Chain Beverage Buzz: June 14, 2010

Sunshine Restaurant Group, owner of five Buffalo Wild Wings in Central Florida is partnering up wBuffalo Wild Wingsith California-based Be Media to be the first restaurant/bar in the country to offer 3-D viewing for at least 25 live World Cup games this year. Sunshine’s Buffalo Wild Wings locations will be providing XpandD 3-D glasses, the first universal 3-D technology that works on all television systems, free service to all its patrons.

Jeffrey D. Warne, president and CEO of Nashville-based O’Charley’s Inc. has resigned, a year after being promoted to those positions. Phil Hickey, former CEO of Rare Hospitality International Inc., will serve as interim CEO until a replacement is found. This announcement comes after O’Charley’s Inc. experienced negative sales trends in its three brands: O’Charley’s, Ninety Nine Restaurant and Stoney River Legendary Steaks.

The Walt Disney Company announced the closing of five of its seven ESPN Zone restaurants, citing a tough economic environment. The Baltimore, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and Washington, D.C., locations will close on June 16. The Los Angeles and Anaheim, Calif., establishments, run by Anschutz Entertainment Group and Zone Enterprises, will stay open.

Smashburger, the growing Denver burger chain, promoted Executive Vice President Greg Creighton to COO. Before working for Smashburger, Creighton was the former president, COO and CFO of Leeann Chin, a Minnesota-based Chinese-food chain. He has been with Smashburger since 2008, serving as vice president and executive vice president. In his new role, Creighton will oversee the corporate and franchise operations of the Smashburger restaurants. Along with Creighton’s promotion, Smashburger hopes to expand to more than 300 restaurants in the next five years, starting with a franchise deal to add 20 restaurants in Long Island, N.Y.

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