CIC Partners Announces Investment in Willie's Grill & Icehouse

September 15, 2015 - Dallas, TX: CIC Partners ("CIC"), a Dallas-based private equity firm, is pleased to announce a majority investment in Willie's Grill & Icehouse ("Willie's" or the "Company"). Based in Houston, Texas, Willie's is a leading regional fast casual restaurant concept operating 17 restaurants across Central Texas.

"I am very pleased to have found a partner in CIC that shares our core values and is dedicated to continuing to provide great food and service to our customers," said Jay Barnes, Co-Founder of Willie's. "We had been looking to partner with someone to help us take Willie's to the next level, and I can honestly say, we couldn't have picked a better partner."

As part of this transaction, restaurant industry veterans, Norman Abdallah and Carey Carrington will join the Company's board along with CIC representatives. As Chairman of the Board, Mr. Abdallah brings a wealth of experience from leading over 25 brands as a CEO, franchisee, or owner. Mr. Abdallah is the current Chief Executive Officer of CIC portfolio company, Taco Mac. Mr. Carrington similarly has held multiple CFO roles across several concepts, notably including California Pizza Kitchen, Romano's Macaroni Grill, and Raising Cane's.

"We have been following the Willie's brand for years and are excited about the opportunity to invest in the company," added Bayard Friedman, Vice President at CIC Partners. "Jay Barnes, John Barnes, and Jeff McCoy worked to build a really special brand, and we are thrilled to come alongside them and support its continued growth."

Fouad Bashour, Partner at CIC Partners, added, "This investment fits CIC's strategy of investing in exceptional concepts with compelling unit economics. We are excited to partner with the founders to provide both capital and industry expertise to help accelerate the Company's growth."


CIC Partners is a middle-market private equity firm that invests in growth-oriented companies primarily in the food, restaurant, healthcare and energy industries. CIC manages the personal capital of its investment team, Operating Partners and strategic investors and seeks to partner with owner-operators, founders and management teams. CIC looks for opportunities where it can leverage the collective experience of its investment team and its Operating Partners, who are successful CEO's and entrepreneurs, to guide, support and add value to portfolio companies. Based in Dallas, Texas, the firm has been generating wealth in private-equity investing for its investors and management teams for over 25 years. Prior multi-unti company investments include Quiznos, Restoration Hardware, Granite City Food & Brewery, Taco Mac, Tiff's Treats, Red Mango, Main Street Restaurant Group, Don Pablo's, and Furr's. For additional information, please visit


Based in Houston, Texas, Willie's Grill & Icehouse is a leading regional fast casual restaurant concept operating 17 restaurants across Central Texas. Since opening the first restaurant in 1993, Willie's Grill & Icehouse has built a loyal following attracted to its made-from-scratch, Texas-inspired fare. Hearty burgers, local seafood, and fresh salads accompany troughs packed with ice cold beer in a rustic setting reminiscent of a Lone Star icehouse. Willie's large patios and glass garage doors offer a relaxing atmosphere while Willie's friendly staff strives to leave guests of all ages with a memorable, comfortable and affordable experience. For more information, please visit

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