Bryan Lockwood has stepped down as chief executive of Tavistock Restaurants, the operator of 15 upscale full-service restaurant brands and parent to the growing fast-casual Freebirds World Burrito chain.
Officials with Tavistock Group, the multi-billion-dollar investment firm that includes Emeryville, Calif.-based Tavistock Restaurants, confirmed Lockwood’s departure on Wednesday but declined to comment further.
Lockwood did not respond to press calls.
The move follows a number of management exits from the Emeryville, Calif.-based restaurant company in recent months.
In July, Jim Mizes, former president of Freebirds, was named president and chief operating officer of Pasadena, Calif.-based Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza.
Last month, Jeff Carl, Tavistock Restaurants’ chief marketing officer, left to become CMO of Dallas-based Taco Bueno.
Tavistock Group is the global investment vehicle for Joe Lewis, a U.K.-born billionaire and restaurateur. The group’s varied portfolio includes the British Premiere league team Tottenham Hotspurs; resort properties and clubs in Florida, the Bahamas and Jamaica; and energy companies around the world.
Lockwood had been with Tavistock Restaurants since it was born in 2003 with the acquisition out of the bankruptcy of Constellation Concepts, a multi-concept operator based in Emeryville that included the Napa Valley Grille, California Café, Café del Rey, Blackhawk and Alcatraz brands.
Under Tavistock, the restaurant division began accumulating other restaurant companies, including Freebirds in 2007; the Japanese restaurant Sapporo in 2009; as well as both E-Brands restaurants and the Back Bay Restaurant Group in 2011. The company also developed the ZED451 concept in Chicago in 2008.
Freebirds has been a primary growth vehicle for Tavistock Restaurants. The rapidly growing burrito chain with a “rock-and-roll attitude” began franchising in early 2012 and has grown to more than 100 units.
Other full-service brands include Abe & Louie’s; Aquaknox; Blackhawk Grille; Coach Grill; ZED451; Timpano; Café del Rey; Cañonita; Atlantic Fish; Alcatraz Brewing Co.; Papa-Razzi Trattoria Bar; Napa Valley Grille; Joe’s American Bar & Grill; California Café; and Sapporo.