Roark Capital Group Acquires Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q

Private Equity Firm Adds Full-Service Southern Barbecue Chain to Expanding Portfolio

July 12, 2017 // // ATLANTA, Ga. - Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm focused on consumer brands and multi-unit businesses, announced today that its affiliate has acquired a majority stake in Birmingham, Alabama-based Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q is a full-service restaurant brand specializing in authentic, made-from-scratch barbecue and Southern inspired cuisine prepared with high-quality, fresh ingredients. The investment is Roark’s 60th multi-unit company and 20th restaurant brand.

Founded in 1985 in Birmingham, AL, by father and son Jim and Nick Pihakis, Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q today has 37 locations in seven states, including Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Jim ‘N Nick’s specializes in authentic barbecued and smoked meat offerings of beef, chicken, pork and turkey, which can be paired with a variety of barbeque sauces, and is widely known for its signature cheese biscuits. The menu features traditional Southern favorite dishes freshly prepared using locally-sourced ingredients. With its unique combination of dine-in service, drive-thru and catering, Jim ‘N Nick’s offers consumers and their families a convenient, high-quality meal at an affordable price.

“It was important for us to find a private equity partner that is aligned with our commitment to high quality, fresh barbecue and Southern cuisine,” said Nick Pihakis. “Roark is a highly-respected PE firm, with a strong track record of investing in restaurant brands to position them for sustainable long-term growth. They are an ideal partner for us to reach our expansion goals, while remaining true to our extremely high quality standards.”

Brian Lyman, Chief Operating Officer of Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q and 12-year veteran of the brand, has been promoted to President. In connection with the transaction, 35-year restaurant industry veteran Phil Hickey will become Chairman of Jim ‘N Nick’s. Hickey’s experience includes former Chief Executive Officer of RARE Hospitality, and he is currently the Chairman of Miller’s Ale House, another Roark portfolio company.

Geoff Hill, Principal at Roark Capital Group, added, “Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q is highly differentiated, offering authentic, scratch-made cooking to guests choosing to dine-in, carry-out, drive-thru or cater and has a tremendous regional following and strong growth potential. The food is craveable and is served with wonderful Southern hospitality. We look forward to working closely with Phil, Brian, Nick, and the rest of the passionate and talented team members at Jim ‘N Nick’s.”

About Roark Capital Group

Roark focuses on franchised and multi-unit business models in the retail, restaurant, consumer and business services sectors. Since inception, affiliates of Roark have invested in 60 franchise/multi-unit brands which collectively generate $24 billion in annual system revenues from 27,000 locations in 50 states and 78 countries. Roark’s current brands include Anytime Fitness, Arby’s, Atkins Nutritionals, Batteries Plus Bulbs, CKE Restaurants (the owner of Carl Jr.’s and Hardee’s), Corner Bakery, Driven Brands (the owner of Maaco, Meineke, CARSTAR, 1-800-Radiator and Take 5 Oil Change), Drybar, FOCUS Brands (the owner of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Carvel Ice Cream, Cinnabon, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky’s), Great Expressions Dental Centers, Il Fornaio, Jimmy John’s, Massage Envy, Miller’s Ale House, Naf Naf Grill, Orangetheory Fitness, Pet Retail Brands (the owner of Pet Supermarket and Pet Valu), Primrose Schools and Waxing the City. For more information, please visit

About Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q

Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q began barbecuing pork “low and slow” in a converted pizza parlor in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1985. Founded by father and son Jim and Nick Pihakis, Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q preserves traditional Southern favorites while adding their own flair by preparing dishes from scratch using high quality, fresh ingredients. None of the restaurants use freezers. Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q has 37 locations in seven states including Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee serving large portions of Southern barbecue along with a big side of Southern hospitality. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Debra Vilchis
Fishman Public Relations
(847) 945-1300, ext. 227

SOURCE Roark Capital Group


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