Chain Beverage Buzz: May 3, 2010

Red Robin announced Gerry O’Brion is joining the company as vice president of strategic marketing. O’Brion, formerly of Quiznos, will lead strategic planning, new product and menu development, guest loyalty and retention and also will oversee consumer research and insights in his new position. He reports to Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Susan Lintonsmith.

Buffalo Wild WingsBuffalo Wild Wings introduced a Late-Night Snack Menu this weekend, available from 9 p.m. until close. Popular appetizers such as mozzarella sticks, chili con queso and corn dogs are priced at $3 each. The program dovetails with the introduction of new beverages, including three flavored Margaritas, a Jameson and ginger ale cocktail, Wood Chuck Draft Cider, Corona and Corona Light, Budweiser American Ale, Bud Light Golden Wheat and Loaded Lemon Tea, an alcohol-free option.

Seasons 52 logoSeasons 52 enters Texas with a location planned to open later this year at the Shops at Legacy in Plano. Another opening in Coral Gables, Fla., set for early 2011, will bring the number of fresh grill and wine bar restaurants to 14.


Rock Bottom Restaurants has selected Roaring Lion as its primary energy drink supplier. The Louisville, Colo.-based operator of Rock Bottom Brewery & Restaurant, Old Chicago restaurants, and Sing Sing Dueling Piano establishments will place the energy brand at three-quarters of its locations.

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. announced that Steve Slater has been named to a newly established position of executive vice president, general manager of its Wine Division, effective Sept. 1. He will work with Mel Dick, senior vice president and president, Wine Division, working on wine supplier relations, innovation, promotions and portfolio management. Previously, Slater was vice president, general manager of SWS’s Southern California division.

Robert plotkinLife is too short to drink bad cocktails, so Robert Plotkin has launched The author, trainer, consultant and founder of BarMedia designed the site for seasoned mixologists, working bartenders and social hosts; content includes information on the major drink categories, drink preparation, garnishing, bar terminology, glassware and reviews of the leading spirits and liqueurs. In addition, there's a section devoted to alcohol-awareness and responsible serving guidelines.

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