Famous Dave's owner targets Granite City restaurants, pending bankruptcy court approval

BBQ Holdings, parent company of Famous Dave's, and Landry's, which owns brands including Landry's Seafood, Bubba Gump Sh
BBQ Holdings, parent company of Famous Dave’s, and Landry’s, which owns brands including Landry’s Seafood, Bubba Gump Shrimp and Rainforest Cafe, each have expressed interest in acquiring the Granite City Food and Brewing chain. Above, a Cedar Rapids venue at 4755 First Ave. SE. (The Gazette)

Numerous Granite City Food and Brewery locations, including the chain’s Cedar Rapids restaurant, soon could be under a new parent company’s ownership.

Granite City, of St. Cloud, Minn., on Tuesday held an auction for other companies to buy its assets, through which two restaurant owners stepped forward — BBQ Holdings, the Minnetonka, Minn.-based parent company of Famous Dave’s, and Landry’s, of Houston, which owns brands including Landry’s Seafood, Bubba Gump Shrimp and Rainforest Cafe.

Granite City on Feb. 21 will seek the bankruptcy court’s approval on Landry’s $7.5 million bid to buy three Cadillac Ranch restaurants in three states, plus BBQ Holdings’ $3.65 million bid for 23 Granite City restaurants in 13 states — including the Cedar Rapids location at 4755 First Ave SE.

Under a $11.05 million back-up bid, BBQ Holdings also could buy all 26 restaurants.

Five Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que restaurants are in operation in Iowa, though none are in the Corridor.

BBQ Holdings on Thursday announced it had entered into an asset purchase agreement for the Granite City restaurants, a casual dining chain known for on-site craft beer brewing.

“This meaningfully accretive acquisition of Granite City Food and Brewery aligns with our strategy to accelerate growth and expansion as a multi-brand restaurant company,” Jeff Crivello, CEO of BBQ Holdings. “As an award-winning concept, Granite City is a fantastic addition to the BBQ Holdings family, and we look forward to the synergies we can create between multiple brands.”

Granite City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Dec. 16, seeking to reorganize its businesses. During those proceedings, the company in January reported $3.8 million in assets and $52.2 million in liabilities, to 5,913 priority and non-priority creditors.

The company reported having 25 Granite City and four Cadillac Ranch restaurants in its filings.


Granite City’s Cedar Rapids location opened in November 2003, as the company’s fifth overall restaurant, and has a current remaining lease term of 48 months, bankruptcy documents show.

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