Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd. (Nasdaq:GCFB) announced today that it is in the process of enhancing four of its higher margin stores with the expectation that the improvements will be completed for the upcoming holiday season. The upgrades are consistent with the Company’s goal to improve the customer experience and drive continued growth through strategic investment in existing and new stores. In May 2011, Granite City received a $9 million infusion of capital from Concept Development Partners (CDP) in partnership with CIC Partners along with $10 million in financing from Fifth Third Bank. The transaction brought the Company capital, additional management and several new, experienced board members including, Mike Rawlings, former President of Pizza Hut and a Founding Partner at CIC Partners, Lou Mucci, the former CFO of BJ’s Restaurants, Michael Staenberg, President of THF Realty, Fouad Bashour a Founding Partner of CIC Partners, and Rob Doran, former Executive Vice President of McDonald’s. Rob Doran now serves as CEO of Granite City. Since CDP’s investment, Granite City has been developing growth plans for existing stores as well as the construction of new stores such as the recently announced Troy, Michigan store set to open in early 2012. “Through research over the past few months, we noted that one of the issues that existed at the stores was the frustration by our customers due to long wait times,” noted Rob Doran, CEO. “The enlargement of select stores will reduce wait times and improve the customer experience. Physical changes in some of our high volume stores will include increased seating in the bars, enclosure of patios for year round service, and the addition of private dining rooms to accommodate private parties, corporate events, and reduce wait times in peak periods. In addition, we are improving the efficiency of these stores with table management systems and kitchen management systems that we feel will provide an even better customer experience.”
At present, the Company has targeted eight stores for enhancement over the next year with four expected to be completed within the next 4 weeks. Those projects expected to be completed in 2011 include:Maple Grove, MN: Enclosure of patio creating year-round all-weather seating and enhancement of the bar, adding additional seating and floor space. Roseville, MN: Bar enhancement adding additional seating and floor space, and upgraded outdoor patio. Davenport, IA: Private dining room addition and enhancement of the bar, adding new seating and enhanced floor space. Cedar Rapids, IA: Enclosure of patio creating year-round all-weather seating and enhancement of bar adding new seating and floor space. Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd. is a Modern American upscale casual restaurant chain that operates 26 restaurants in 11 states. The menu features affordable yet high quality family favorite menu items prepared from made-from-scratch recipes and served in generous portions. The sophisticated yet unpretentious restaurants, proprietary food and beverage products, attractive price points and high service standards combine for a great dining experience. Granite City opened its first restaurant in 1999 and is expanding from its Midwestern base. Additional information about Granite City Food & Brewery can be found at the company’s website ( www.gcfb.net). Forward-Looking Statements Certain statements made in this press release of a non-historical nature constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. Such factors include, but are not limited to, changes in economic conditions, changes in consumer preferences or discretionary consumer spending, a significant change in the performance of any existing restaurants, our ability to continue funding our operations and meet our debt service obligations, and the risks and uncertainties described in our Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 17, 2011.