Hash Over

Fog rolling out?
Thick rumors have been rolling in Dallas that Truluck's Steak and Stone Crab in Addison has acquired Fog City Diner. Not true, says Fog City's managing partner Jay Schimmel. At least not yet.

"According to whoever runs their mouth up there...they've owned this restaurant since January," he snaps. Schimmel explains that Truluck's became intensely interested in the McKinney Avenue restaurant--purchased last year by Fog City concept founder Real Restaurants Inc. of San Francisco from a group of Dallas investors that included Dallas Cowboy Troy Aikman and Texas Ranger Will Clark--shortly after voters approved the arena deal. Real's response: The restaurant wasn't for sale.

But everything has its price, and Real added that if Truluck's wanted the space, it should put its money where its molars sit.

Apparently, Truluck's is playing ball. Co-owner Steve Fields says they have recently put a solid offer on the table. "We've got a letter of intent out...and it's looking good," he says. "It's a great location, and we'd sure like to take it over and do another Truluck's here in the city." Fields says the fate of the offer should be clear by the end of the month.

Biernat's beef
When restaurateur Tony Vallone flew Al Biernat, longtime general manager of The Palm, down to Houston to discuss an offer to take over management of Joey's and transform it into a steakhouse, Biernat said he wasn't interested--unless he was given a significant equity stake. The Vallones apparently reconsidered his demands, and now Biernat has his stake, and his steak. After negotiating with Joey's managing partner Joey Vallone for just a few days, Biernat secured backing from a silent partner and inked a deal to purchase the Oak Lawn restaurant April 14.

"After 22 years, I didn't want to work for anyone anymore," says Biernat. "He [Vallone] gave me a price and...we got what we wanted." The new venue, a 220-seat steakhouse to be called Biernat's, will have a menu featuring aged certified Angus beef, fresh seafood, and pasta dishes. He plans to sink some $350,000 into the space, adding booth seating for up to 100, double doors at the entrance, and a canopy over the front patio. Scheduled to open June 27, construction will begin at the end of this week, and Biernat says he's been contacted by Channel 8's Good Morning Texas, which is considering before-and-after segments on the transformation of the restaurant.

--Mark Stuertz

Contact Mark Stuertz by e-mail at markstz@juno.com or call (214) 757-8422.


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