CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries

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CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Incorporated
FoundedBroomfield, Colorado USA (2010)

8001 Arista Place - 5th Floor
Broomfield, Colorado 80021

303.664.4000 [1]
Key people
Hazem Ouf Chairman
Hazem Ouf CEO
OwnerCenterbridge Capital Partners
Number of employees
12,000+ (2018)

CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc. is a multi-brand restaurant operator headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado USA. The company owns several casual dining restaurant chains, most notably Old Chicago, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants, and Rock Bottom Restaurants Breweries. CraftWorks owns and operates nearly 200 restaurant locations throughout North America, has more than 12,000 employees, and over 70 locations serving beer brewed on-site, making it the largest operator of brewery restaurants.[2]


In 1976 the first Old Chicago taphouse opened in Boulder, Colorado.[3] The first Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant was opened in Palo Alto, California on July 6, 1988.[4] The first Rock Bottom restaurant opened in Denver, Colorado in 1991.[3] In 1993 Big River Breweries opened its first location in Chattanooga, Tennessee.[5]
Rock Bottom Restaurants, Inc., made an initial public offering in 1994.[6] In 1995 the first ChopHouse opened in Denver, Colorado.[7] Big River Breweries opened the only brewpub at Walt Disney World in 1996. A private management buyout took Rock Bottom Restaurants, Inc. private in 1999. [6] In the same year, Gordon Biersch was acquired by Big River Breweries.[8] In 2000, Rock Bottom Restaurants formed the Rock Bottom Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity.[9] Rock Bottom Restaurants laid off about 20% of its corporate staff in 2007[10] and slowed its growth plans along with ceasing its search for an equity partner. In 2010, Rock Bottom Restaurants and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group were acquired by Centerbridge Capital Partners and merged to form CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, Inc.[3][11]

On November 1, 2018, CraftWorks announced that it had acquired Logan's Roadhouse.[12]


Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom[edit]

The Old Chicago in Hillsboro, Oregon

CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries operates 60 restaurants under the name Old Chicago. Franchise partnerships under its Old Chicago brand account for 36 additional locations not owned or operated by CraftWorks. Old Chicago restaurants can be found in 22 states.

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants[edit]

Restaurant in Midtown Atlanta

Gordon Biersch combines German-style beer and its made-from-scratch cuisine. Featuring German lagers brewed according to the German Purity Law of 1516 (Reinheitsgebot), Gordon Biersch has won numerous gold medals at both the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup. Gordon Biersch offers a made-from-scratch American menu with international flavors. The first Gordon Biersch opened in Palo Alto, California. The company was acquired by Big River Brewing Company in 1999 and later renamed Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group, Inc. In 2016, Gordon Biersch had 32 locations nationwide.[13] The company also reported four locations in Taiwan.[14]

Rock Bottom Restaurant Breweries[edit]

The company operates 30 breweries under the name Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. These breweries are located in several states, with seven restaurants in Colorado, five in Illinois, three in California, two in Minnesota, and one restaurant each in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The store was renamed Rock Bottom after someone pointed out that they were "building at the bottom of the rock," which was Prudential's slogan at the time.[15] In 2009, the La Jolla location in San Diego won a medal at the Great American Beer Festival,[16] and in 2012 they medaled at the World Beer Cup.[17] Rock Bottom Restaurants won Brewpub Group Brewer of the Year award at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ {{cite web|url= |publisher=Boulder Daily Camera|accessdate=21 May 2018
  2. ^ "Rock Bottom & Gordon Biersch Merger: Big Brewpub Brands Plan Little Change Aside From Growth". Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Rabin, Dan. "Colorado Breweries". Stackpole Books. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  4. ^ "Gordon Biersch Closes Original Palo Alto Brewpub". Brookston Beer Bulletin. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  5. ^ "Big River Breweries, Inc.(R) Announces the Repurchase of its Company Stock from Rock Bottom Restaurants, Inc.(R)". PR Newswire Association LLC. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Sipos, Ed. "Brewing Arizona: A Century of Beer in the Grand Canyon State". University of Arizona Press. ISBN 978-0-8165-3047-2. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  7. ^ "Rock Bottom Restaurants, Inc. History". Funding Universe. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  8. ^ Smith, Ellis (September 25, 2011). "$11 million HQ move brewing". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  9. ^ "Rock Bottom Launches "Tasting Tuesday" and Hosts Craft Beer Appreciation Events to Celebrate Unique Beer Styles with Guests". Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  10. ^ "Cost-wary restaurants lay off large numbers (NRN 3.17.08)". Google. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  11. ^ "Gordon Biersch brewer in merger to become CraftWorks". Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  12. ^ Alfs, Lizzy (1 November 2018). "Nashville-based Logan's Roadhouse chain acquired by Colorado restaurant group". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Gordon Biersch Restaurant and Brewery Locations - Restaurants Nationwide". Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  14. ^ "Gordon Biersch History". Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  15. ^ "History of Rock Bottom Restaurants, Inc. – FundingUniverse". Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  16. ^ Rowe, Peter (September 29, 2009). "Local brewer heads above competition". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  17. ^ Rowe, Peter (May 6, 2012). "Local brewers take 16 medals in World Beer Cup". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  18. ^ "2013 Great American Beer Festival Winners". GABF. Oct 12, 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.

Further reading[edit]

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