Famous owner Dave changes his name again and buys a chain of Mexican restaurants in Phoenix

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The owner of Famous Dave’s announced a profitable fourth quarter and another step beyond barbecue with the acquisition of Barrio Queen, a group of Mexican restaurants in Phoenix.

The Minnetonka-based parent company also announced it would change its name from BBQ Holdings Inc. to Famous Hospitality Inc. to reflect the diversity of its restaurant brands.

“We continue to successfully execute on our three core growth initiatives, which include filling latent capacity in our current restaurants, growing organic units, and building a diverse portfolio of food and beverage brands through accretive mergers and acquisitions,” said Jeff Crivello, CEO of the company.

The company’s sites saw a drop in traffic in December and January associated with the omicron variant. But as cases dwindled, Famous Hospitality has seen rebounds in both restaurant traffic and restaurant sales in February and March so far, he said.

Same-store sales increased year-over-year across all of the company’s restaurant concepts: Famous Dave’s, Granite City Food & Brewery, Village Inn, Bakers Square, Clark Crew BBQ and Real Urban BBQ.

The Famous Dave’s and Real Urban BBQ units saw an increase in same-store sales compared to the 2019 period, a sign that they were returning to pre-pandemic levels of activity.

For its fourth quarter ending Jan. 2, the company said it earned about $2.6 million, or 25 cents per share, compared with a loss of about $2.8 million, or 31 cents per share, for the period of the previous year. Revenue nearly doubled to $68.4 million from a year earlier.

The company’s stock price rose 5% to $12.61 on Monday.

Famous Hospitality said the $28 million purchase price for the Barrio Queen chain will be financed with cash and debt. This month, the company also completed the purchase of three “bar-centric” locations for $4.5 million.

Last year, the company acquired Tahoe Joe’s restaurants and the Village Inn and Bakers Square brands. The Tahoe Joe transaction also included intellectual property from HomeTown Buffet, Ryan’s Buffet, Furr’s Fresh Buffet and Old Country Buffet, although the company said it has no immediate plans to reopen the buffet brands.

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