Monday, January 30, 2023

Investment firm acquires 8 PJW Restaurant Group properties, including 6 P.J. Whelihan’s locations, for $34.78M

Emma Dooling Reporter - Philadelphia Business Journal   

P.J. Whelihan's Pub and Restaurant at 396 S. Lenola Road in Maple Shade, N.J.

A Princeton real estate investment firm has acquired at least eight properties housing P.J. Whelihan’s restaurants and other concepts from the hospitality group behind the popular eatery for a total of $34.78 million, according to New Jersey and Pennsylvania property records.

Essential Properties Realty Trust (NYSE: EPRT) bought the properties over the last four months of 2022. Each location is a single-tenant, standalone building, the kind of property that the investment firm typically looks to acquire and manage.

PJW Restaurant Group is the entity behind P.J. Whelihan’s Pub and Restaurant and five other concepts: The Pour House, The ChopHouse, ChopHouse Grille, Central Taco and Tequila, and Treno Pizza Bar. The South Jersey hospitality group was founded in 1983 by Bob and Donna Platzer and is based in Westmont. It employs more than 1,800 people. 

In December 2021, New York City investment firm Garnett Station Partners acquired PJW Restaurant Group for an undisclosed amount. The firm’s portfolio includes similar concepts, with equity investments in Fat Tuesday and Primanti Bros. Restaurant and Bar, and credit investments in Checkers and Out West Restaurant Group Inc., an affiliate of Outback Steakhouse. 

Dan Gagnier, a spokesperson for Garnett Station Partners and PJW Restaurant Group, said the sale of the real estate does not include the businesses themselves and will not impact restaurant operations.

Essential Properties did not respond to a request for comment. 

Property records from New Jersey and Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, show that Essential Properties purchased the P.J. Whelihan’s locations at 425 Hurffville-Cross Keys Road in Washington Township, New Jersey, for $6.5 million; 4595 Broadway in Allentown for $2.6 million; and 1658 Hausman Road in Allentown for $1.32 million in September.

In November, Essential Properties purchased two more P.J. Whelihan’s locations in Maple Shade and Medford, New Jersey, for $6.15 million and $4.51 million, respectively. The firm also acquired the brand's Cherry Hill outpost at 1854 Route 70 E. for $5.15 million, although the date of the sale is unknown.

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