This year, Restaurant Hospitality collected the 25 most powerful multiconcept operators across the country, or what we call the RH 25. With this list, there is no ranking. All 25 are powerful, and all 25 are companies to watch. See all concepts >>
Leadership: Randy DeWitt, CEO; Jack Gibbons, president; John Franke, corporate chef
Group systemwide sales: $350 million in fiscal 2016
Concepts: More than 90 restaurants, including 81-unit Twin Peaks, five-unit Velvet Taco and five-unit Whiskey Cake, along with Sixty Vines (2 units), Mexican Sugar, Ida Claire, Hot Joy and The Ranch at Las Colinas.
What’s new: Legacy Hall food hall, The Keeper, Haywire and Detour.
A future in food halls
Front Burner Restaurants straddles the sometimes disparate worlds of chain and independent restaurants with the 81-unit “breastaurant” concept Twin Peaks and one-offs like Mexican Sugar and Ida Claire.
But Front Burner has a plan that might help bridge the gap: Food halls.
In October, Legacy Hall — a 55,000-square-foot food hall with more than 20 artisan food stalls, full-service bars, an on-site brewery and beer garden — is scheduled to open.
Legacy Hall will not only be a Texas-sized addition to the growing food-hall scene, it will also be a model for the future.
The company has launched a subsidiary called The Food Hall Co., which aims to create and design food halls in other cities. The goal is for the food halls to become incubators for young entrepreneurs. But Front Burner is also developing food-hall-worthy brands.
Haywire serves home cooking with a fine-dining touch, and will debut in Legacy Hall in November. Detour, another concept opening there, will feature organic and natural wines, along with panini, cured meats and cheeses.
Legacy Hall will also have a tiki bar called Idol Time and Unlawful Assembly Brewing Co., a brewery and tap room promising a rotating selection of bold craft beers that will make up Legacy Hall’s top floor.
In addition, the restaurant group this year is scheduled to open The Keeper, a Pacific Rim seafood concept with rum and tiki drinks.
A pan-Asian-inspired restaurant called Hot Joy also opened in July, as a two-year pop up, but hopes to find a permanent Dallas home.