Chain Beverage Buzz: Nov. 29, 2010

CraftWorksCenterbridge Capital Partners LP purchased Rock Bottom Restaurants, Inc., and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group, Inc., in order to form CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries Inc. The new firm also owns Old Chicago and nine specialty concepts; it will keep the chains, headquarters and management teams separate. Frank Day, Rock Bottom Co-founder and Allen Corey, Chief Executive of Gordon Biersch will lead the company, with Day serving as Chairman of the Board.

Palm Bay International named Larry Neuringer to the post of Senior Director of Marketing for its Heritage Spirits Brands portfolio. Neuringer was formerly a Brand Director at Pernod Ricard USA.

Ted’s Montana Grill is closing nine chain units in Kansas City and Wichita, Kan., Omaha, Neb., Schaumburg, Ill., Sterling, Va., and Raleigh, N.C. However, new markets are being considered in Florida locations including Fort Myers, Tampa, Orlando and Ocala, as well as North and South Carolina, and the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas.

Technomic points to retro cocktails, high-cachet gin and bourbon, craft beers and punch (including Sangria) as hot trends for restaurants in 2011. Also in the Chicago-based foodservice market research firm’s sites: cocktails with herbal and floral ingredients and “skinny” cocktails, as well as more adult beverages in fast-casual eateries as those operators work to set themselves apart from traditional limited-service competitors.

CB Holding filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and will be closing 29 units of its Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse. CB Holding will also try to sell the remaining 39 Charlie Brown’s, Bugaboo Creek and The Office restaurant locations on the East Coast.

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