While it remains uncomfortable with any reference to being a chain restaurant or a sports bar, Charlotte’s homegrown hero Hickory Tavern is not complaining about its most recent honor: cracking the coveted FSR 50 list by Full Service Restaurant Magazine.
Hickory Tavern, the social gathering spot, where the neighborhood is drawn by a lively bar, great food and a passion for entertainment and sports and once named runner-up in ESPN’s Best Sports Bar in North America ranking, now appears on FSR’s “The Top 50 Emerging Restaurant Chains,” which features the 50 high-potential, performance-proven full-service brands with fewer than 50 locations.
“Hickory Tavern is so much more than a sports bar and our restaurants most definitely do not feel like a chain, yet we are always grateful and appreciative when recognized by prestigious industry stalwarts like FSR Magazine,” said Hickory Tavern CMO Thom Perez. “Hickory Tavern service is unsurpassed in casual dining and our team members go out of their way to create a customized and personalized experience for our guests. Creating ‘your craveable experience’ is what sets our restaurants apart.”
FSR Magazine says Hickory Tavern, with 27 units in four states, “excels in menu diversity and innovation and its kids’ menu speaks to its family-friendly focus.” In addition, “its B.Y.O. Salad lets guests choose everything from leaf bases to veggies, topping and proteins, then sends a shout-out to health-conscious diners. And only at Hickory Tavern does traditional pub burgers share the spotlight with Seared Ahi Tuna, Cedar Salmon and Shrimp and Grits, and the list could go on.”
While known for its passion for entertainment and sports, Hickory Tavern’s exceptional menu and experience leaves traditional sports bars pale in comparison. Starting with a welcoming and warm greeting and moving into attentive service with a guest-first mission, visitors are then treated to an extensive and diverse menu.
Since opening its first location in Charlotte two decades ago, Hickory Tavern has become the neighborhood’s favorite destination for any occasion. Hickory Tavern’s unique brand of polished casual features a lively bar atmosphere, upscale menu and 60 big screen TVs and projectors for catching all of your favorite entertainment and sports.
“The FSR 50 recognizes multi-unit full-service restaurant brands with more than five locations but fewer than 50—and each of the brands has proven performance as well as potential for sustained success,” says Connie Gentry, editor of FSR magazine. “In naming the top 50 emerging chains, we considered a variety of factors including menu innovation, sales growth, brand expansion, and support for their communities. Chef-driven menus that encompass food as well as beverage is a common thread among the restaurants selected.”
Founded in 1997, the Hickory Tavern brand has grown to include 27 businesses in 16 communities across the southeastern United States. Hickory Tavern is a neighborhood social gathering spot that is centered around a lively bar, serves great food and has a passion for sports and entertainment. The Hickory Tavern goal is to create your craveable experience. To do this Team Members connect with each guest individually to ensure that they deliver the specific experiences that each guest craves. Our guests use us for countless social reasons, occasions and events. Whatever the reason; Hickory Tavern is the perfect venue for Lunch, Happy Hour, Dinner, Late Night, Parties, Events and on Gameday. Hickory Tavern has added 2 new locations in 2017: Columbia, SC and Holly Springs, NC. Additional openings are planned across the entire Hickory Tavern footprint for 2017 and beyond. We hope to see you soon and often at Hickory Tavern!