Henderson Avenue dinner and late-night cocktail conquistador (Cuba Libre, Sense, Candle Room, Fireside Pies) Tristan Simon has dumped his interest in the Mongolian-inspired Genghis Grill, the "create your own stir fry" concept he gulped from founder Jeff Sinelli two years ago. He sold the 10-unit chain to a franchisee that operates Genghis units at Belt Line and Midway roads and Northwest Highway and Technology Boulevard. Simon admits Genghis had been an ongoing source of indigestion for his company Consilient Restaurants, diluting the focus on his Henderson fiefdom. "Those are very different businesses, two different businesses that require two different operating philosophies," he says. "And it was very hard to alternate between those two." So now he's scooping more onto his plate. After he finally opens the upscale Hibiscus in January, Simon plans to begin converting the 12-year-old Barley House into a Southern American tavern (barbecue, oysters, po' boys) called The Porch, a project he says will be his last on Henderson. He'll sink some $1.2 million into the quaint "white wood and glass" transformation, which should be finished sometime in August. Simon says Consilient also plans to expand its Fireside Pies pizza parlor concept to Highland Park and the north suburbs next year. Meanwhile, Barley House owner Joe Tillotson is moving his pub to Yale Boulevard, displacing the Green Elephant, which will close in mid-December after its lease was terminated by the building's new owners.
After struggling for more than a year with wildly fluctuating revenues, Stolik financial backer Mike Chen has flatlined the upscale restaurant and über-hip poseur lounge at Fairmount and Cedar Springs to reconcept the corpse. He will bring in chef Tim Byres, founder of the defunct Deep Ellum restaurant Standard 2706, as a profit-sharing employee and rename the restaurant Standard in his honor. Chen says he's scrapping the lounge, expanding the kitchen by a third and tearing out the wine racks on the upper level to make room for a small bar in an effort to tighten the focus on dining. Restaurateur Patrick Colombo (Ferre, Cru), who runs Chen's restaurant Steel, will get a grip on the restaurant's operations, and Chen says he hopes to retain Stolik General Manager Erika Ramelli and chef Francisco Mendonca. Standard should open sometime in February... Cory Garrison, formerly of Lola and Nana, is the new sous chef at Avner Samuel's Aurora... Eddie Merlot's, the feminized (think non-meat peachy pink) steak house that went into the Timpano Italian Chophouse location in Frisco just more than a year ago, has shut down.
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