Carlson Sells Restaurant Chain to Leeann Chin Owner

California-based Pick Up Stix will move its headquarters to Bloomington as a result of the sale.

Minnetonka-based Carlson said last week that it recently sold its casual Asian restaurant chain, Pick Up Stix, to Los Angeles investor Lorne Goldberg. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

San Clemente, California-based Pick Up Stix was owned by Carlson's subsidiary, Carlson Restaurants, which is based in Carrollton, Texas.

The Asian fast-food chain's headquarters are set to move to Bloomington, where Goldberg's other restaurant chains-Leeann Chin, Mandarin Express, and Chin's Asia Fresh-are based. The new business will operate as Stix Holdings, LLC.

Acquired by Carlson in 2001, Pick Up Stix now has about 74 eateries, mostly in southern California. Goldberg's acquisition leaves Carlson Restaurants with just one chain under its belt-T.G.I. Friday's-which has 900 restaurants in about 60 countries.

“We are confident that Stix Holdings, LLC, will bring the right leadership and resources to the business and will continue the turnaround that our Pick Up Stix management team is currently driving,” Carlson said in a statement.

Goldberg's first restaurant chain, Mandarin Express, includes about 35 eateries and was purchased in 2004. Three years later, he bought the Leeann Chin chain, which has 43 restaurants in the Twin Cities.

Carlson, a hospitality and travel company, is Minnesota's third-largest private company based on its 2009 revenue, which totaled an estimated $3.9 billion. Besides T.G.I. Friday's, Carlson's brands include Radisson, Country Inns & Suites, Park Inn, and Park Plaza. Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and its brands employ about 150,000 people.