Eats Beat

Del Frisco’s, Double Eagle restaurants sold to Houston owners of Landry’s, Morton’s

Houston-based Landry’s Inc., owner of Morton’s upscale steakhouses and more than 60 other brands including Saltgrass Steak House, has bought the Southlake-based Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse and Del Frisco’s Grille restaurant chains.

Landry’s owner Tilman Fertitta bought the restaurants from the Connecticut-based private equity firm L Catterton, which had just bought them in January for $650 million.

In June, L Catterton also added the Connecticut-based Bartaco chain. L Catterton will keep Bartaco, which has a Fort Worth location.

Locally, Landry’s operates 18 Saltgrass locations across Dallas-Fort Worth, a Joe’s Crab Shack in Fort Worth, Rainforest Cafe in Grapevine and a Morton’s and an Oceanaire in Dallas.

Fertitta, owner of the Houston Rockets, also owns the Golden Nugget casinos.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle’s Fort Worth location is consistently among the city’s top-ranked restaurants and recently added weekday lunch service.

The Fort Worth location was the company’s second when founder Dale “Del Frisco” Wamstad opened it in 1996 in the 1940-vintage Wheat Building, a former men’s clothing store on what was then a dilapidated end of downtown.

The casual Del Frisco’s Grille spinoff opened Fort Worth and Southlake locations in 2013 in Sundance Square and Southlake Town Square.

The company sold Sullivan’s Steakhouses last year.

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.