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Village Inn, Bakers Square restaurants gobbled up by company that owns Famous Dave's and Granite City

BBQ Holdings is adding the two brands to its portfolio in a deal to close at the end of July. Moorhead's Village Inn is one of that brand's franchised restaurants.

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Village Inn, 940 Holiday Drive, Moorhead, is one of the franchise restaurants that will soon come under the corporate umbrella of BBQ Holding. The deal was made public Friday, June 25, 2021. (Helmut Schmidt / Forum File Photo)
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MINNETONKA, Minn. - BBQ Holdings continues to have a big appetite.

The company that owns Famous Dave’s and Granite City Food & Brewery announced that it is adding two more brands to its menu: Village Inn and Bakers Square.

The $13.5 million deal with VIBSQ, LLC, the parent company of Village Inn and Bakers Square, is expected to close on or near July 30, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Village Inn is a family restaurant concept with 21 company-owned restaurants and 114 franchised restaurants, including one in south Moorhead. (A Fargo location closed April 5 to make room for a new Chase Bank branch .)

The Moorhead restaurant, owned by VI Ventures LLC of Minot, N.D., was remodeled and reopened April 12.

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"Our business has come back. Business is really good," Abe Sakak, VI Ventures' manager of operations said Tuesday, June 29.

Sakak said it remains to be seen how the relationship with BBQ Holdings as the new franchisor develops.

“I don’t think it’s going to change our lives. We’re going to continue being part of the Fargo-Moorhead community,” Sakak said. “We’re going to stay there and we’re going to serve the Fargo-Moorhead community as much as we can.”

Bakers Square, a pie and comfort food concept, currently has 13 company-owned restaurants.

Famous Dave's and Granite City both have restaurants in south Fargo.

The agreement was announced Friday, June 25.

According to the SEC filing, BBQ Holdings plans to expand sales of Bakers Square pies to its other restaurants, such as Famous Dave’s, Granite City and Real Urban BBQ, as well as in grocery stores and kiosks.

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The aim with Village Inn would be to rejuvenate the brand with a “VI Cafe” prototype and to launch a new growth initiative, the filing said.
Village Inn was founded in Denver in 1958. It has restaurants in the Rocky Mountain region, the Midwest, Arizona, Florida, and other states.

Bakers Square began in 1969 as an independent restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa, and now has a network of restaurants across the Upper Midwest.

Jeff Crivello, CEO of BBQ Holdings, said Village Inn and Bakers Square are particularly well-suited to the restaurant group’s existing stable of brands.

“We believe the Village Inn and Bakers Square concepts are a great complement to our growing portfolio of restaurants,” said Jeff Crivello, CEO of BBQ Holdings. “Adding them to our family of brands will only strengthen our company as a whole.”

BBQ Holdings also includes Clark Crew BBQ and Real Urban Barbecue.

The acquisition would give BBQ Holdings’ 81 company-owned locations and 214 franchised restaurants in 36 states, the SEC filing said.

“We are excited to have reached an agreement with BBQ Holdings with confidence in their leadership for the future of these great brands. We wish them, our operational teams and the franchisees the very best in the years ahead,” said Craig Barber, CEO of VIBSQ.

Related Topics: MOORHEADFARGO
Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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