For sale: Joe's Crab Shack, Brick House Tavern

brick house tavern exterior

The parent of Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern is looking for a buyer for either or both casual-dining chains. Simultaneously, Ignite Restaurant Group disclosed that Bob Merritt has stepped down as CEO after just 16 months in the job.

Merritt has been succeeded by Jonathan Tibus, the managing partner of the consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal. Tibus previously served as CEO of Last Call Operating Co., the parent of Fox & Hound, Champps and Bailey’s, which filed for bankruptcy protection last summer. He has also served as chief restructuring officer for the Quiznos sandwich chain.

Merritt will maintain a relationship with Ignite through a consulting arrangement, Ignite said.

He replaced Ignite founder Ray Blanchette in November.

Both of Ignite’s casual dining brands have been struggling. In the quarter prior to Merritt’s assumption of the CEO’s post, Joe’s posted a same-store sales decline of 6.5%, while Brick House, a self-described “man cave” concept, reported an 8.9% drop in comps.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content

Consumer Trends

Fast food has lost its reputation as a cheap meal

Years of price hikes are driving consumers to grocery stores and even full-service restaurants, which are now viewed by some as a better deal.


Here’s what an activist investor could push Starbucks to do

The Bottom Line: With the coffee shop chain reportedly talking with an activist investor, here’s a look at some of the potential changes they might demand.


Panera apparently wants to go it alone again

The Bottom Line: The bakery/café chain is reportedly planning to sell Caribou and Einstein Bros. restaurant concepts three years after forming Panera Brands.


More from our partners