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Meanwhile, Pruitt is gearing up to grow both Just Fresh and American Roadside Burgers as franchise brands.

Pruitt said he is working with Tom Lewison, the former chief operating officer of Charlotte-based Bojangles', who serves on American Roadside Burgers' board. Lewison will also join Chanticleer’s board.

Chanticleer intends to open a few more company-owned locations — probably in the Carolinas — to fine-tune the concept before franchising is launched.

Known for its premium burgers, wings, macaroni and cheese, and desserts like “lugnuts” — warm donuts with powdered sugar — American Roadside Burgers offers the appeal of “nostalgia,” said Pruitt. “It’s a throwback in terms of look and feel. Great burgers, great fries, great milkshakes, like when I was a kid.”

Just Fresh is a more health-focused concept, founded in 1993, with a menu of salads, wraps and sandwiches and a heavy catering emphasis. Pruitt said he had been looking around the country at other health-focused concepts with the goal of entering the category. When the owner of Just Fresh approached Chanticleer to propose a sale, Pruitt said it was an opportunity he felt he couldn’t pass up.

“It was the right place at the right time and the right price to enter the category,” he said. Chanticleer has also acquired the concept’s franchising arm and is preparing to begin marketing the brand both to U.S. operators and franchise partners overseas.

On the acquisition of Spoon Bar, Pruitt said he was as surprised as anyone that he found himself making a deal on such a high-end, chef-driven concept, but Tesar shares Pruitt’s interest in the fast-casual space. The new fast-casual version of Spoon is scheduled to open in Dallas later this year.

“It was worth me taking some risks to back a few of these new prototype concepts he has for fast-casual seafood, that would be truly unique,” he said.

“I’m more of a finance guy, more of a capital allocator,” he added. “But it’s comforting to know there’s a guy getting up every day to focus on making the food better. Tesar’s done it all, and he’s really good at it.”

This story has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: Jan. 9, 2014
  Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Chanticleer Holdings Inc. was once the largest Hooters franchise operator and a former owner of Hooters of America LLC. Chanticleer is currently a minority stakeholder in Hooters of America.

The earlier version also incorrectly stated that the company had already acquired two domestic Hooters locations, but the deal has not closed yet.

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout