Granite City Hopes Restaurant Upgrades Will Boost Sales

In an attempt to boost revenues, the St. Louis Park-based restaurant operator will add seating to four of its locations-including two in the Twin Cities.

Granite City Food & Brewery Limited announced Monday that it is adding seating capacity to four of its restaurants, including two in the Twin Cities.

The St. Louis Park-based restaurant chain said it will complete improvements within the next four weeks-in time for the holiday season-at its restaurants in Maple Grove and Roseville, plus two others in Davenport and Cedar Rapids in Iowa.

Granite City will fund the expansions by using part of the equity it raised in May-which included a $9 million capital infusion from Dallas-based Concept Development Partners and $10 million in financing from Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank.

The company hopes the added capacity will decrease wait times and increase revenues. It plans to add capacity in four more restaurant locations over the coming year.

“Through research over the past few months, we noted that one of the issues that existed at the stores was the frustration by our customers due to long wait times,” CEO Rob Doran said in a statement. “The enlargement of select stores will reduce wait times and improve the customer experience.”

The company will be adding bar and restaurant seating to each of the eateries being upgraded. In addition, it plans to enclose the patios in the Maple Grove and Cedar Rapids locations in order to accommodate year-round patio seating.

Granite City said the recent round of financing has helped the company develop plans to grow existing stores and establish new stores-including a recently announced Troy, Michigan store set to open in 2012.

Granite City operates 26 restaurants in 11 states. It is one of the 75 largest public companies in Minnesota based on revenue, which totaled $89.3 million in its 2010 fiscal year.