Kegs and Grub Hospitality Announces sale of Stone Hut, Red Monkey, and Hop Thief Restaurants to Tri-Cities Restaurant Operators
Walla Walla, WA, September 26, 2023 - Kegs and Grub Hospitality in Walla Walla, WA announced it has sold its group of restaurants to a restaurant ownership group which currently owns and operates Amendment XXI, a prohibition style Bar and Grill located in Richland, WA. The acquisition includes three of Walla Walla’s most popular bars and restaurants located in the heart of Washington wine country, Stone Hut Bar and Grill, Red Monkey Downtown, and Hop Thief Taphouse and Kitchen. METIS, the northwest’s leading Mergers and Acquisitions advisory firm focused on the hospitality and wine industries served as the exclusive transaction advisor.
“We are thrilled to be able to acquire such beloved restaurants located in one of America’s best communities,” said Robert Jacobs, a member of the new ownership group. “Our group has strong ties to Walla Walla and we appreciate how important these establishments are to their loyal customers. We are excited to build on the incredible culture Juston Watson and his team have created. We look forward to working with the staff and the regulars to continue to provide unique hospitality experiences to the Walla Walla community.”
Founded in 2001, Juston Watson grew the business from a single outlet to a collection of three thriving hospitality establishments, each with their own branding and concept. Stone Hut, a favorite neighborhood bar with a strong local following, is one of Walla Wall’s oldest continuously operated bars (established in the 1940s) and features classic bar fare, unique cocktails, and is one of the most popular breakfast establishments in Walla Walla. Opened in 2009, Red Monkey Downtown is a family centric bar and grill experience steps away from Walla Walla’s historic main street, where parents can enjoy hand crafted cocktails and kids can enjoy custom made milkshakes. Hop Thief Taphouse and Kitchen is a family friendly restaurant and a haven for beer lovers that was just the second self-serve tap house concept in Washington state, where guests can fill their own beer, wine, cider and even kombucha and purchase by the ounce.
“It was very important to both me and my wife Lori that the new owners share our values and core beliefs and would take great care of our staff and customers after the sale,” said Juston Watson. “I have spent a lot of time getting to know these guys over the past year and I know they will do a great job. These restaurants are in great hands.”
The new owners don’t plan to make any major changes to the restaurants and look forward to getting more engaged in the Walla Walla community. “One of the many things that attracted us to this group of restaurants was how involved Juston and his staff have been in the Walla Walla community,” said Robert Jacobs. “We plan to continue to build upon some of the innovative digital and community engagement concepts Juston and his team have created.”
“We saw first-hand how hard Juston, Lori, and their team have worked to build these businesses and we knew we had to find a new owner who shared Juston and Lori’s passion and vision,” said Chris Garratt, Managing Director at METIS, the firm that brokered the transaction. “In working with Rob and his partners, we found them to have the ability, vision, and commitment to successfully steward these restaurants for both guests and employees. We are excited to welcome them to Walla Walla and look forward to enjoying more great meals at Stone Hut, Hop Thief, and Red Monkey for years to come.”
About Kegs and Grub
Kegs and Grub Hospitality is a collection of three uniquely branded restaurants, all located in the heart of one of America’s best wine destinations, Walla Walla, WA. These restaurants are where wine country goes to unwind, Kegs and Grub grew from a single outlet and now features three distinct concepts: Stone Hut Bar and Grill, Red Monkey Downtown, and Hop Thief Taphouse and Kitchen. At the forefront of digital engagement, Kegs and Grub offers customers a text club offering unique specials, an app where customers can order food directly for pick-up or delivery, and a loyalty program that has over 10,000 members. Whether it’s a burger and a beer at Stone Hut, a handmade milkshake at Red Monkey, or self-guided beer flight through the self-pour tap system at Hop Thief, Kegs and Grub Hospitality has unique and delicious offers to satisfy a variety of palettes.
About Amendment XXI Operator Group
In 2015, Michael and Lee Davidson launched Amendment XXI as the first Prohibition-themed drinking establishment in the Mid-Columbia paying homage to a bygone era of American history. In July 2021, the new Robert Jacobs and Drew Westermeyer ownership group endeavored to carry on the traditions of this storied local gathering place. At Amendment XXI, we pay tribute to the legacy of Prohibition-era America by featuring hand-crafted cocktails, ice-cold microbrews, and elevated pub fare in a lively atmosphere. We aim to partner with local purveyors in an effort to feature fresh, local food and beverages for our customers. Our friendly staff is expertly trained in the art of cocktail concoctions and we look forward to making your experience positively enjoyable.
METIS is the premier mergers and acquisitions advisory firm in the Pacific Northwest focused on the global hospitality and adult beverage industries. METIS has been advising privately held businesses on capital transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and recapitalizations for over 30 years. For more information about METIS, please visit www.metisnw.com.