Chain Beverage Buzz: May 16, 2011

T.G.I. Friday’s is debuting its new beer-inspired menu, including craft beers from New Belgium Brewing’s Fat Tire label, Harpoon Brewery, Shipyard Brewing Company, Goose Island and Magic Hat Brewing Company. The new craft beer lineup will complement Friday’s new menu items including fare from Black Angus Brew House Steak to Parmesan-Crusted Crab Flounder and more.

Applebee’s is making it easier for women to plan a Girls' Night Out. On June 5, Applebee’s Facebook Fan Page will allow guests to send a Girls' Night Out invite that includes the time, date, Applebee’s location and a personalized message. Once a date and time is set, the women can enjoy SkinnyBee cocktails such as low-cal versions of Margaritas, Mojitos and Long Island Iced Teas. Applebee’s will also be a hosting a Girls' Night Out Photo Contest, where the ladies can upload pics to the Applebee’s Facebook Page and fans will select their favorite; the top three vote-getters each week for the following four weeks will receive a $50 Applebee’s Gift Card.


HMSHost Corporation and the Shula family are celebrating the grand opening of Shula’s Bar & Grill at Miami International Airport, the first airport home for the casual dining concept. The menu highlights include Sweet Chili Chicken Bites, Charcuterie, Crab Cakes and more, as well as breakfast specialties, salads and desserts.


Morton’s Restaurant Group Inc., ended the first quarter with a net income of $2.2 million compared with last year’s earnings of $1.2 million. Revenue in the first quarter rose 9.6% to $82.5 million while same-store sales were up 7.5%, marking the fifth consecutive period of positive results.

Dave & Buster’s Inc., also saw positive results, with same-store sales up 6% during the first quarter.

Bill CorbettRémy Cointreau USA, Inc., announces the appointment of William Corbett as Senior Vice President, Sales. In Corbett’s new role, he’ll lead the sales strategy of the group’s heritage brands in the premium and super premium categories along with the Rémy Cointreau USA executive management team. He'll also conduct a leadership team comprised of four vice president-division managers, the vice president of trade marketing and the director of control states & public affairs.

Purity Vodka appoints Andy Glaser as the new Chief Executive Officer, where he’ll be responsible for developing the Purity brand and increasing its distribution first in the United States and then taking over the brand’s global operations within 12 months.

Republic National Distributing Company announces several newly created regional positions that include: Tom White was promoted to Region President of RNDC Florida, Maryland and Washington, D.C.; Don Emig was named Region President of RNDC Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota; Jay Johnson was appointed Region President of RNDC Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. They will report to Executive Vice President-Sales & Marketing Bob Hendrickson.

Phil Gervasi joins Patrón Spirits International as the company’s Executive Vice President of Sales, North America. Gervasi will report to Chief Operating Officer John McDonnell, working closely with Patrón U.S. distributor partners. He’ll also lead the Patrón tequila, Ultimat Vodka and Pyrat rum sales teams while managing development of the Patrón portfolio in Canada.

Hospitality group Brand Essence and restaurant and hospitality company The ONE Group are partnering to bring Bagatelle bi-coastal, as well as similar concepts across the United States. This joint venture will bring Bagatelle to Los Angeles in July 2011, marking the first West Coast venue for Brand Essence. Meanwhile, Bagatelle’s new New York location will debut September 2011.

The 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards were handed out on May 9. Winners included Belinda Chang, Wine Director at Danny Meyer’s The Modern in New York City for outstanding wine service.

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