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Hopdoddy Growing with Grub Acquisition

Austin's fast-growing Hopdoddy Burger Bar is acquiring Grub Burger Bar, a popular Texas chain based in Bryan.

The two restaurant groups will create a new company called HiBar Hospitality Group that will be backed by private equity firm L Catterton, which is an investor in Hopdoddy.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Hopdoddy has received an undisclosed amount of funding from L Catterton beginning in 2014. The $15 billion consumer-focused investment firm has also invested in Austin-based FlashParking and Snap Kitchen.

HiBar Hospitality Group will be led by Hopdoddy CEO Jeff Chandler. Grub founder and CEO Jimmy Loup will retain a stake in the combined business and join the company's board of directors.

HiBar will focus on building up its team to support growth plans, both organically and through mergers and acquisitions. Hopdoddy said it plans to open eight to 12 new locations per year.

"We're thrilled to join forces with Grub, a high-quality and complementary brand that we have admired for years," Chandler said. "We think very much alike and share a long-term vision, which will serve us well as we come together and embark on our next stage of growth."

Together, Hopdoddy and Grub plan to operate 50 restaurants across the U.S., with 31 restaurants in Texas.

Hopdoddy was founded on South Congress Avenue in Austin by four friends in 2010 and has built a strong brand in the competitive fast-casual burger space. It operates 32 restaurants, with seven in Central Texas and locations in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.

Outside of Texas, Hopdoddy has restaurants in Arizona, California, Colorado and Tennessee. The chain's menu features {all-natural" burgers, hand-cut fries, salads, milkshakes, cocktails and craft beer.

Hopdoddy's is among a number of Austin-based restaurant brands including Torchy's Tacos and P. Terry's Burger Stand that are in expansion mode.

In November 2020, Torchy's announced a $400 million investment into the restaurant chain that started as a food truck in South Austin. The company continued expanding during the pandemic and today operates restaurants across Texas as well as in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, P. Terry's, which in 2015 opened its first restaurant on the corner of South Lamar Boulevard and Barton Springs Road, currently operates 21 restaurants in Central Texas and one in San Antonio, according to its website.

Grub Burger Bar was founded in 2012 in Bryan, with a menu that offers burgers, sandwiches, hand-spun shakes, craft cocktails, draft beer and wine. It operates 18 restaurants across four states.

For now, Grub locations will operate under that name, but they will eventually take on the Hopdoddy name. Its name will not change in College Station, where both Grub and Hopdoddy operate.

"For Grub, this is all about adding talent and expertise to our team, benefiting from new shared opportunities, rewarding our loyal investors, and moving back into growth mode again," Loup said.

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