Arizona Developer Feeds $50M into Restaurant JV

Glimcher Ventures Southwest L.L.C. has joined forces with El Paso Grill & Bar-B-Que (pictured) in a joint venture to expand the restaurant chain with $50 million in capital in five new locations. The joint venture is geared to maximize the aggressive growth and expansion opportunities of the restaurant. Glimcher will fund the real estate development portion of the company’s expansion and El Paso Grill & Bar-B-Que will continue to handle operations.Expansion will begin as early as this year with the openings of restaurants in California and New Mexico as well as three new locations in Arizona opening mid-2008. The addition of these new restaurants will bring the Scottsdale-based chain to a total of 14 locations by year’s end. “Look at how Warren Buffet does things. His main time in buying business is during a down economy,” David Glimcher, president and CEO of Glimcher Ventures Southwest, told CPN. “We’ve been working with this company over the last six to eight months and we feel that the economy was moving toward a downturn then. We think, for us collectively, this creates a better opportunity because there is less competition going after a lot more available sites.” “Basically, what we’ve done is establish a strategic joint venture with El Paso. We find opportunities with them to facilitate a major roll out of a couple of concepts,” Glimcher said. “The main and a new concept yet to be named are typical of what we find in a lot of small to mid-size companies. They don’t have the ability in-house to grow the location portfolio via real estate.” “We’ve been in development for more than 35 years and we’ve seen hundreds of concepts come and go, but we believe the management team behind El Paso has developed a unique concept. It has a wide range of items on the menu and they are executed well. They just do not have enough fire power in capital and human resources to expand. We see a lot of legs behind the concept. We’re also working on a second concept that we believe will be exciting. That will be announced in the next 90 days and will be an even bigger rollout.” Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., Glimcher specializes in new shopping center development and redevelopment. The company is currently developing projects in Arizona, California and Colorado and is anticipating developments in Utah and Nevada.