Chef Bob Whoopeecat Stephenson Leaves Cool River in Irving to Open FnG Eats in Keller

Bob Whoopeecat Stephenson has been involved in Cool River since the original 22,000-square foot restaurant opened in October, 1998. “I helped developed it with Steve [Harnett], Gene [Street] and Tristan [Simon] in January of 1997,” Stephenson said. “I did a dinner party at Steve’s house with prospective investors like Jimmy Jackson and George McCloud.” Harnett, the creator of Cool River, passed away in November, 2011.

Stephenson, also a competitive poetry slam artist, turned in his notice and is opening FnG Eats in Keller. He has taken over the 3,600-square food City Hall Restaurant space in the Art House development of Keller Town Hall Center with plans to develop an “American comfort cuisine grill.

Stephenson will remain at Cool River, which is now operated by CRO, until the end of the month. “Cool River has evolved (as we all should) over the years,” Stephenson said. “I just wanted to step back in to a more intimate setting that’s community driven. Steve Hartnett was a big supporter of me moving out on my own. I wish he could see how this one turns out.”


  • LJT

    Hmmm…wonder if Stephenson is aware of what FNG means to anyone from the military or an Army brat like me?

  • Beda

    I don’t know what it means in the military, but I know how he means it, and that alone is enough of a turnoff to keep me from going. But I’m not his demographic anyway (except that I have disposable income) so it doesn’t matter.

  • Well LJT and Beda, I thought you should hear it from the source. LJT-I myself am a Navy brat and I assure you I know the meaning and that’s not it. Beda-I hope this explanation will clear up any predetermined misunderstanding.

    In a restaurant kitchen where you work side by side with the same folks for many years, you end up earning a term of endearment or kitchen family nickname that everyone calls you.
    For years the kitchen nickname given to me was Gordo (fatty) and my Chef partner, Carlos Arevalo, has been called Flaco (skinny). I’m not as Gordo as I used to be (after dropping 160 pounds) but the term of endearment is all about kitchen family love.
    We aren’t doing a Mexican or Hispanic themed restaurant, but we wanted to keep that kitchen family love. We shortened it to FnG! For those folks who want to plug in other connotations to FnG, we simply say plug in whatever F word that you want or what ever G word that you want. As for those men and women in uniform that I truly admire for defending our country and our freedom that use the term to describe recruits fresh out of boot camp or new to a unit, I love and respect your bravery and patriotism. With almost 60 years of combined experience between Carlos and I, we’re definitely not FNG’s to the kitchen!

    Always and gratefully yours,

    Bob Whoopeecat Stephenson
    Chef Proprietor-FnG Eats
    201 Town Center Suite 1101
    Keller, TX 76248

  • Lightfoot-Morse

    I think it’s a great idea using your “kitchen family” names. “G”, your food is AMAZING! Mexican food is my favorite and I’m so happy to have y’all so close that I can become a regular. Losing 160 lbs…way to go! I lost 70 last year. So I know how you feel. Sexy and you know it!!! So make that sexy food because FnG Eats is going to ROCK all of North Tarrant County!

  • Natalie

    The article was great about the new restaurant. I want thank you for explaining the name which is not only catchy but a reason to walk in the door just to find out what the name means while I am trying out dining options. I know you will be repeating the story over and over but that is always good for business.

    Keep the Kitchen family Love going,


  • LJT

    No FNGs for sure! Thanks for taking the time to reply!

  • Amy

    Well, having known “Bobby” for over 30 years I can tell you who his “demographic” is – anyone who wants to be served fantastic food in a fun and classy atmosphere. I for one cannot wait to see the new place and look forward to the next 30 years of great friendship and great food.

  • weavers

    Having known the Stephenson’s for years and been lucky enough to sample many foods …. I can guarantee anyone stepping through the doors of the new restaurant will feel a sense of “welcome” immediately … food that will leave you longing for more … and a desire to return again! Don’t let “names” hold you back … let the name create a memory that will last for a long time to come! Enjoy this next step Bob …. it was worth the wait!

  • David Knouse


    So great to see that you have not lost your creativity and persistence and determination. I wish you all the best and Blair and I will definitely come and sample your offerings. Best of luck my friend and I know, you had to purchase what you did and you just did.

    Let me hear from you.