Back in 1965 TGIF opened a bar & grill in a tough market, NY City, on the corner ofFirst Avenueand63rd St.inManhattan. Now when I say tough, I don’t mean you gotta be a tough guy to go dare… I mean restaurants are outstanding there and so to make it you’ve got to do things right. They were very successful and if you can make it inManhattanyou probably can make it anywhere.
Five years later they opened another restaurant inMemphis,Tennessee. A couple of years later they opened in Dallas and with the overwhelming success of that one plus the continued success of the other two restaurants, they began empire building with a passion.
Alan Stillman started the company so he could meet babes. Stillman sold the restaurant chain in the 1970s to the Carlson Companies which is an entertainment company with hotels, restaurants and travel agencies in the group. TGIFridays continues to be prosperous. As of June 2010, Carlson Restaurants, a division of Carlson, Inc., operates, franchises and licenses more than 1000 restaurants in 61 countries.
My Fridays is in Rancho San Diego. I will eat there after or before a movie so it’s more often that I eat in this chain than in most other chains. Their menu is large and varied. I’ve eaten the steak, ribs, burgers and sandwiches with fairly consistent satisfaction. I like the atmosphere, and the service has been good nearly always. I’ve enjoyed a salad or two plus shrimp cocktails are pretty good.
I like that they play the promo game, which is to say they provide lots of freebees to bring in patrons. Other chains do a good job promoting too, but I am saying they do a good job trying to stay alive in tough times, and I appreciate that.
The bar is a full on cocktail bar and with a good sports package they make for a decent spot to follow the game. There tends to be a younger crowd at this bar than makes me feel at home, so I’m not one to cheer here but if you’re in the right age group, this place would be great for Padres and to finish the Charger’s season with.
I also like that Fridays will do a decent job pairing up with charitable projects. Click on the link ( http://fridays.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=62 ) and you’ll see that they donate proceeds to good causes. I just like doing business with companies which reinvest in the community.