Sticky Fingers shuts down 4 restaurants

The Sticky Fingers Restaurant Group shut down four of its 22 sites last month, including one in North Charleston. The Mount Pleasant-based company still operates 18 restaurants.

The Sticky Fingers Restaurant Group has slimmed down.

The Mount Pleasant-based business quietly closed four of its 22 namesake rib and barbecue restaurants late last month, and on Friday it moved its corporate headquarters across town into a much smaller space.

A sign on the restaurant headquarters' 6,500-square-foot office in Mount Pleasant said that office was closed and a new headquarters was now on Coleman Boulevard.

At the new location, two large moving vans and several workers were busy carting in office equipment and furnishings into the new 3,500-square-foot office space.

A Sticky Fingers employee overseeing movers referred questions about the move to company marketing director Shelley Wolford.

Wolford confirmed that the company closed four restaurants two weeks ago.

They were in North Charleston, Hilton Head, Columbia and Hixson, Tenn.

Office workers were given Friday off while moving was under way, Wolford said.

Wolford declined to say why the group closed the four restaurants or why the company sought a smaller office.

She referred further questions to the company's chief executive officer, Frank Sbordone, who could not be reached for comment Friday.

Sticky Fingers was started in 1992 in Mount Pleasant by three high school friends, and it gradually grew into 22 restaurants in South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.

It closed its North Charleston location May 27, when it also closed the other three.

Many restaurants and other businesses that rely on discretionary income for revenue are being hard hit by the effects of the recession, as some of their customers have lost jobs or have suffered cuts in pay.