The owners of one of the more popular restaurant groups in town have split in an effort to give ample attention to its two concepts.
Stephen Hightower and Trey Williams confirmed Tuesday they have split the City Pork Hospitality Group company, which houses City Pork Deli & Charcuterie, City Pork Brasserie & Bar, City Pork Kitchen & Pie and Southfin Southern Poké.
Williams will take over the Southfin side, operating independently. Hightower will oversee the upscale City Pork Brasserie & Bar, at 7327 Jefferson Highway, and the Deli & Charcuterie, at 2363 Hollydale Ave., and still operate under the City Pork Hospitality Group brand.
Williams confirmed that City Pork Kitchen & Pie, at 6721 Exchequer Drive, will close within the next month.
"(Kitchen & Pie) has been a fantastic restaurant, and we certainly aren't closing it due to lack of sales," Williams said, mentioning that on most days the restaurant still has a wait time for lunch seating. "While we appreciate the support of all of our loyal customers and the fantastic staff, this concept just didn't fit into the long-term plans for either parties, and we were forced to make this difficult decision."
Williams added that the Kitchen & Pie space is now available for lease or sale as a complete turn-key operation with all furniture, fixtures and equipment.
Hightower said that the split was amicable and has been in the works for awhile.
"It's something we have wanted to do from a growth standpoint," Hightower said. "(Williams) fell in love with Southfin, and my passion is still for City Pork. Now, we both have a lot more time to spend on each concept."
City Pork Deli & Charcuterie opened in December 2013, serving everything from brisket and pulled pork sandwiches to charcuterie boards. The Brasserie opened in December 2014, led by chef Ryan André. City Pork Kitchen & Pie opened in late December 2015. Southfin opened in March.
Williams said that he is actively searching for a second location of Southfin. The Hawaiian inspired street food restaurant is located 4321 Perkins Road, manned by chef/culinary director/general manager Eusebio Gongora II and director of operations Brad Mire.
"Southfin is going to be on its own moving forward," Williams said. "(Hightower and I) wanted to take what was working and focus on that."
Hightower said he doesn't anticipate too many changes with City Pork and has no plans for additional locations as of now.
"We've had an outstanding year at City Pork," Hightower said. "Our short-term goal is to focus on bringing more barbecue to the deli, but we don't want to lose our hold on serving the favorites. We're excited about the move."