Gene Street, President and CEO, Consolidated Restaurant Companies, Inc., Dallas, TX

Gene Street, President and CEO, Consolidated Restaurant Companies, Inc., Dallas, TX

Age: 58. Why he's rising: Last year Street formed Consolidated Restaurant Companies with partners Steve Hartnett, John Harkey and John Cracken. CRC purchased El Chico Restaurants for $60 million and, later, Spaghetti Warehouse for $61 million. Street and his group also made a run at Landry's Seafood and Rock Bottom Brewery, two moves that made the industry stand up and take notice, though both failed to materialize. Expect future acquisition moves that will secure Street as a big league player. Background: Opened country-cooking concept Black Eyed Pea in the early 1970s, with partner Phil Cobb, which he sold in 1986 for $47 million. He followed it with a multitude of Dallas restaurant concepts, include Dixie House, Blue's Lake Front, and the Wine Press. After a short-lived retirement in the late '80s, opened Good Eats chain. Partnered with former lawyers Cracken and Harkey in 1997 to purchase El Chico chain. Schooling: Howard Payne University, B.S.; Southern Methodist University, M.L.A. Wins praises for: Gut instinct for operations and concept development. First foodservice job: Opened J. Alfred's bar in Dallas in the early 1970's with partner Phil Cobb. What the future holds: Opening a second Cool River in Austin. Also, more acquisitions of companies in the $25 to $75 million range. He's aiming to have a market capitalization of $250 to $750 million by early 2000. CRC expects to turn $250 million in sales this year.

PHOTO: MARK PERLSTEIN/BLACK STAR