Many chefs would be happy with one successful restaurant. But Felipe Armenta is not most chefs.
He got his start in San Angelo in 2008 and burst onto the Fort Worth scene in 2011 with The Tavern at 2755 S. Hulen St., serving contemporary American cuisine with a Southwestern flair.
He followed with Pacific Table, featuring fresh seafood, Northwest fare and sushi in a corner of University Plaza.
Then came Press Café at Trailhead in Edwards Ranch and the Cork & Pig Tavern at 2869 Crockett St.
And while the Cork & Pig was a new concept in Fort Worth, it was actually the concept he started with in San Angelo and expanded to nearby Odessa.
“Some chefs are bold, outgoing self-promoters. Others prefer to maintain their anonymity around town and remain behind the scenes,” the Fort Worth Business Press said in a 2016 article about the Cork & Pig. “Chef Felipe Armenta would fall into the latter category, quietly running a growing empire with understated ease.”
Gross billings in 2017 mere more than $14 million, he recently told the newspaper.
Felipe Armenta responded to a questionnaire from the Fort Worth Business Press:
What differentiates your company from others in a similar business?
From-scratch cooking with consistently great service.
All businesses go through some tough times. What was your greatest challenge and how did you respond to it?
Opening the first restaurant and paying off debt in a year.
The business climate is changing rapidly. What do you foresee as challenges?
Building a team around quality people with strong leadership.
In general, do you see the present business climate as challenging, uncertain or optimistic and why?
Challenging. There’s lots of competition.
Felipe Armenta’s Restaurants
1600 S. University Drive, Suite 601, Fort Worth
How many people employed: 250
– Paul K. Harral