Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rib City looks to expand | 12.27.09


Rib City claims a winning recipe, and not just for baby backs.

The 20-year-old Fort Myers-based barbecue chain is poised to add both franchisee- and company-owned locations next year, and expects to close out 2009 with an estimated $30 million in gross sales, up from $28 million in 2008. Only a handful of its franchise outlets have closed during the regional and national recessions.

Financial performance at the Florida restaurants - all company-owned - "are flat or up over last year," said company President Craig Peden.

Peden credits Rib City's ability to survive and thrive to "a culmination of a lot of things: the service, the quality of food, the atmosphere, the staff. These separate a restaurant from being just OK, to being better."

Rib City is a Southwest Florida native. Craig Peden confirmed that Gerry Pastore, now living in Illinois, hatched the concept in 1989. Pastore joined forces with the Pedens, who now own and operate the chain, which has grown to 28 restaurants in six states.

Franchise holders typically are "either from here or have family here," Craig Peden said. "They come eat at our restaurant, and love the food."

One example: Vincent D'Onofrio, a star of TV's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." In 2007, he became part-owner of the Rib City in Sandy, Utah.

Peden said D'Onofrio partnered with sister and brother-in-law Toni and Ron Jorgensen in the franchise. The D'Onofrios got acquainted with Rib City through family get-togethers in Florida.

Another D'Onofrio sister, actress and writer Elizabeth D'Onofrio, formerly was a daytime bartender at The Veranda, Peden said, adding the D'Onofrio siblings' mother lives in Cape Coral.

Rib City, as a corporation, has taken a low-key approach to franchising promotion that includes occasionally putting informational leaflets on restaurant tables.
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List of films in production.

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"In Dubious Battle" [2016]
An activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s. Vincent....Al Anderson


A story about the early life of Tennessee Williams

Directed by James Franco
Vincent D'Onofrio, Jacob Loeb

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In a rural town in Southern Idaho, the Suzukis, a Japanese American family, run a small motel. One night they get a strange visitor who sports ‘city’ clothes who turns out to be the first African-American man that Toru Suzuki’s children have ever seen. Yoshiko takes it upon herself to solve the mystery about this man, especially when 2 police officers come knocking on their door.

Short film produced by Erika Hampson.
Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Foster.

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Director: Jennifer Lynch
Producer/Writer ...Eric Wilkinson

Vincent D'Onofrio ....George Lawson (GRACE's father)
Tim Roth.......Detective Tabb

Filming in St Louis - TBA

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Ron Livingston as Steve
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"The Monster Next Door" - Comedy Horror

Executive Produced by Dennis Johnson, Melanie Mohlman Produced by Eric Wilkinson, David Michaels
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'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]
Vincent......Harvey Weinstein

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