Western Sizzlin’ (previously known as Austins Steaks & Saloon) is a chain of privately held and publicly held retail buffet restaurants and steakhouses, with locations in 19 states of the United States and 99 franchise establishments and a subsidiary of Biglari Holdings, which is in turn controlled by Iranian American businessman Sardar Biglari. It is based in Roanoke, Virginia, United States. The concept for Western Sizzlin was conceived in 1962, by Nick Pascarella, with the first Western Sizzlin restaurant opening its doors in Augusta, Georgia, 1962. The business is recognised for its famous FlameKist steaks. According to company literature, Pasceralla reasoned that, "If searing the bottom of the steak made it juicy, adding flames to the top would make them twice as good."
Western Sizzlin' was established in 1962, by Nicholas Pascarella. He was traveling around the United States in search of cheap land on which to build a steakhouse, and he stopped in Augusta because of a flat tire. It was the employees at the tire store who convinced him to set up his restaurant in Augusta.
Pascarella died in 1988. Following that, his spouse and son decided to sell the business. It was later bought by Frank Carney, co-founder of Pizza Hut. However, after the buyout, Carney experienced difficulties in growing the chain to the high price his group paid for the business. Subsequently, Western Sizzlin filed for bankruptcy, and operated under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for nearly eleven months. In 1993, Dave Wachtel acquired the company for $10 million.
- Jenny Kincaid Boone (August 14, 2009). "Steak 'n Shake plans to acquire Western Sizzlin". Roanoke.com. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "History of WesterN SizzliN Corporation". Funding Universe. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- Bernstein, Charles (February 13, 1989). "Carney Plots Western Sizzlin' Growth," Nation's Restaurant News. p. 3. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- Carlino, Bill (January 24, 1994). "Western Sizzlin': Back to Basics under Wachtel," Nation's Restaurant News. p. 7.
- International Directory of Company Histories 60 St. James Press, 2004. Retrieved September 8, 2012.