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Legacy restaurant, 'Jonathan's Cork' changing owners as head chef, owner retires

Landeen owned the restaurant for 29 years
Chef Jonathan Landeen & Glenn Murphy
Posted at 9:49 PM, Mar 25, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A popular Tucson restaurant is saying goodbye to its owner and head chef of nearly thirty years.

Chef Jonathan Landeen is officially retiring and stepping down as owner.

"I’ve been working since I was 18, so I think I’m kind of ready for the time off," Landeen said when asked why he made the decision to retire now.

RELATED: New ownership coming to Jonathan's Cork

Landeen has delighted the tastebuds of Tucsonans for more than 40 years. Since 1994, he’s served as the head chef and owner of Jonathan’s Cork.

"I think that almost every chef has a secret desire, if not an overwhelming desire, to have their own restaurant," he said.

Now, after a long and successful career, Landeen is hanging up his chef's hat and walking away from a passion and a community that has supported him for so long.

John Peters, a long-time friend and patron of the restaurant, said, "The food is always excellent; it’s always wonderful, and Jonathan and Colette are such great, great, wonderful people."

Landeen said cooking and seeing the faces of delighted customers is what he'll miss the most.

"Being able to do the food you want and the guest," he said. "Having interactions with the guests and having them enjoy what you do."

While the beloved chef may be stepping away from the kitchen, Jonathan's Cork isn’t going anywhere, and its next owner, Glenn Murphy, promises to not fix what isn’t broken.

Chef Jonathan Landeen & Glenn Murphy
Pictured from left to right: Restaurateur Glenn Murphy & Former owner of Jonathan's Cork, Jonathan Landeen

The restaurateur has owned or operated more than 40 restaurants across three continents in his career.

"We’re not changing anything. There’s nothing really to change," Murphy explained. "We love the clientele; they’re very loyal, and the food’s great."

As the sun sets on his career, Landeen says he couldn’t have cooked up a better way to close this chapter of his life.

"I’m just glad we finished on a positive note and the weather’s beautiful," he said. "I don’t think I could have asked for a better finish."

Jonathan's Cork will officially change ownership on Monday, March 27 under the new name The Cork Tucson.

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Kenny Darr is a reporter for KGUN 9. He joined the team in January 2023. Before arriving in Arizona he was an Anchor and Reporter at KADN in Lafayette, LA. Share your story ideas with Kenny by emailing kenny.darr@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.