Hash Over

Chicken booger boo

Dallas restaurateur Gene Street sounds exhausted after letting one wiggle out of his crosshairs only to have it bagged by one of the big boys. "We worked on it for a long time," Street sighs. "We were real close." The "it" to which Street refers is bankrupt Golden, Colorado-based Boston Chicken and its 751 Boston Market Restaurants. Street and his partners in Consolidated Restaurant Companies Inc. came within a hair's breadth of scooping up the chain of home-style restaurants -- if $25 million or so could be considered a hair in cash terms. That's roughly the distance CRC's bid was from McDonald's Corp.'s winning offer of $173.5 million proffered earlier this month. "We just didn't have the money," says Street, who through CRC helps operate El Chico, Good Eats, Spaghetti Warehouse, and Cool River Café restaurants. "It's a booger boo. So we're just building a bunch of El Chicos and Spaghetti Warehouses and trying to find something else to buy."

Mixed hash

Lower Greenville parking has always been a bitch. But the Barking Dogs of Lower Greenville, a neighborhood group, wants to take this bitchiness to millennial proportions this holiday season. In a little e-mail blurb sent out to residents, the activist organization recommends a couple of handy tips to facilitate homeowner parking access -- like placing large boulders in the street or in front driveways before leaving for New Year's celebrations to discourage bar-patron parking on streets. But our favorite is this little Heloise-like household hint: "If you are staying home, try a bed of nails on narrow slats of wood to puncture car tires. Be sure to paint the wood black so they can't see the board when they drive up."...It looks like Star Concepts, the Carlson Restaurants Worldwide subsidiary that operates Star Canyon and AquaKnox, has plugged a couple of management holes. Kevin Dott, former general manager at Hotel Monaco's Mossant Bistro in Chicago, will head up the AquaKnox/FISHBOWL thingamajig. Dott takes over for George Majdalani. The company yanked Silvio Carbone out of his GM post at Star Canyon, Las Vegas, to head up the homegrown Star Canyon. Carbone replaces Jesse Hernandez.

List watch

The Morgan 1997 Monterey County Pinot Noir is a luscious drink. Garnet in color, the wine balances an abundance of mouth-filling, bright berry fruit with smoky, almost sweaty earthen aromas. Find Morgan pinot on lists at Anzu, Lawry's, York Street, P.F. Chang's China Bistro in NorthPark Center, Lombardi Mare, and Isola Gozo.

Mark Stuertz


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