News & Press

Cork & Pig Tavern heads to Shops of Southlake

Cork & Pig Tavern heads to Shops of Southlake

SOUTHLAKE— Cork & Pig Tavern will soon bring its chef-driven destination to Shops of Southlake, located at Southlake Boulevard and Carroll Avenue across from Southlake Town Square. Cork & Pig Tavern is a unique, chef driven blend of wood fired meats, gourmet salads, and an array of signature entrees, sandwiches, and appetizers, all complimented by expansive wine selections, craft beers and specialty cocktails.

Cork & Pig Tavern will open in a 4,219-square-foot location adjacent to Shops of Southlake’s new Mesero, a specialty Mexican restaurant that opens at Shops of Southlake this fall.

Cork & Pig Tavern is the creation of some of the most talented and innovative chefs around, Felipe Armenta, Virginia Dalbeck and John Nestor, who have helmed successful concepts throughout the country. (More on the chefs can be found in the “About” section of this press release.)

David Palmer, Weitzman executive vice president of development, notes that the addition of Cork & Pig Tavern keeps with the center’s mission to be a destination offering the best of the best.

“Shops of Southlake, with the addition of Cork & Pig Tavern and Mesoro joining our popular mainstays like Bone Fish Grill and Coal Vines, offers a complementary mix of dining concepts unique in the market,” he said. “They join our stellar new additions like Saint Bernard, offering lifestyle apparel and more. These restaurants and retailers exemplify the ways we continually enhance and upgrade the retail mix at Shops of Southlake, where the combination of high-profile location, extremely strong trade area and destination concepts is creating one of the absolutely best retail locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area”

Michelle Caplan and Maggie Hansen with Weitzman handled negotiations as exclusive leasing agents for the center. Darin Botelho, vice president of retail with Gables Urban, and Gretchen Miller with Weitzman represented the restaurant.



The original idea and concept of Cork & Pig had been in the makings for over a decade before it was finally born in San Angelo, Texas. It all started when Chef John Nestor and Chef Felipe Armenta met while working for the Hillstone Restaurant Group in California. They spoke often about eventually starting a restaurant together. At that time, Chef Virginia Dalbeck started working for the Hillstone Group as well. The three became instant friends. Working for Hillstone meant that as they rose through the ranks they would be separated as they all traveled to work at different restaurants around the country. Luckily, they would all eventually end up back together in New York City. New York offered them experience, engagement, and unlimited possibilities. As the trio grew, so did their ideas, and they agreed they all wanted to own a restaurant someday.

After some time traveling while continuing to gain experience in the hospitality industry, Chef Virginia and Chef Felipe were presented with the opportunity to start the restaurant they had always talked about having, and they knew just the man to call to help them get it up and running - their old friend John Nestor. The three started the Cork & Pig restaurant from the ground up, opening the first location in 2010.

 With three successful restaurants under their belts, the next venture was clear for the Cork & Pig team - a larger location in a larger city. Expanding into a larger market prompted the team to bring on their fourth partner, Ed Buenaventura. Ed had worked with all three of the current owners while they were at Hillstone Restaurants. “Ed had a profound impact on the development and career growth,” John Nestor said about his new business partner. Ed spent almost 20 years working for Hillstone Group, where he worked his way up to the position of Executive General Manager.


Shops of Southlake features Central Market, Nordstrom Rack, DSW and a large number of specialty retailers and restaurants and is located directly across the street from Southlake Town Square. The two centers complement each other and create one of the finest open-air shopping experiences in North Texas.