Restaurant chain Black Angus Steakhouse, which is backed by Versa Capital Management, has named Christopher P. Ames as president and CEO. The appointment became effective September 15, 2014. Previously, Ames worked at Benihana Restaurants where he served as chief operating officer.
LOS ALTOS, Calif. – October 16, 2014 – Black Angus Steakhouse, an iconic chain of 45 steakhouse restaurants in six western U.S. states, is pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher P. Ames as President and Chief Executive Officer. His appointment was effective September 15, 2014.
Gregory Segall, Chairman of Black Angus and CEO of controlling shareholder Versa Capital Management, LLC, stated: “We are pleased to welcome Chris to Black Angus as the company celebrates its 50th year of providing memorable dining experiences and innovative restaurant programs to the marketplace. Chris has had an outstanding career in restaurant senior management. As a California native, he has a lifelong understanding and appreciation of Black Angus and the brand quality that is required in the company’s western markets. We look forward to working with Chris as he leads Black Angus in its next phase of strategic growth.”
Mr. Ames brings a 31-year career in restaurant management. Most recently, he served as Chief Operating Officer of Benihana Restaurants, incorporating 95 company-owned locations where he was responsible for operations and product innovation for the Benihana, Ra Sushi, and Haru Sushi brands. Mr. Ames also served in a comparable role at Cosi Restaurants, where he oversaw operations for 95 company-owned and 43 franchise-owned restaurants. Additionally, he served as Executive Vice President of Operations for The Patina Group and California Pizza Kitchen, where he rose from kitchen manager and was promoted through increasing levels of responsibility.
Mr. Ames commented: “I’ve known Black Angus since my teens. It’s truly an iconic brand. Before I accepted this position, I visited 20 of our stores and was impressed with the service and the dishes served. Black Angus offers a great value to customers, and it’s outperforming everyone in its niche. I see huge, long-term growth potential, and I’m very glad to be part of Black Angus’s future.”
Mr. Ames succeeds Meredith (Merry) Taylor, who will remain a member of Black Angus’s Board of Directors, an advisor to Mr. Ames and his team, and an equity holder in the company.
Black Angus Chairman Segall added: “We thank Merry Taylor for her many contributions to Black Angus, and we are pleased that she will continue to provide advice and support as a board member.”
About Black Angus Steakhouse
Founded in 1964, Black Angus has a long history of providing customers the best steak dinners at affordable prices. The company now operates 45 locations in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Washington. Some locations also carry a high-concept, branded Bulls Eye Sports Bar that has distinguished the chain from its competitors. Black Angus has received numerous awards including the 2014 Certificate of Excellence (Trip Advisor), 2014 Best of the Inland Empire (Inland Empire Magazine), 2012 Best Steakhouse and Best Happy Hour (Los Angeles Times), and 2012 Kid Friendly Opentable Diner’s Choice award. For more information, visit www.blackangus.com.
About Versa Capital Management
Philadelphia-based Versa Capital Management is a private equity investment firm with more than $1.4 billion of assets under management focused on control investments in special situations involving middle market companies where value and performance growth can be achieved through enhanced operational and financial management. Versa’s portfolio includes retailers Avenue Stores, EMS, Bob’s Stores, and Sports Chalet; community newspapers under Civitas Media; and manufacturers that service a variety of industries. More information can be found at www.versa.com.