Chopt owner L Catterton buys Mexican restaurant Uncle Julio's

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Private equity firm L Catterton has agreed to purchase casual Mexican restaurant Uncle Julio’s. The target will join the firm’s other restaurant investments, including: Chopt Creative Salad Co., Hopdoddy, Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza and Velvet Taco.

Founded in 1986, Uncle Julio’s is a Dallas-based restaurant chain serving fajitas, its signature salsa and handcrafted margaritas from a made-from-scratch menu. The target operates 29 restaurants across Texas, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Uncle Julio’s plans to open restaurants in new and existing markets with the investment from L Catterton. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Uncle Julio's is a unique and authentic upscale dining experience with an on-trend brand and broad consumer appeal," states L Catterton managing partner Andrew Taub, adding that Uncle Julio’s “differentiated concept resonates across a variety of occasions and demographics.”

Established in 2016,L Catterton came to form through the combination of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE’s private equity group L Capital and its real estate investment unit with consumer-focused private equity firm Catterton. The consumer-focused private equity firm has managed more than $14 billion in equity capital across six fund strategies. The Greenwich, Connecticut-headquartered firm has previously acquired pool products supplier Leslie’s Holdings Inc. and children’s apparel retailer Hanna Andersson.

Buyers are showing an appetite for ethnic restaurants, as consumers want food that reflects their diversity. Freeman Spogli purchased burrito chain Café Rio; Curry Up Now acquired Tava Kitchen; General Atlantic backed fast-casual operator Barteca Holdings; and Burger King owner Restaurant Brands International Inc. agreed to purchase Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

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