CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, one of the largest brewery restaurant operators in the country, completed a successful $172.5 million refinance of its existing senior debt facility. On the heels of this transaction, the CraftWorks says its brands – Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants and Rock Bottom Restaurants & Breweries – are positioned for significant growth.
“We’ve made substantial progress in refreshing each of our concepts over the last five years to reinforce our position as an industry leader in the craft beer-focused casual dining segment,” said Srinivas Kumar, chief executive officer of CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries Inc. “With a solid financial foundation based on this refinancing and continuous improvement in system-wide sales growth, we are excited about the development opportunities that lie ahead for all of the CraftWorks brands. We are projecting 10 percent unit growth over the next several years, expanding our national presence and building on the momentum within the craft beer industry.”
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom in particular recently completed an extensive refresh in 2013, which has played a key role in the brand’s steady system-wide sales and unit growth to date. Old Chicago opened five new restaurants in 2014, and a total of eight new restaurants are expected to open by the end of this year. Capitalizing on this growth, the development strategy will focus on both growing the brand in existing markets and identifying new markets to target for franchise expansion.
“This is a great financing for our company. It really shows the strength of our brands and confidence in our growth strategy. We now have the capital to continue to prudently grow, bringing our unique menu offering and craft beer experience to guests across the country, creating value for all of our stakeholders,” said Brian Morrow, chief financial officer, CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries Inc. “Unlike other casual dining concepts, CraftWorks expertise in brewing means we are uniquely positioned to capitalize on the growing consumer demand for craft beer. We appreciate the support of the entire lender group, led by Wells Fargo, Bank of America and KeyBank. They have been great partners throughout.”