San Diego's The Crack Shack To Expand Nationwide Under New Investment Partnership

September 22, 2020

San Diego-based The Crack Shack, which opened its first location in 2015 and now has six restaurants around Southern California, is poised to expand nationwide after entering into an investment partnership.

Celebrity Chef Richard Blais - known for appearances on Top Chef, Top Chef All-Stars, Iron Chef America, and more - along with his business partner Mike Rosen opened the flagship The Crack Shack location in the space adjacent to their Juniper + Ivy restaurant in November 2015. The fast-casual, counter-service bar and eatery was an instant hit, resulting in a second location opening in Encinitas in early 2017, a third outpost in Orange County's Costa Mesa, and a Los Angeles branch that opened in Westfield Century City. Another Los Angeles branch also opened in Pasadena, followed by a branch inside the Park MGM Resort on the Las Vegas Strip. 

Today, The Crack Shack announced an investment partnership with Savory, a Mercato Partners Fund focused on delivering outsized returns through strategic investments in the food and beverage industry. The first investment since the close of its inaugural $90 million fund, Savory looks to continue fueling the grassroots-growth and operations of the well-loved chain as it moves toward expansion into new markets. Three Crack Shack locations outside California will open in 2021 under the new partnership. The Crack Shack joins Savory's current portfolio of highly popular restaurant concepts Mo'Bettahs, R&R BBQ and Swig. 

"The Crack Shack is one of the most intriguing brands to come out of the fast-casual mold, and truly brings together delicious and forward-thinking food in a family-friendly environment that you want to return to again and again," said Andrew K. Smith, managing director of Savory. "With Savory's vast experience developing and operating hundreds of restaurant locations and ability to successfully execute investment strategies through trying economic cycles, we're uniquely equipped to grow brands during the pandemic and beyond. We're thrilled to partner with Michael and his team to continue expansion and bring these unique flavors to hungry people across the country."

The Crack Shack restaurants offer walk-up counter service for ordering, a full bar, and al-fresco patio seating. The menu created by Chef Richard Blais and Culinary Director Jon Sloan is centered around poultry-based sandwiches, fried chicken, salads, and appetizers, all made with local and organic ingredients, including free-fange Jidori chicken from small farms. Outside of the food, Crack Shack fans flock to the "coops" for the social atmosphere surrounded by whimsical, chicken-inspired artwork, lawn games, and bars stocked with craft cocktails, wines and local beers.

"Andrew and the Savory team have created something much more than a private equity fund, with not only access to capital but decades of combined experience, a deep understanding of the restaurant industry and the knowledge to grow a brand sustainably and effectively," said Michael Rosen, founder and CEO of The Crack Shack. "We couldn't be more excited to partner with Savory to bring our deliciously reimagined comfort food and fine dining flair to more people in more places."
For more information about The Crack Shack, visit