Steve Zimmerman of Cinq - Biography
Born in Brooklyn but raised in New Orleans, Steven Zimmerman is steeped in the rich French-influenced dining culture of his beloved Big Easy. As a young lawyer transplanted from New Orleans to Houston, Zimmerman sought to bring a piece of that culture to his new home town and the crime-ridden (but full-of-potential) Montrose neighborhood. Zimmerman learned the ins and outs of Montrose while teaching legal classes at the University of St. Thomas, and he got his first taste for the hospitality business representing restaurants and hotels in liability issues.
In the mid-70s, newlywed Zimmerman and his wife Becky invested in their first commercial property and opened Zimm’s, Houston’s first wine bar and sidewalk café. Zimm’s is still open decades later as Zimm’s Martini & Wine Bar.
In the next few year’s, Zimmerman purchased Houston’s Fondren Mansion and started a two-year renovation to return the building to its original glory, a transformation that resulted in La Colombe d’Or, which at that time was the world’s smallest, full-service luxury hotel. In the 1980’s, Zimmerman gained international notoriety with a PR stunt at La Colombe d’Or's Cinq by fixing the price of his lunch special to the cost of a barrel of oil (which was tanking at the time).
With numerous residential and commercial properties, a mansion turned luxury hotel, art gallery, several restaurants, an events space, and a wine and martini bar under his belt, Zimmerman and his family have become fixtures in Montrose and catalysts for its standing as one of the Houston’s most eclectic and sought after neighborhoods. Due in (great) part to Zimmerman’s work, the current state of Montrose reflects a dream realized. The area’s current condition as a hot-spot delights Zimmerman as he watches his sons, Mark and Dan, continue the growth he and his wife initiated decades ago.