The long-rumored sale of Maverick Southern Kitchens restaurants to Hall Management Group finally came to fruition late Tuesday night, according to Maverick Southern Kitchens founder and president Dick Elliott.
“We learned the last hurdle had been completed and began to work really hard,” Elliott says of the transaction.
Maverick Southern Kitchens employees yesterday morning were notified of the sale. Under the terms of the agreement, all of the company’s employees will keep their jobs, with the same compensation and benefits. Leadership team members including executive chef Frank Lee and director of operations David Marconi will join Halls Management Group.
“The bottom line is the only job that’s changing is Mr. E’s, as he begins to retire from the restaurant world after 25 years!,” the memo explained.
In a release announcing the deal, Hall Management Group owner Bill Hall was quoted as saying, “Dick’s commitment to the gold standard in hospitality and his genuine respect for employees and customers represents a philosophy that I truly admire and share.”
Elliott acknowledges that Maverick Southern Kitchens and Hall Management Group have cultivated very different corporate cultures, but expresses confidence that “everything will remain the same” at Slightly North of Broad, Old Village Post House and High Cotton locations in Charleston and Greenville.
“Nothing is changing about the way we’re running the company,” he says, adding that Hall Management Group appears eager to diversify its portfolio.
Bill Hall, a veteran of the hospitality industry, in 2009 opened Halls Chophouse. Four years later, Hall Management Group purchased Rita’s Seaside Grill on Folly Beach from the firm behind Kickin’ Chicken.
Charleston Cooks, along with its sister stores in Greenville and Columbia, will continue to be operated by Maverick Southern Kitchens.
After Maverick Southern Kitchens issued its memo to employees, word of the sale started to spread via social media channels. Interest intensified at 4:45 p.m., when an announcement was e-mailed to members of the Maverick Collection, a points program for patrons. Elliott admitted some irritation at the feverish speculation, but settled on interpreting the buzz as a tribute to the company’s role in the community. “It’s wonderful that we’re so important,” he says.