Local restaurateurs, businessmen acquire Rockwall’s iconic Culpepper Steakhouse

Dallas-area restaurant group acquires Culpepper Cattle Company which was set to close

ROCKWALL, TX (Jan. 5, 2023) Dallas-based UNCO, the owner of popular restaurants Standard Service, HG Sply, Leela’s, Milli and Downtown Dallas sports bar HERO, said Saturday in an email to patrons it acquired Culpepper Cattle Company, a popular Rockwall-area steakhouse that has been in business since 1982.

UNCO has been involved in several Dallas-area restaurant openings and acquisitions since 2013. Co-CEO Elias Pope of Heath wrote in an email to customers on New Years Eve, “In the coming weeks we will work alongside the talented team at Culpepper to define a shared vision for the next 40 years serving our community.” Pope noted in the email that he and his wife first visited Culpepper Cattle Company as prom dates 25 years ago.

On November 21, 2022, Bob L. Clements and his team at Culpepper notified their customers and the public that “Culpepper Steakhouse is closing”. This news came as quite the surprise and sadness to local patrons who have made so many family memories there and shared fine dining experiences. “It’s time to close this chapter and move on to the next.” Mr. Clements, a successful local restaurant owner and businessman, had owned Culpepper since 1993. Bob and wife Karan, alongside the staff at Culpepper have served the community and supported many local nonprofit organizations such as AMICA, Rockwall Women’s League, Helping Hands and Meals on Wheels Senior Services for over 40 years.

Local businessmen Elias Pope Co-CEO of UNCO Hospitality, alongside Neville Govender, Gus Antos, Vern Govender, and Sameer Patel, took immediate action. With the assistance of  local veteran real estate broker Justin Holland, co-owner of Regal Realtors and Regal Texas Land Brokers, UNCO quickly negotiated with Mr. Clements to strike a deal, buy the restaurant and keep Culpepper open.

“I grew up in Rockwall as a child going to Culpepper with my family. We’ve had memorable moments and community events there for many years. It’s a special place to so many people in our community and it was a great honor to play a role in its continuance,” Holland noted.

On their website, UNCO states, “In 2013, we set out to create restaurants that would enable people to live more intentional lifestyles. Ones focused on creating a better life for our team and those we served. We knew then that in order for us to pull this off we would need to create places that fostered greatness. Places where incredibly talented individuals are empowered to do their best work, with very little in their way.” The restaurant officially changed hands on January 1, 2023, as planned and is now under the management of UNCO Hospitality with the same Culpepper service staff from previous ownership.

Submitted press release by Robert Paulsen

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