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Report: Consilient’s Tristan Simon resigns

Posted 5:54pm on Thursday, Jul. 03, 2014

Tristan Simon, the CEO of DFW dining empire Consilient Restaurants, has sold his stake in the company to his partner, Dallas oilman Tim Headington, and quit the biz, D Magazine’s Nancy Nichols reports.

Simon, who was profiled by DFW.contributor Andrew Marton in an April 2012 cover story, and Consilient are behind such current DFW hot spots as Fireside Pies, Fort Worth’s AF+B and Dallas’ buzzy CBD Provisions. In Dallas, he was dubbed the Czar of Henderson Avenue for his run of restaurants and clubs in the Knox-Henderson area, and with the launch of the Fort Worth location of Fireside Pies in 2010, he became a player in Fort Worth’s West 7th District.

At the time his first DFW project, Cool River Cafe, opened in January 1998 (when Simon was 24), the 20,000-square-foot, $8 million restaurant was the most expensive one developed in North Texas. During its first year, it grossed $250,000 a week, making it the highest-grossing restaurant in Texas.

Simon formed Consilient in 2000, and during the next decade opened such Henderson Avenue restaurants as Cuba Libre, the original Fireside Pies, Hibiscus, The Porch and Victor Tangos (Cuba Libre was eventually replaced by Consilient’s Alma, which closed in 2011). He also developed Dallas nightclubs The Candle Room and Sense, and expanded outside DFW with Los Angeles’ Westside Tavern.

It was shortly after the DFW.com profile of Simon ran that, according to Nichols’ post, Simon recapitalized Consilient, and Headington, a Dallas billionaire, acquired a majority interest (Consilient became involved in the management of the Headington-owned Joule Hotel, where CBD Provisions opened in October, quickly making Texas Monthly’s lists of the Ten Best New Restaurants and Ten Best New Bars in Texas.

“Then, in May,” Nichols reports, “the operational relationship between Consilient and Headington’s hotels was abruptly ended, leaving Simon and Headington solely in partnership in Consilient’s independent restaurant businesses: The Porch, Hibiscus, Fireside Pies, Victor Tangos and AF+ B.”

Simon told Nichols that he’s leaving Consilient “with a sense of peace about the resolution, although there’s obviously a lot of sadness, too.” He also said that he doesn’t have the desire to start another restaurant company or to develop more stand-alone restaurant concepts, and indicated that he might look into hotel management and real-estate development. And he added that he believes that Consilient will continue to thrive under Headington and other leaders.

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