Photo courtesy of Shell Shack

Two restaurants born on North Henderson have hit the big time.

California-based private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners purchased a majority stake in Velvet Taco, the Dallas-based restaurant chain whose original location is on North Henderson at Central Expressway.

The firm purchased the stake from L Catterton, which will continue as an investor in the chain, according to a media release. Velvet Taco was founded in 2011 by Dallas-based FB Society.

The purchase comes during an aggressive nationwide expansion for Velvet Taco, which had 17 stores in January 2021, and is expected to have 40 by the end of 2022. Its current restaurants are in Texas, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Meanwhile, a few blocks over, Shell Shack was acquired recently by Trispan Parnters, a private equity firm with headquarters in London and New York City.

Shell Shack, which specializes in seafood boils, opened on North Henderson in 2013 and has expanded to include six Texas locations and one franchise store in Florida.

This acquisition also forecasts growth.

“This strategic partnership will propel Shell Shack forward and expedite its expansion into more markets in Texas and beyond,” a media release states.

Shell Shack founder Dallas Hale will remain CEO of the company.

“This acquisition validates the hard work we’ve put into the concept over the past eight years,” Hale stated in the release. “DFW diners have embraced our model and our menu, and we’re excited to bring Shell Shack into more cities across the country. With our partners at TriSpan, we’re aiming to open five new locations each year.”


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