Five restaurants operated by Restaurants Unlimited, the 30-restaurant group purchased last week by Tilman Fertitta’s Landry’s group for $37.2 million, have been acquired by Ascend Hospitality Group, a multiconcept operator headquartered in Bellevue, Wash.
The price was not disclosed. An Ascend spokesperson said the purchase was made through a bankruptcy trust rather than directly with Landry's.
Ascend said the five casual full-service restaurants were earmarked to be closed Friday. The buyer intends to renovate the interiors and continue operating the places under their current brand names, Stanford’s and Portland Seafood Co. One of the restaurant’s, a Stanford’s, is located in Washington. The three other Stanford’s units and the lone Portland Seafood are in Oregon, where Ascend currently doesn’t have a presence.
The deal adds two more concepts to Ascend’s fold, which includes seven franchised Famous Dave’s barbecue restaurants. Its seven other brands are one-offs: Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi, Burger Brawler, Baguette Epicerie, Barrio Luchador, Crosta E Vino, Fat & Feathers and Avo-Poke. It also operates a food hall, Lincoln South.
Ascend’s principals are married couple Elaina and Paul Herber.
"Paul and I are locals, and when we realized how close these beloved brands came to closure on Friday, we saw an opportunity to save 250 jobs in the Pacific Northwest and continue their legacy,” Elaina Herber said in a statement announcing the acquisition.
Landry’s will continue to operate one Stanford’s, according to Ascend.
Restaurants Unlimited’s other concepts include Kincaid’s, Skates on the Bay and Henry’s Tavern. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while owned by Sun Capital, the private-equity parent of Smokey Bones, Boston Market, Friendly’s, Bar Louie and Johnny Rockets, among other restaurant concepts.
Landry’s $37 million offer to buy the company was the lone bid received by the bankruptcy court. On the same day, its purchase of Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse and Del Frisco's Grille was also revealed.
With the acquisitions, Fertitta's holdings now extend to about 73 restaurant brands, along with casinos, aquariums, boardwalks and the Houston Rockets NBA team.