Roark Capital Group also owns Carl's Jr. and Hardee's parent, CKE Restaurants.
ATLANTA – Private equity firm Roark Capital Group recently acquired a majority stake in Birmingham, Alabama-based Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, a chain of full-service restaurants specializing in barbecue and made-from-scratch Southern cuisine. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

COO Brian Lyman has been promoted to president of Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q where he has spent 12 years of his career. Also, Phil Hickey, a 35-year restaurant industry veteran, was named chairman of Jim ‘N Nick’s. Hickey previously served as CEO of RARE Hospitality, and he currently is the chairman of Miller’s Ale House, another Roark portfolio company.

“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,” said Geoff Hill, principal at Roark Capital. “The food is craveable and is served with wonderful Southern hospitality.”

Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q was founded in 1985 by father and son Jim and Nick Pihakis. The concept specializes in authentic barbecued and smoked meats, including beef, chicken, pork and turkey. The restaurants feature a combination of dine-in service, drive-thru and catering. Jim ‘N Nick’s has 37 locations in seven states, including Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

“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,” Nick Pihakis said. “Roark is a highly respected PE [private equity] 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.”