

This is a happy ending to a new beginning. Congratulations to you, Gilbert, on a remarkable run.

For more information on Katz Bros LLC concepts, please visit @beverleysdallas, @cliftonclubdallas, and @green.pointdallas 

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Kersten Rettig

Kersten Rettig is the only DFW Food/Travel writer with luxury hospitality leadership experience and a former restaurant owner, employee, and chief marketing officer. Kersten's worked on the inside and has the insight and experience to tell the stories to the outside. She's a Park Cities resident, mom, wife and a decent cook. Follow her on Instagram @KerstenEats.

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