Bear Rock franchisee drops agreement, opens new concept

Several years ago, Bear Rock was a Cary-based sandwich shop that boasted of plans to have more than 150 franchised restaurants across the country. By 2006, there were 39 Bear Rock Cafés. According to a list of locations on the company’s Web site, it now has just 19 locations.

http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/
July 16, 2009

Bear Rock franchisee drops agreement, opens new concept
Triangle Business Journal

Restaurateurs at C&W Six Forks have opened a new concept called the 7 C’s Café in a Raleigh location that until recently housed a Bear Rock Café.

The loss of the location near Six Forks Road and Wake Forest Road is another blow to Bear Rock, a once-local company that has seen its ambitious growth plans reversed in recent years.

C&W Six Forks co-owner Darryl Cook says his firm’s 10-year franchise agreement with Bear Rock expired on June 16. Instead of renewing, Cook and his partners Chris Watson and Scott Catalano opted to try a new concept. The 7 C’s Café has an expanded menu and bigger portions for dinner.

“We felt like we needed to take it in a different direction,” says Cook, who adds that the overwhelming majority of Bear Rock’s business came at lunch.

The new restaurant, which employs about 15 people, opened on July 1. Cook says the lease on the location runs out in four months, during which time the partners will evaluate the viability of their new venture.

Several years ago, Bear Rock was a Cary-based sandwich shop that boasted of plans to have more than 150 franchised restaurants across the country. By 2006, there were 39 Bear Rock Cafés. According to a list of locations on the company’s Web site, it now has just 19 locations.

Bear Rock experienced a major shakeup about a year ago. In August of 2008 Triangle Business Journal reported that Gary Bryant had resigned as CEO of Bear Rock, which he founded in 1997. An Atlanta restaurant group now manages the company.

A Bear Rock executive did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/stories/2009/07/13/daily50.html


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