The drama surrounding Cherry Pie Hospitality has taken an unexpected turn. The embattled restaurant group, which was temporarily locked out of two its concepts earlier this month, announced that it has sold State Fare.
The Memorial-area comfort food restaurant known for its stylish decor and generous portions has been acquired by Culinary Khancepts, a sister company to the Houston-based Star Cinema Group. Star Cinema operates seven movie theaters in the Houston area. State Fare, the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Best New Restaurant in 2017, will remain open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, but it will operate independently of Cherry Pie Hospitality.
“It is a pleasure to have such an exciting concept under our umbrella," said Omar Khan, president and CEO of Star Cinema Group, in a statement. "As we look forward to expanding the State Fare brand in the Houston market, we will continue to let our team provide the community with the same great service and vibrant atmosphere that they have grown accustomed to.”
Cherry Pie's future has been uncertain since the departure of founding partner Lee Ellis in March. CEO Chris Vestal recently parted ways with the company, and one-time COO Jim Mills announced on his Facebook page that he is now working for Buc-ee's, the rapidly expanding chain of gas stations.
Star Fish, Pi Pizza, and Lee's Fried Chicken and Donuts all remain under the Cherry Pie umbrella, but whether that continues to be the case remains to be seen. A Cherry Pie representative declined to comment on the rumors that those restaurants are also close to being sold.