Legendary Jonathan’s Cork Restaurant Has New Ownership
For over 40 years, Chef Jonathan Landeen has delighted Tucson palates with his signature brand of culinary genius. After a long successful career, he has announced that Jonathan’s Cork has been sold and he and his wife and partner Colette will retire Mar. 27, when new owners Glenn and Sally Murphy take the reins.
Landeen moved to Tucson from Nebraska with his family in the late 1950s where his anesthesiologist father set up practice. After trying a variety of jobs, he heard the call of the culinary world and made his way to New Orleans where he worked with Chef Paul Prudhomme at the legendary Commander’s Palace.
His broad knowledge of Cajun cuisine from that period has had a great influence on his cooking style throughout the years. Upon returning to Tucson, he held executive chef positions at several restaurants before buying The Tucson Cork (formerly known as the Cork and Cleaver) in 1994. For the past 29 years, Jonathan’s Cork has maintained its signature style with classic offerings like escargot, prime beef dishes as well as game meats like bison, venison and ostrich, outstanding seafood entrees, classic dishes whose popularity have never waned.
It’s a nostalgic time for the Landeen family. “Colette and I are so thankful to the community and most importantly, our guests and regulars who have been with us from day one – they really are the heart and soul of the Cork,” said Landeen. “It has truly been a labor of love for us. I couldn’t have asked for a more loyal crew, our little “family” has weathered every storm, held it together no matter what. I know that with their guidance, the new owner will continue to deliver the very best of our traditions”.
When longtime restaurateur Glenn Murphy and his wife Sally heard Landeen was ready to “pass the cleaver” to new management, the pair leapt at the opportunity to welcome friends, locals, regulars and visitors to one of the most inviting restaurant spaces in Tucson.
As a native of Perth, Australia, Murphy first stepped into a commercial kitchen at the age of 15, excelling in the Hilton Hotel culinary program. During his career, he has owned and/or operated 40+ restaurants and bars on three continents, Australia, the U.S. and Thailand. Sally (Shamrell) Murphy is a native Arizonan who grew up in Bisbee and is less camera shy than Glenn, having worked as both a TV journalist in Tucson and an actor in Los Angeles.
The two met 20+ years ago, when Glenn operated “Backstage,” a live music venue located next door to the Cork. They both feel that this move is fate and look forward to the responsibility of upholding tradition while operating one of the last strongholds of Tucson’s famed “Restaurant Row”.
The Murphys are thrilled to become the owners of a significant piece of Tucson’s culinary story. “The Cork has such a rich history of fantastic food in a cozy old-school environment…it’s like a comfortable old glove and we can’t wait to continue that legacy”, said Murphy.
Jonathan’s Cork is located at 6350 E Tanque Verde Road and has been serving steak, seafood and Southwestern cuisine on Tucson’s east side for over 29 years.
Pictured Above from Left – Sally (Shamrell) Murphy, Glenn Murphy, Jonathan and Colette Landeen