Food News: Tilman Fertitta's Restaurants are Going Public

Plus, Urban Harvest is pivoting from its annual fruit tree sale to a whole festival.

By Timothy Malcolm February 1, 2021

Tilman Fertitta is taking Landry's public.

Tilman Fertitta is taking his restaurants public. According to a report by Bloomberg, the Houston billionaire is putting Fertitta Entertainment (including Landry's Incorporated and Golden Nugget Casino) on the New York Stock Exchange after a merger agreement with a shell company called Fast Acquisition Corp.

Fertitta will remain in charge of his restaurants, a long list highlighted by Mastro's, Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse, Willie G's Seafood, the Palm Restaurant, Saltgrass Steakhouse, Grotto, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and Brenner's Steakhouse. The Houston Rockets, and hotels like the Post Oak, are not included in the merger agreement, however, and will remain solely under Fertitta's ownership.

"I look forward to returning my Company to the public marketplace. After taking the Company private in 2010, we accomplished a lot. However, in today's opportunistic world, I determined that in order to maximize the opportunities in the gaming, entertainment and hospitality sectors, it was preferable to take my Company public," said Fertitta in a press release. "We first began to explore going public in 2019, as we saw tremendous M & A deals hitting the market. However, the pandemic set these efforts back. FAST provided us with the perfect merger vehicle to allow us to take control of an already existing public company. FAST's capital along with the equity investment from institutional shareholders will strengthen our balance sheet and allow us to pursue our acquisition strategy."

Sichuan-based hot pot restaurant MaLuBianBian is now open in Houston at 9102 Bellaire Blvd in Asiatown. MaLuBianBian has base broth made with 19 herbs, and you'll want to give the spicier broths a chance. Skewered proteins run the gamut from all kinds of chicken to beef stomach to wagyu. It's open from 2 p.m. to midnight daily.

Each February, Urban Harvest sells a whole bunch of fruit trees suitable for the Houston climate. This fruit tree sale is the largest one-day sale of its kind in America, but this year it isn't happening. Instead, Urban Harvest is hosting a virtual fruit tree festival from February 6 to 13. The festival will include classes, panel discussions, orchard tours, and more special events focused on the growth and care of fruit trees. A full schedule, plus opportunities to sign up for classes, can be found here.

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