Joe’s Crab Shack’s former owner makes offer for chain now in bankruptcy court

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The former owner of Joe’s Crab Shack is making a bid for the troubled restaurant company that now owns the seafood spot.

Nation’s Restaurant News, reported that Landry’s has offered $55 million for Ignite Restaurant Group, the parent company of Joe’s, the long-time operator of a restaurant on the Wilmington Riverfront.

That would be about half the price Landry’s received for selling Joe’s Crab Shack about a decade ago to a private equity group. Ignite later acquired the seafood chain.

Ignite filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month in Houston, the headquarters of Landry’s.

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A dining chain that owns restaurants including the Champps, sports bar concept, also put in a bid for Ignite. Champps closed a Concord Mall location a few years ago.

Ignite has struggled with juggling the Joe’s and Brick House brands. It earlier sold Romano’s Macaroni Grill. Romano’s has a location in north Wilmington.

Landry’s excels at picking up long-running and sometimes tired restaurant chains like Rainforest Café, Chart House, Morton’s and McCormick & Schmick’s.

The company likes existing restaurants in waterfront locations, due to the relative rarity of such sites.

Privately held Landry’s also owns Golden Nugget casino-resorts in Atlantic City and Las Vegas.

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