JackRyan’s in Downtown Kilgore


As we drove through downtown Kilgore a few weeks ago on our way to my brother Jimmy’s house, we saw a huge amount of cars parked near the railroad tracks. (no picture of all the cars since I was driving at the time!)

Was there a festival going on? Could it be it be all the people in town for the Shakespeare Festival or the Balloon Races? 

When we arrived at out family reunion, which was pretty crowded since all my siblings and their families were there, we got our answer.


According to the resident foodies in our family, we had just witnessed the typical crowd that lines up to eat at the new JackRyan’s Restaurant on the weekend.


My sister Janie, her husband Mark and their son Jackson are certifiable “foodies.” They have a passion for food and have eaten in too many four and five star restaurants throughout the United States to count. And after eating several meals already at this new downtown restaurant, they know that Kilgore has never had food prepared with such skill. It appears that in a very short time, a lot of people have taken notice as well!


Since we were in town for our family reunion and we had very little time to spare for a meal away from the family, we stopped by for lunch on Saturday afternoon. The only problem is that they aren’t open for lunch on Saturday! (my nephew Jackson waits as I ask to take pictures-see the pump jack in the background!)


And like any sassy foodie blogger would do, I knocked on the window so I could ask if I could take pictures so I could share with my readers. I mean having a restaurant with this level of service and food in my little hometown of 12,000 people  is a big deal! I didn’t want to leave without at least getting a peek.


The little strip center that is home to JackRyan’s has a long history of various businesses. The longest one that I can recall was a dollar store. As a matter of fact, the last time I recall being in this building was when I was shopping for supplies for my college apartment. I was a little more than curious to see how this space was transformed into a trendy restaurant. (signs that pay homage to the East Texas oil field)


Wes Ebey, one of the brothers that owns JackRyan’s, was more than gracious to answer all of our questions about their new restaurant while he was busy prepping for dinner service and taking a steady stream of phone calls asking for a reservation.


Brad and Wes Ebey are brothers who grew up in nearby Longview, attending Pine Tree schools. They both graduated from Culinary School at Le Cordon Bleu in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2001. After having worked in fine dining establishments such as The Adolphus Hotel and The Four Seasons over the past 12 years, they had a yearning to open up a place of their own. (a picture of one year old budding chef JackRyan  for who the the restaurant is named appears on the wall)


Since Brad Ebey had recently become a father, there was a focus on opening something up back home in East Texas to be close to family. Their focus was on finding  something in a downtown location that would add to the experience of destination dining. They narrowed their choice to Kilgore due to the vibrancy of downtown with its retail space and tourism element.

After countless hours of  the brother’s physical labor in hammering nails and turning the old space into something new, JackRyan’s Steak and Chophouse opened for business on May 23, 2013.

And the crowds just keep coming from all over the state to experience top -notch food in a unique setting.

The brothers are so pleased with the location and the overwhelming reception of their restaurant that beginning in September, they are bringing a designer in to make the interior space a little more ornate. I guess it’s going to be a little sassier!

As it so happens, I will be heading back home to Kilgore, Texas for my high school class reunion at the end of September. This time, I will plan a little better so I won’t miss out on sampling the food that all of East Texas has fallen head over heals in love with at JackRyan’s.


And I know exactly how Brad and Wes Ebey feel.

There is no place like home.

For more information on this restaurant located near the World’s Richest Acre, please visit JackRyans.


Stay Sassy Y’all.



(photo of Brad and Wes courtesy of their Facebook page)

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  1. Angie Ritenour says:

    I got to eat at Jack Ryan’s when I was in from Michigan last month! I’ll definitely go back as the food was delicious!

  2. Well, now I know where I must go in September! I hear it’s great!!

  3. Jane Lane says:

    Thanks for the kind words,Laura. Will have to tell you about our trip to NYC.
    Jack Ryan’s has become our place to head. Don’t even have to say a word- just a look will let me know.
    Let’s go in September, if you have any free time.

  4. Lynn Ott Heye says:

    Oh how I wish we would have tried this place while we were in town!

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