If Chris Simms were one of the canines photographed on the walls of his Lazy Dog Café restaurants, he’d be a young lab, sprinting for that metaphoric tennis ball of high-volume sales while others in the casual-dining pack remained chained in the yard by the ongoing recession. Spend a little time at a Lazy Dog unit, with its clever four-legged references—from the bone-shaped mints at the door to the fire hydrant-shaped beer taps—and it’s easy to fall into the spirit of the ...

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