After two years of serving pancakes, omelets, cheeseburgers, meat loaf, and liver and onions, Buttermilk Café, that old-style diner that steakhouse mogul Dale Wamstad launched with the III Forks Trading Post months after III Forks, has blown out its pilot light. "We don't ever want to hear the word breakfast in our company," says Consolidated Restaurant Cos. President Gene Street,whose firm purchased III Forks and Buttermilk from Wamstad last summer before bolting shut Buttermilk in early February. "Breakfast is not our thing. It's too hard." Street says pulling the plug on the sluggish Buttermilk Café will serve a dual purpose: It will generate cash flow from leases while it frees up valuable parking asphalt in the evening when throngs of steak worshipers congregate at III Forks. "We split it right down the middle," says Street. Sprint PCS will invade the Buttermilk building on the side closest to III Forks, while The Atlanta Bread Co. will inhabit the other.
Rockfish Seafood Grill recently announced a preview of its newest restaurant in Mockingbird Station by distributing invitations pierced with fishing lures containing real barbed fishhooks. (We hope none of these invites were sent to trial lawyers.) But Rockfish isn't the only fish in the sea giving live birth. Former Rockfish partner Bill Bayne, who scooped up Half Shells Seafood Grill in Snider Plaza when he cut loose from Rockfish parent See-Worthy Restaurants Inc., has purchased the Rusty Anchor on Main Street in Grapevine's downtown historic district. Bayne says he plans to gradually convert the roughly 100-year-old space into a Half Shells Seafood Grill, a process that should be finished by April. Bayne has also inked a lease on a 2,400-square-foot space in Plano's Legacy Town Center (where Bob's Steak & Chop House is set to expand). His new venture will be called Saltwater Grill--a step up in elegance from Half Shells. Saltwater should open sometime in December...Restaurateur Michael Cox (Star Canyon, AquaKnox, Taqueria Cañonita), who parted ways with Carlson Restaurants Worldwide last summer, roughly two years after he and chef Stephan Pyles sold their restaurants to the company, has transmogrified from restaurant mogul to grocer. Cox will man the helm of the H.E. Butt Grocery Co.'s Central Market as store manager when it opens next October in Plano...Frankie Carabetta, who was a partner with Tracie Barthlow in Frankie's Sports Bar & Grill before legal troubles forced a bitter rift, launched Rocco's Pizza & Pasta roughly two months ago, down the street from Frankie's on McKinney Avenue, within food-fight range.
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