A roundup of interesting bits of news that came across the editor’s desk, including a bunch of mergers and acquisitions, development deals and much more.

mergers, acquisitions + more

  • Cleveland Avenue, LLC, a Chicago-based accelerator that invests in food and beverage concepts, announced a strategic partnership and majority investment in PizzaRev.
  • Chalak Mitra Group of Companies recently sold three of its brands: Baker Bros American Deli, a fast-casual chain that serves salads, sandwiches, and baked potatoes was sold to Dallas-based FGR Food Corporation. Elephant Bar Restaurant, a globally inspired scratch kitchen founded in 1980, was sold via a stock purchase agreement to an affiliate of SBR, LLC. Ruby Tequila's Mexican Kitchen, a Texas-based restaurant with locations in Lubbock and Amarillo was sold to an affiliate of Fired Up Holding Company, Inc., of Lubbock.
  • Curry Up Now, a chain based in the Bay Area that includes both fine and fast-casual restaurants and food trucks (as well as craft cocktail bar Mortar & Pestle Bar) acquired fast-casual brand Tava Kitchen. Tava Kitchen’s 1,800-square foot Alameda location will be rebranded as a Curry Up Now. The space will showcase Curry Up Now’s signature Industrial Bollywood Pop chic interior design with a giant mural, upcycled furniture and lighting fixtures. It will feature a completely open food assembly line — a first for the chain. The location will also serve as an innovation lab to test and launch new items.
  • Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. acquired 57 Wendy’s restaurants located in four states: Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee. Meritage intends to update the technology infrastructure and then begin an extensive remodeling program to modernize both the interior and exterior of the restaurants.


  • Capriotti’s signed agreements to bring three new units to Virginia and three others to Las Vegas. The chain has more than 100 units nationwide, plans to open 15 new shops in 2017 and aims to grow the brand to 500 locations by 2025 through franchising.
  • Church’s Chicken announced its largest development deal to date with Goalz Restaurant Group to develop 20 units per year in six states: Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Colorado, North Carolina and South Carolina.
  • Salata opened its first Oklahoma location and broke ground on its first Atlanta location. The salad chain has more than 60 nationwide.

go big or go home

  • Chicago’s Aloha Poke Co. announced that it will open a location in Denver’s Zeppelin Station, a food and good market hall. This is in line with the company’s current location at Chicago’s Union Station inside the French Market.
  • Johnny Rockets opened a new location in Jakarta, Indonesia, inside the Soekarno–Hatta International Airport's Terminal 3. The new location features the Johnny Rockets Diner 2.0 design, which includes new decor and high-efficiency kitchen equipment.

recommended reading

  • Bloomberg: Mom and Pop Joints Trouncing America’s Big Chains
  • Devices Make it Easier to Order — and Spend — at Restaurants