CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries

CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries
CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Incorporated
Type Private
Industry Restaurant
Founded Chattanooga, Tennessee (2010)
Headquarters 2001 Riverside Drive - Suite 3100
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37406
Key people Frank Day, Chairman
Allen Corey, President and CEO
Employees 12,000+ (2010)

CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc., is a multi-brand restaurant operator headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. The company owns several casual dining restaurant chains, most notably Old Chicago, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants, and Rock Bottom Restaurants Breweries. CraftWorks owns and operates nearly 200 restaurant locations throughout North America and has more than 12,000 employees, and over 70 locations serving beer brewed on-site, making it the largest operator of brewery restaurants.[1]



In 2010, Rock Bottom Restaurants and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group merged to form CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, Inc.[2]

Key Dates

1976 - The first Old Chicago opens in Boulder, Colorado.
July 6, 1988 - The first Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant opens in Palo Alto, California.
1991 - The first Rock Bottom restaurant opens in Denver, Colorado.
1993 - Big River Breweries opens first location in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
1994 - Rock Bottom Restaurants, Inc., makes an initial public offering.
1995 - The first ChopHouse opens in Denver, Colorado.
1996 - Big River Breweries opens the only brewpub at Walt Disney World.
1999 - Rock Bottom Restaurants, Inc., is taken private in a management buyout.
1999 - Gordon Biersch acquired by Big River Breweries.
2000 - Rock Bottom Restaurants forms the Rock Bottom Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity.
2007 - Rock Bottom Restaurants laid off about 20% of its corporate staff and slowed its growth plans along with ceasing its search for an equity partner.
2010 - Merger announced to form CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, Inc.


Old Chicago

CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries operates 99 restaurants in 23 states under the name Old Chicago. It has franchise partnerships under its Old Chicago brand that account for 33 additional locations not owned or operated by CraftWorks. Old Chicago features a menu centered around its pizza, while also featuring more traditional fare, such as pastas, burgers, calzones and more. Each store also carries between 110 and 130 types of beer (depending on the season), with generally 30 on draft, challenging its patrons to complete its famed World Beer Tour. Patrons can sign up for the World Beer Tour (WBT) at no cost, at which point they receive a card that tracks all of their beers consumed. Upon reaching 110 different beers, the thirsty patron gets a plaque with their name, and at most stores a personal quote, hung in their designated "home" Old Chicago location. As an added bonus, WBT members also earn points based on previous purchases that can be traded in for various things such as credit towards a bill on future visits, merchandise, or exclusive parties at Old Chicago locations. Old Chicago also offers seasonal “Mini-Tours”, that feature between eight and 12 seasonal beers. Some examples are the Oktoberfest, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Summer, and Winter Mini-Tours. As a reward for completion, patrons typically receive a themed Mini-Tour T-shirt.

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants

Restaurant in Midtown Atlanta

Gordon Biersch combines German-style beer and its made-from-scratch cuisine. Featuring German lagers brewed according to the German Purity Law of 1516 (Reinheitsgebot), Gordon Biersch has won numerous gold medals at both the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup. Gordon Biersch offers a made-from-scratch American menu with international flavors. The first Gordon Biersch opened in Palo Alto, California. Acquired by Big River Brewing Company in 1999, Gordon Biersch now has 29 locations in 18 states and Washington, D.C. Additionally, two Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants operate independently in Taiwan.[3]

Rock Bottom Restaurant Breweries

The company operates 35 breweries under the name Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. These breweries are located in several states, with seven restaurants in Colorado, four restaurants each in California, Arizona, and Illinois, two restaurants each in Washington, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota and Pennsylvania and one restaurant each in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Iowa, Oregon, Virginia, and Maryland. Each of these breweries has a menu that features a selection of American-style cuisine including pizza and burgers, steaks, salads, and desserts. Each region (and sometimes, each store) has its own selection of beers and beer logos. It is rare to find two beers of the same name and/or taste in two different stores. Rock Bottom Brewery is almost identical to the Walnut Brewery concept. In fact, when the first Rock Bottom was being constructed in downtown Denver, it was to be called Walnut Brewery. The store was being built in the bottom of (what was at the time) the Prudential building. The store was renamed Rock Bottom after someone pointed out that they were 'building at the bottom of the rock,' which was Prudential's slogan at the time.[4]

Big River Grille & Brewing Works

Big River Grille & Brewing Works features handcrafted beer and regional cuisine. The original location in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is located in a historic trolley barn, near the Tennessee River at Ross's Landing. CraftWorks operates additional locations in Nashville, Tennessee, and at the Walt Disney World Resort Boardwalk.

ChopHouse & Brewery

The ChopHouse & Brewery is a more upscale brand that has a diverse menu featuring steaks, chops and seafood. Located in Denver, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and Boulder, Colorado, each ChopHouse & Brewery is housed in an historic landmark building, conveying a unique character and distinction all its own.

Sing Sing Dueling Pianos

The company operates two stores under the name Sing Sing. These stores are located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Denver, Colorado. ChopHouse & Brewery. These stores feature two pianos on stage with four rotating players for continual music, allowing patrons to listen to classic rock music in a fun environment.

Bluewater Grille

Bluewater Grille is a specialty concept, operating one location in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Its menu features fresh seafood from the Florida coast. It is located next to Big River Grille in downtown Chattanooga.

A1A Aleworks

A1A Aleworks is another specialty concept for CraftWorks. The menu has a self-described "New World Cuisine" flare that features a variety of Caribbean, Cuban, and Floridian influences.

Ragtime Tavern Seafood & Grill

Beginning in 1983 as a small neighborhood meeting place with only 12 tables and a single bar, Ragtime has since grown into one of Jacksonville's hottest spots. Ragtime Tavern offers three different settings for dining, gathering of friends, or drinking freshly brewed beer.

Seven Bridges Grille & Brewery

Located in Southside Jacksonville, just a short walk from the Tinsel Town movie theatres, Seven Bridges serves a wide variety of seafood, steaks, chicken, salads and pizza. The restaurant features a working brewery, bar, championship billiards and wide-screen television viewing, as well as semi-private dining areas for groups and parties. For cooler periods, it also has an outdoor heated patio.

Walnut Brewery

Located in Boulder, Colorado. Walnut Brewery was opened in 1990 as Boulder's Original Brewpub. Its menu and decor are almost identical to the Rock Bottom Concept. Walnut Brewery is named for the street on which it is located.

CraftWorks Foundation

The CraftWorks Foundation is the charitable arm of CraftWorks Restaurants and is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization. Dedicated to combating hunger in the communities in which they live and operate restaurants, the foundation provides support through the parent company restaurants to organizations and programs addressing this social issue.

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.