City Pork, Southfin Southern Poké owners splitting up

    The owners of the homegrown company that owns the three City Pork restaurants as well as Southfin Southern Poké are parting ways and dividing their holdings.

    As part of the split, City Pork Kitchen & Pie on Exchequer Boulevard will be closing.

    Stephen Hightower and Trey Williams say their split was amicable but that each had different ideas about where to take the rapidly growing company.

    “We just got to a point where I was passionate about City Pork and Trey wanted to take Southfin to the next level,” Hightower says. “We couldn’t do both.”

    Under the terms of the deal, Hightower kept the City Pork restaurants, which include City Pork Deli & Charcuterie on Perkins Road and City Pork Brasserie & Bar on Jefferson Highway. Williams took Southfin, a new restaurant concept that opened in the Southdowns Shopping Center in March. City Pork Kitchen & Pie—the newest of the three City Pork establishments—was a casualty of the break up, but it remains unclear when it will close.

    “It’s been a fantastic restaurant and we certainly aren’t closing due to a lack of sales,” Williams says. “Most days we have a wait for lunch. While we appreciate the support of all of our lay customers and fantastic staff this concept just didn’t fit into the long term plans for either party so we were forced to make this difficult decision.”

    City Pork Deli & Charcuterie opened in December 2013 in the Perkins Road overpass neighborhood. Exactly one year later, Hightower opened City Pork Brasserie & Bar, which was followed by City Pork Kitchen & Pie in December 2015 and Southfin Southern Poké earlier this year.

    Williams says growth at the poke restaurant has far exceeded expectations and that he is scouting a second location for the Baton Rouge market.

    “We want to do another location in Baton Rouge and possibly reach out to some of the surrounding areas in the near future,” he says.

    Read a recent Business Report Entrepreneur feature on Hightower and Williams.

    —Stephanie Riegel

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