Private-equity firm Brentwood Associates—an investor in Blaze Pizza and Lazy Dog Restaurants, among other growth-focused dining brands—has now thrown its financial support behind a Phoenix-based multiconcept operator.
Terms of Brentwood’s “significant investment” in Upward Projects, the group behind Postino WineCafe and other restaurant concepts, were not detailed.
Postino, founded in 2001, currently has seven units. Brentwood’s investment will be used primarily to grow the neighborhood-oriented casual-dining brand. A new location is planned for Houston next April, with additional restaurants planned for Arizona and Colorado.
Under the deal, Upward Projects’ founders and current management team will continue to lead and retain a “substantial” ownership stake in the company, according to a news release. Brentwood partners Rahul Aggarwal and Steve Moore have been added to Upward’s board of directors, along with Greg Dollarhyde, a C-suite veteran of numerous brands, including Zoes Kitchen.
“Brentwood’s deep restaurant expertise will be immensely valuable as Upward Projects enters its next stage of growth and expands into new geographic markets,” CEO Lauren Bailey said in a statement.
In addition to Postino, Upward Projects’ portfolio includes Joyride Taco House, Federal Pizza, Windsor and Churn.