Tulsa Food Truck Owners Turn Down Investment Offer From Celebrity Chefs

Wednesday, January 14th 2015, 6:17 pm
By: News On 6

A local food truck owner is back in his Tulsa kitchen after filming a national TV appearance that aired on Tuesday night.

The CNBC show "Restaurant Startup" gave the popular food truck owners the chance to get celebrity chef investors involved in opening a new restaurant. The show offered the owners a deal, but the Tulsans turned it down.

The owners say they are on the right track and, when it came down to it, didn't want to give up a large percentage of their business to an investor.

You can often find the Lone Wolf Bahn Mi food truck parked at Guthrie Green, and often times, its line is wrapped around the block. A cold winter day didn't keep Lone Wolf fans away. From the time it opened on Wednesday, there was a steady line outside the truck.

"It's just something about the taste, the flavors, the bread's great,” customer Josh Brazeal said. “Their curry is amazing."

The one-of-a-kind food puts an American spin on Vietnamese classics.

Brazeal 's stomach rumbled as he watched the owners -- Phillip and Danielle Phillips -- on the CNBC's show.

“It made me hungry; it made me want a bahn mi or a tai curry,” he said.

The owners wrapped up filming the show in LA and now are back in their Tulsa kitchen, thankful for the experience.

"It was amazing,” Phillip Phillips said. “We are really glad we are through with the process, and now we can focus on what is really important to us, which is getting our restaurant open here in Tulsa."

After tasting their food and seeing them prove they can run a kitchen, investors Tim Love and Joe Bastianich both made offers to invest in the future Tulsa restaurant.

“Think the food is very good, you have a very difficult decision to make."

But both men wanted 50 percent ownership instead of the 10 the Tulsa couple proposed.

"It wasn't really in line with what we were going for,” Danielle Phillips said. “We are moving forward on our own, and I think it will be great."

"We went there looking for business partners, we weren't looking for somebody to take control of our business," Phillip Phillips said.

As for where and when the Lone Wolf restaurant will open, the couple would only give one hint.

"The only hint is we are looking for that space right now,” Phillip Phillips said. “We have some spaces in mind in multiple parts of town, so we are narrowing it down and figuring out which one is right for us."

No matter where they call home base, you can bet their popular Kimchi Fries and bahn mis will be part of the menu.