Doing more with less is the mantra of many an operator in this economic downturn, especially one gutsy enough to open a new restaurant—like John Tesar. Tesar opened Tesar’s Modern Steak and Seafood in September in the Houston suburb of The Woodlands. The upscale restaurant is located in the site of a shuttered Southwestern eatery that the chef-owner called “a million-dollar restaurant [acquired] for 10 cents on the dollar,” and Tesar has sought out similar bargains in his ...

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