Corner Pocket

Dallas restaurant legend Gene Street, chairman of Consolidated Restaurant Operations, confirms he's set to gobble the servings of another Dallas magnate: Scott Ginsburg. According to Street, Consolidated is close to sewing up a deal to pick up Ginsburg's recently shuttered Bamboo Bamboo on the corner of Keller Springs and the Dallas North Tollway to convert what was once the posh restaurant Voltaire into a Cool River Café. "I need more things to do at night, and it'd be right on my way to work," says Street, who spends most evenings up the street at III Forks, the restaurant he picked up from Dallas steak mogul Dale Wamstad. Though the resulting venue would be much smaller than the phenomenally successful Cool River in Las Colinas (12,000 square feet vs. 21,000), Street says there'd still be room for two or three pool tables. Not only that, Street says he plans to install a 2,000-square-foot air-conditioned patio so that smoking vices might be practiced within walking distance of a pool cue. Other alterations to the space, which retains most of its rich Voltaire accoutrements, include ripping out one wine room and adding new windows along the black granite water wall, dimmer lighting, darker woods and a reconfiguration of the bar. Street says Ginsburg may even be a partner in the billiards project, though Consolidated hasn't decided if it will purchase the real estate upon which the restaurant is perched. This bold move comes just after Consolidated scooped up 119 Chevy's Fresh Mex and 10 Fuzio Universal Pasta restaurants scattered across some 19 states from Emeryville, California-based Chevy's Inc. Consolidated already operated some 174 restaurants before this chain chunk was bitten off, including El Chico, Cantina Laredo, Spaghetti Warehouse, Cool River Café, Good Eats, III Forks, Lucky's and Silver Fox Steakhouse--the latter, Street says, he hopes they will soon install in Lakewood.

Marie Grove's Stolik is set to open August 8 in the former Martini Ranch space on Cedar Springs Road. But that doesn't mean the ranch is dead, or more accurately when it comes to martinis, undead. Owner Michael Morris plans to resurrect the stirred-or-shaken beverage dispenser downtown, just two doors down from The Metropolitan, sometime in September. "We're going to do a better job of doing better food," Morris promises. "I'm not so sure that we did as good a job preparing the food as we have in the past." Strange. We always thought those olives were pretty good.


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