The Greene Turtle Crab Cake Duo.
The Greene Turtle

The Greene Turtle plans to open four company-run stores this year, a new record. 

The Greene Turtle Purchases Award-Winning Barbecue Concept

The restaurant, which has won more than 700 Top 10 awards, was founded in 2019 by barbecue veteran Travis Clark and Famous Dave's parent BBQ Holdings. 

The Greene Turtle is doing something it's never done before in 46 years of existence—acquiring another restaurant brand. 

The 34-unit chain announced Wednesday that it acquired Clark Crew BBQ, an independent casual-dining concept in Oklahoma City. The restaurant, which has won more than 700 Top 10 awards, was founded in 2019 through a collaboration between Travis Clark and Famous Dave's parent BBQ Holdings. 

Terms of the deal were undisclosed. 

As part of the transaction, The Greene Turtle formed ITA Group Holdings, a new multi-brand platform that will own and operate The Greene Turtle, Clark Crew BBQ, and Founder Growth Platform (FGP), a consultancy that's currently partnering with six fast-casual brands. 

READ MORE: The Greene Turtle Readies for a Restaurant Surge

The move comes at a time of unprecedented growth for the sports bar. The Greene Turtle plans to build a record four company-run stores in 2022. In addition, FGP will facilitate the growth of six more restaurants, bringing ITA's total to 10 units overall. 

“For the first time in Greene Turtle’s history, we’ve completed an acquisition of a new concept and added significant immediate scale to the company,” The Greene Turtle CEO Geo Concepcion said in a statement. “This is an incredibly important step in our company’s rapid growth and puts us in an excellent position to continue to execute on our long-term plan. We’re proud to join forces with Travis and the Clark Crew BBQ team and are excited for what’s to come from ITA’s impressive roster of concepts and leaders.”

Clark, who previously worked with Concepcion when the executive was COO of Famous Dave's, is now a partner in ITA and will serve as president of the restaurant. 

“My team and I are excited to bring the World Championship BBQ of Clark Crew BBQ together with The Greene Turtle to become a powerhouse,” Clark said in a statement. “These are companies with a passion to succeed, win and be the best in the business. I’m also excited to take what we’ve learned the last few years and help other entrepreneurs, who are beginning the journey of building their brand, make that dream a reality.”

The purchased was completed simultaneously with a recapitalization of the company, with debt provided by Sandy Spring Bank and Pelham S2K.

It's the latest M&A action in the full-service industry, although on a much smaller scale. In April, Dave & Buster's revealed it's purchasing Main Event for $835 million, and during the following month, Denny's announced it would acquire Keke's Breakfast Cafe for $82.5 million.