Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Bennigan’s mulligan

March 13, 2009

bennigansThe new owners of Bennigan’s restaurants are hoping to tap into some Irish luck as they relaunch the brand with a Blarney Blast ’09 St. Patrick’s Day party.

The “get your green on” celebration will run through April and highlight the 113-restaurant chain’s new menu and direction.

“It’s a new day at Bennigan’s,” said Vince Runco, chief executive of Bennigan’s Franchising Co.  “We’re returning to our roots as a relaxing neighborhood tavern where you can take a break from the daily grind.”

Holding company S&A Restaurant Corp and three dozen other entities, including various Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale affiliates, submitted Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions in July, seeking to sell assets.

Bennigan’s Franchising Co, owner of the Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale trademarks and franchise agreements, was not part of the Chapter 7 filing.

A group led by Fortress Investment Group bought Bennigan’s Franchising Co and other assets, including the Tavern and Steak & Ale brands, late last year. The new owners have since opened five new restaurants and reopened five formerly closed locations.

Restaurant companies, particularly those in the bar & grill segment where Bennigan’s operates, have faced dim fortunes as diners cut back on spending on meals outside home in the recession.

(Photo/ Bennigan’s)

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