"After weighing our options, we made the decision to relocate our Calhoun Square restaurant," Al Hank, senior director of company operations, tells us. "It has been a pleasure to serve our guests in Uptown at this restaurant, and we're excited to find the next location to continue that service."
The Wisconsin-launched, Minnetonka-based chain will relocate its former Uptown employees to other restaurants as it scouts a new location, Hank says. Retail complex Calhoun Square, which has housed Famous Dave's since 1996, hit the market earlier this year.
Famous Dave's has fallen on hard times in recent years. New CEO Jeff Crivello outlined the "tired" chain's "fight for survival" earlier this year, highlighting redesigned store concepts and a menu overhaul. Part of the plan involves "virtual restaurants" that sound suspiciously like "websites." Store closings have become routine since Famous Dave's stock price fell off a cliff in 2015.
Famous Dave's still has 150 locations -- 134 franchise-run, 16 company-run -- in the U.S., 10 of which are scattered throughout Minnesota. "Famous Dave" Anderson, who founded his BBQ empire in 1994 in Hayward, Wisconsin, returned to his pitmaster roots with a new chain -- Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse -- a couple years back.
Now, as is custom with stories like this, we're compelled to ask: IS UPTOWN DEAD?