Chain Beverage Buzz: Jan. 25, 2010

Lee Sanders was named president of franchising for T.G.I. Friday’s, and will lead all aspects of the USA franchise program, including day-to-day operations and support. Sanders formerly was president and CEO of Johnny Rockets Inc.

Lee Sanders

Hooters of America announced that on Sunday, Feb. 7, during the Super Bowl, every Hooters restaurant in the country will give away a Sharp Electronics 40-inch LCD High Definition TV to one lucky customer. Hooters locations sell more than 1 million chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday, making it the largest sales day of the year for the concept.

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar will open in Washington, D.C.’s Penn Quarter in May, the fourth location for the pre-Castro, Old Havana-themed concept from Libre Management LLC.

Bistro Babusan, a fast-casual Asian restaurant that is a joint venture involving Genghis Grill Franchise Concepts LP and Mark H. Brezinski, founder of Bengal Coast Restaurants LP, will debut in Allen, Texas, in April. The 3,400-square-foot eatery will feature a full bar.

USA KPMG anticipates an increase in merger and acquisition activity in 2010, thanks to earnings forecasts becoming “sensible” again. Heineken NV’s announcement that it will acquire FEMSA Cerveza, Mexico’s second largest brewer, is the first major deal of the year.

Byron Hoover has been named vice president of global whiskey at Beam Global Spirits & Wine, effective Feb. 1. In this newly created post, Hoover will oversee the Canadian Club, Maker's Mark, Jim Beam, Teacher's and Laphroaig brands.

Russian Standard Vodka USA announced Michael Stoner is now vice president of marketing; he replaces Drew Beaver who has left the company. Bob MacNevin, formerly of Pernod Ricard USA, was named to the newly created role of VP of national accounts and military, and will be responsible for off-premise and on-premise national accounts and military accounts.

Patrick Henry Creative Promotions, Inc. welcomes back its former director of operations, Kevin Pehlman, to manage strategic partnerships and oversee special events. Some of the accounts Pehlman will work with include Roy’s, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Bonefish Grill, Margaritaville, Cheeseburger in Paradise and Darden Restaurants.

Kevin Pehlman

Johnny Rockets Sports Lounge opened in Manhattan in mid-January with a full bar, multiple television screens and an extensive bar food menu; it will serve as the prototype for additional locations, according to John Fuller, recently appointed president and CEO of Johnny Rockets Group Inc.

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