burger powerhouses unite
2 popular Texas burger brands team up to create beefy new powerhouse
Austin-based Hopdoddy Burger Bar has acquired Bryan-based Grub Burger Bar to form a new company that unites two of Texas's most prominent better burger joints. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Now known as HiBar Hospitality Group, the new company will be led by Hopdoddy CEO Jeff Chandler with Grub founder and CEO Jimmy Loup taking a seat on the board of directors. Overall, the new company will operate 50 locations that combine Hopdoddy's 32 restaurants in five states with Grub's 18 locations in four states. While HiBar already has 31 locations in Texas, the company plans to open more locations both in the state and beyond in partnership with private equity firm L Catterton, according to a press release.
From a service perspective, the two burger chains appear to be well matched. Both serve a range of upscale burgers built around beef and other proteins that feature creative toppings and in-house baked buns. In addition, both restaurants offer fried chicken sandwiches and a vegan option made with Beyond meat.
Diners at either restaurant can add a range of sides such as fries and queso. Finally, both concepts offer a full bar that includes craft beer, wine, cocktails, and boozy shakes.
Locally, the union seems to be a good fit as there's little geographical overlap between Hopdoddy's six Houston-area outposts and Grub's two (its Katy location recently closed).
"We're thrilled to join forces with Grub, a high quality and complementary brand that we have admired for years," Chandler said in a statement. "We have much in common, from our team-centric cultures and commitment to people, to exciting menus and a tireless focus on the guest experience. We think very much alike and share a long-term vision, which will serve us well as we come together and embark on our next stage of growth."
Private equity-backed restaurant deals have become something of a trend in the world of Texas restaurants. Whataburger was acquired in 2019, and Houston-based Shipley Do-Nuts sold last year. Last week, Austin's Smokey Mo’s Texas BBQ announced that it, too, had been acquired by an investment group.