Thomas Keller to return home, take over space formerly occupied by Ta-boo

Award-winning chef, who spent youth in Palm Beach, to open new restaurant at location that had been longtime home to Ta-boo
Thomas Keller in Los Angeles, May 5, 2017
Posted at 1:23 PM, Jun 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-01 18:33:17-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Thomas Keller is coming home.

The award-winning chef and restauranteur will be taking over the space previously occupied by Ta-boo, which closed last Sunday after 82 years in business.

Laura Saldarriaga, a publicist for Keller's restaurants, confirmed to WPTV on Thursday that the 67-year-old chef will open a new restaurant in its place.

It's a sort of homecoming for Keller, who lived in Palm Beach when he was young and spent his teenage summers working at the Palm Beach Yacht Club, first as a dishwasher and later as a cook.

Thomas Keller at White House, May 18, 2020
Thomas Keller, chef and owner of Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, listens during a meeting with restaurant industry executives about the coronavirus response in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, May 18, 2020, in Washington.

Keller's portfolio includes restaurants in California, New York, Las Vegas and the Surf Club Restaurant in Surfside.

Saldarriaga couldn't say what the concept for the new restaurant will be or when it will open.

Ta-boo was served with an eviction notice in March after a representative for the building's new owners said the rent hadn't been paid since the end of April 2022.

Ta-boo restaurant sign, March 16, 2023
Ta-boo, a landmark Palm Beach restaurant, seen here March 16, 2023, first opened in 1941.

Franklyn deMarco, who bought Ta-boo in 1990, told WPTV that it was never about the rent. He wanted a long-term lease but said the new owners "were not interested in that."

"They have other ideas for the property," he said. "They're going to do something that's going to be different and we're all going to see how that works out."

DeMarco said he intends to reopen Ta-boo in a new location.