L Catterton, a private-equity firm with deep roots in the restaurant industry, announced Wednesday it was acquiring Uncle Julio’s, a polished casual Mexican chain with 29 restaurants across seven states.
The Greenwich, Connecticut-based company acquired a significant stake in Velvet Taco last year, and has current investments in Hopdoddy, Mendocino Farms, Noodles & Company, Protein Bar, Punch Bowl Social, Chopt Creative Salad Co., Primanti Bros., Snap Kitchen, Piada Italian Street Food, and Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza.
Past holdings have included Bloomin’ Brands, P.F. Chang’s, First Watch, and now-Darden run Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.
“We are impressed by L Catterton's unparalleled experience growing leading restaurant brands and deep understanding of consumer food and beverage trends and are excited to partner with their dedicated team," said Tom Vogel, president and chief executive officer of Uncle Julio's, in a statement.
Uncle Julio’s was founded in 1986 in Dallas. L Catterton said it was attracted to the brand’s “history of high average unit volumes and consistent performance across the U.S.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP represented the company in the transaction. “L Catterton appreciates our commitment to providing our guests with high-quality, made-from-scratch Mexican food and exceptional customer service,” Vogel added. “Ultimately, L Catterton's willingness to invest in the long-term success of our brand and their alignment with our values makes them the perfect fit to help us execute our growth strategy."
Andrew C. Taub, a managing partner in L Catterton’s Buyout Fund, said in a statement that the company will help accelerate Uncle Julio’s expansion into new markets.
“Uncle Julio's is a unique and authentic upscale dining experience with an on-trend brand and broad consumer appeal," Taub said. "Uncle Julio's is a leader in the growing polished casual Mexican restaurant space, and its differentiated concept resonates across a variety of occasions and demographics. We are delighted to partner with Tom and the company's talented management team to accelerate their expansion."