Chain Beverage Buzz: Sept. 6, 2011

HootersCoby Brooks, the son of Hooters of America Inc. Founder/Creator Robert H. Brooks, is departing the brand, which was sold to a group of investors last January. Brooks and six former Hooters executives are developing as many as 25 units of Twin Peaks, a casual dining restaurant with a similar model to Hooters; the group plans to open Twin Peak restaurants in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee over the next 10 years. Terrance M. Marks will replace Brooks as President and Chief Executive Officer of Hooters.

Southern HospitalityManagement at Southern Hospitality BBQ, which opened its first restaurant in New York City in 2007, is planning to open 10 more concepts around the United States. The targeted markets include Denver, Nashville, Scottsdale/Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Palo Alto, Calif., New Orleans, Atlanta and Texas locations in Dallas, Austin and Houston.

O’Charley’s President, Wilson L. Craft is steppng down from the company in order to pursue other opportunities. In the interim, David W. Head will fill the position of President and Chief Executive Officer.

Cheryl J. Henry is the new Chief Branding Officer at Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc., which owns and operates Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Mitchell’s Fish Market. Henry will oversee marketing and branding strategy, enhance existing sales initiatives and develop new revenue centers; she previously worked as the company’s Chief Development Officer.

Donald Evans was named the new Chief Marketing Officer at The Cheesecake Factory, succeeding Mark Mears. Previously, Evans oversaw marketing at The Walt Disney Company as the Senior Vice President of Animation Marketing at Pixar Animation and Walt Disney Animation Studios. At the Cheesecake Factory, Evans will be in charge of the brand’s marketing strategies from social media to public relations.

SazeracWhite Rocks Distilleries, Inc., and Sazerac Company, Inc., reached an agreement for Sazerac to purchase the following brands: Tortilla, Desert Island, Kapali, Ryans, Fire Water, Ice 101, Barbarossa, Ice Box, Mount Royal and more, effective Oct. 1, 2011. In total, Sazerac Company is purchasing 32 brands from White Rock Distilleries.

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