Last Updated on July 22, 2021
July 17, 2021
It was 1978 when Mike Phillips and Bill Cunningham founded the first BJ’s in Santa Ana, California. In those early days, it was known as BJ’s Chicago Pizzeria. Thirteen years later, in 1991, their accountants Paul Motenko and Jerry Hennessy bought them out.
By 1996, with seven restaurants known as Chicago Pizza open in California, the company raised $9.4 million and went public. That same year, the company bought 26 Pietro’s Pizza restaurants in a $2.8 million deal and opened a microbrewery at its Brea restaurant.
The National Retail Federation named it as one of the 10 fastest growing restaurants between 2010 and 2011 in the.
In October 2012, Greg Trojan became President and CEO.
By 2013, BJ’s had a chain of 136 restaurants in 15 states. Their 11 brewery restaurants produced 60,000 barrels annually to serve to their patrons.
In 2010, the company’s BJ’s Hefelightzen was awarded a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival.
To go along with their hand-crafted beer, BJ’s customers can enjoy a selection of appetizers, entrees, pizza, pasta, sandwiches, specialty salads and desserts.
The chain operates under the names BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, BJ’s Grill, and BJ’s Pizza & Grill.
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