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Former Benihana CEO to head Whiskey Cake

Steve Shlemon is a 35-year industry veteran.

Steve Shlemon, a 35-year veteran of such casual-dining brands as Carrabba’s and TGI Fridays, has been named CEO of Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar and Ida Claire, two concepts run by Randy DeWitt’s Front Burner Restaurants.

Shlemon was most recently president and CEO of Benihana Inc.

At Front Burner, Shlemon will oversee operation strategy, menu innovation and marketing for four-unit Whiskey Cake and single-unit Ida Claire.  

Front Burner Restaurants is a multiconcept operation based in the Dallas area whose current operations include the new 55,000-square-foot food hall entertainment complex called Legacy Hall in Plano, Texas. It is headed by DeWitt, whose past ventures have included Twin Peaks, Velvet Taco and Rockfish Grill.

Shlemon joins a growing number of industry vets moving into the C-suites of emerging chains.

“I have a passion for the energetic team atmosphere and fast-paced environment found in restaurants, which is why I’ve been in the industry since I was 11 years old,” Shlemon said in a press replease. “Both Ida Claire and Whiskey Cake are creative concepts with unlimited growth potential.  I’m proud to join this talented team and look forward to continued expansion.”

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