Josh Hartnett, I mean, Steve Hartnett is the Howard Hughes of the local restaurant industry. He’s a big-money player but he doesn’t hang out in his restaurants and he prefers to keep his name out of the press. You may not know of him but chances are he has fed you at one of his places: he founded Fox & Hound (80-ish locations), Cool River (Dallas, Austin, Denver), and Flip’s Patio Grill in Grapevine. He is co-owner of Bob’s Steak & Chop House (excluding the Lemmon Ave. location) and the recently opened True Fire Grill in Frisco. Hartnett, former partner in Consolidated Restaurant Operations (III Forks, El Chico, etc.), is a major investor in Tristian Simon’s Consilient Restaurants. Outside of the local restaurant business, Hartnett owns millions in real estate (and a penthouse apartment) in Dubai. Oh, and he is a distant uncle to Josh.
However, most of the time he is holed up in his office on the top floor of his house in Colleyville where he shoots pool and runs The Hartnett Group, a money-management business. And he plays golf every day. By himself.
So when I tell you he is going to open a Flip’s Patio Grill just north of Fort Worth, you will understand that it will not be a small burger joint with a patio like the one in Grapevine. The proposed Flip’s Patio Grill will be huge–the budget is close to $5 million bucks. The vibe is Cool River gone burger joint with a huge patio element. Knowing Hartnett, the food will be high quality, the interior will be classy, and the price point will be friendly to the times. I couldn’t reach Hartnett for a quote–his Jitterbug went straight to voice mail.
UPDATE: The plans for Flip’s Bar & Grill in Fort Worth are for a 15,000 square foot facility with food, alcoholic beverages, and games. It will be located in the NE retail area of Western Center Blvd and IH35W on Fossil Bluff Dr.