If you go north where wildflowers bloom, you might find sauce, steak, and other true food offered by Fox Restaurant Concepts. This privately held company is the parent of more than a dozen restaurants concepts that go by such names as NoRTH, Wildflower, Bloom, Sauce, Modern Steak, and True Food Kitchen. Other restaurants include Blanco, Chloe's Corner, Culinary Dropout, The Greene House, Montana Avenue, Olive & Ivy, and Zinburger. With locations in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, and Texas, its boutique restaurants focus on upscale casual dining; many of them are situated in or near shopping centers and outdoor malls. Fox Restaurant Concepts was founded by restaurateur and CEO Sam Fox in 1997.
Opening new restaurants near top retail operations is no accident. Already with a number of successful dining concepts under its belt, the group's first steakhouse venture, Modern Steak, opened in October 2009 at Scottsdale's Fashion Square Mall, one of the country's top 10 malls in terms of sales. Even amidst a recession, it's a place where those with money go to spend it. The group strategically seeks out these types of locations that host lots of foot traffic and attract a middle- to upper-middle-class demographic to help it keep up a good pace of expansion.
Although most of its expansion has taken place in various markets throughout Arizona (including Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson), Fox Restaurant Concepts is whetting its palate in newer markets, such as Austin, Denver, and Leawood, Kansas. Southern California may be next up on the plate as the group's True Food Kitchen plans to open its first Golden State location at Newport Beach's Fashion Island outdoor shopping center in the summer of 2010. True Food Kitchen, a concept based on the teachings of healthy living author Dr. Andrew Weil, is already a popular dining destination at Phoenix's Biltmore Fashion Park. It focuses on locally sourced ingredients that nourish the mind, body, and spirit. – less