O'Charley's owner gets a new president

The parent company of O’Charley’s and Village Inn has appointed family-dining veteran Craig Barber as president, with oversight of 474 restaurants and franchise rights to 96 more.

Barber joins American Blue Ribbon Holdings after serving as a franchisee of Denny’s, a competitor of Village Inn and its sister brand, Bakers Square. He served as chairman of Denny’s franchisee association for 10 years.

He also helped the private-equity firm that owned Black-eyed Pea casual restaurants in Texas to rebrand the outlets as Great American Food & Spirits outlets.

In addition to Village Inn, Bakers Square and O’Charley’s, a casual-dining chain, ABRH owns and operates the 99 Restaurant & Pub casual concept, a full-service operation in the Northeast.

The company is controlled by Fidelity National Financial, a holding concern run by former Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s owner Bill Foley. ABRH posted a pretax loss of $19 million for the third quarter.

The company has agreed to sell 99 to J. Alexander's, a polished-casual chain that was formerly part of ABRH. Foley recently told financial analysts that the company is also considering a sale of O'Charley's, according to a report by the Nashville Post.

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