The multiconcept operator of several landmark restaurants in Seattle is changing both its ownership and its name.
Consolidated Restaurants Inc., or CRI, which operates six Seattle-area concepts, is transitioning a majority ownership stake to Jim Rowe, the company’s president since 2009. When the deal is finalized, which is expected before the end of the year, Rowe will become CEO.
Moving to a minority ownership position will be previous owner Ron Cohn, whose father David Cohn founded CRI in 1951. No other changes to management are planned, and terms were not disclosed, the company said.
“We are fortunate to have Jim carry the torch moving forward,” Ron Cohn said in a statement. “The restaurants will remain privately held, and our guests will have the same experience at our family of restaurants that they have come to expect and enjoy.”
As a result, on Jan. 1, 2018, the company will change its name to E3 Co.-Restaurant Group.
The new name is a reference to the E3 steak seasoning developed by the original corporate chef Earl Owens. The seasoning, now in its third iteration, is still used in the restaurants and is a brand signature.
CRI is known mostly for its high-end steakhouse Metropolitan Grill, as well as the seafood restaurant Elliott’s Oyster House. The group also operates the more-casual Steamers Seafood Café, the seasonal restaurant Heartwood Provisions, and the two-unit wings concept Wing Dome. The group also has an outlet of Quincy’s Burgers in the Seattle Center.
Rowe joined the company in 1999 as vice president and chief financial officer. Before that, he spent 13 years with Holland America Line Cruises as director of finance.
“Ron and I have worked closely together for almost two decades, and I have benefited immensely from his knowledge and experience,” Rowe said in a statement. “I’m committed to honoring the legacy built by the Cohn family and along with the incredibly talented, dedicated and passionate team here at CRI, look forward to a very bright and exciting future.”
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