HOUSTON, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ignite Restaurant Group (NASDAQ:IRG), owner/operator of nearly 350 restaurants throughout the U.S., today announced that it will begin selling franchise licenses for its popular Brick House Tavern + Tap restaurants and has hired industry veteran Sam Rothschild to lead national and international franchising for the Ignite portfolio. The Houston-based restaurant group, which also owns and operates Romano's Macaroni Grill and Joe's Crab Shack, has filed all required support documentation to become registered to sell franchises in limited states throughout the country, with the intent to add regions as franchisee interest grows. "Brick House competes in the next-generation bar and grill segment, bringing traditionally urban gastropubs into suburban markets," said Ignite Restaurant Group President and CEO Ray Blanchette. "Customers have embraced the polished casual concept, and with Sam on board, we're ready to bring that experience to new markets with a strong franchise offering." Brick House Tavern + Tap, founded by Ignite in 2008, currently has 15 locations in the U.S., with its 16 th restaurant slated to open in Parker, Colo., in late May. The concept offers chef-inspired tavern food in an entertaining environment, with recliners for TV sports-watching, decks with fire pits and an indoor/outdoor bar, along with traditional restaurant seating for approximately 220 guests. Rothschild, who will serve as Ignite's first vice president of franchising, brings more than three decades of experience in company and franchise relations, including franchise leadership positions with Hooters, Applebee's International, Tony Roma's and Bennigan's. "We believe the Brick House Tap + Tavern franchise offering will create strong opportunities for entrepreneurs who want a solid brand with a history of proven success," said Rothschild. "We look forward to growing this brand and bringing our differentiated concept to a wide variety of markets."