SMASHBURGER BRINGS BETTER BURGER TO HOUSTON’S DINING SCENE

Winner of Denver’s “Best Burger”* Opens First of Up to 30 Houston Locations on December 23 at Main and Kirby

HOUSTON, TX – December 23, 2008 –
Houston can add a new, “better burger” option to the city’s vast dining landscape. Smashburger, a Denver, CO-based fast-casual concept launched and funded with $15 million by private equity and concept development firm Consumer Capital Partners (www.consumercp.com), is pleased to announce that the Bayou City marks the Company’s foray into the Texas market. 

Today, Smashburger opens the doors to its first Houston store. Conveniently located at 7811 Main St. – where the Medical Center meets West University and convenient to Reliant Center – Smashburger’s “better burger” concept is a welcome addition to Houston’s growing fast-casual restaurant choices.

Named for the cooking method used to create the perfect Smashburger, each one-third or half-pound burger is smashed on a flat grill to sear in the juices. To further the “better burger” experience, Smashburgers are placed on a toasted artisan bun and topped with a selection of real cheeses, the freshest produce and top-quality condiments. For those seeking lighter fare, the menu also includes grilled Smashchicken sandwiches and entrée salads.

“Houston burger lovers are sure to connect with our 100 percent angus beef Smashburgers, premium Haagen Dazs shakes and our unique sides like veggie frites and haystack onions,” says Tom Ryan, founder of Smashburger and chief concept officer of CCP. “A few of our latest offerings can also be found on the menu in Houston including crispy Smashfries tossed with rosemary, olive oil, garlic and herbs and our kosher, all-beef Smashdogs, as well as the Texas burger which is a mustard-based recipe and our first regional recipe burger.”

To celebrate its first Houston store, Smashburger has teamed up with radio station 94.5 The Buzz to seek out the best local band to perform at the grand opening party on January 3 for the Main Street store. Visit www.mysmashburger.com/houston/bandaudition.html for information about uploading a video for consideration or to vote for your favorite band. The deadline for submissions is December 30.

Currently, Smashburger operates eight stores in its home state of Colorado, as well as one store just opened in Wichita, KS. However, the company sees Houston playing an integral role in its national expansion plans with approximately 30 stores planned in the metro-area. In February 2009, Smashburger will open a second Houston location at Eldridge and Briar Forest. This strong Smashburger presence doesn’t just mean delicious burgers for the Houston market, it also represents $36 million in annualized revenue and approximately 900 new jobs to the area.

“Houston represents a new chapter for Smashburger and an opportunity to take the brand to the Texas market as we prepare for significant national expansion,” says Scott Crane, president of Smashburger. “We understand that Houston is a competitive restaurant market – especially in the fast-casual segment – but we
also know that Houstonians are quick to respond to the highest-quality foods and inspired concepts. Smashburger aims to deliver.  We define success as being every neighborhood’s favorite burger and we are honored to have the opportunity to earn that level of respect from Houstonians.”

The 1,900 square-foot store seats up to 60 customers and features large picture windows for plenty of light. An attractive patio area provides seating for 20 and is an ideal place to sit back and enjoy a Smashburger accompanied by a glass of wine or cold beer. This new store will employ approximately 20-25 of the most talented fast-casual employees in the industry.

*Voted “Best Locally Based Chain” and “Best Strip Mall Burger” by Denver’s “Westword” Magazine.

About Smashburger
Headquartered in Denver, CO, Smashburger is an innovative fast-casual restaurant concept featuring “the best burgers you ever tasted.” Developed and owned by private equity and concept development firm Consumer Capital Partners, Smashburger intends to expand to ten restaurants by the end of 2008 and ultimately grow to 500 locations in 30 markets. There are currently ten restaurants across the Denver area, Wichita and Houston. If you crave a better burger, keep watching for Smashburger – coming to your community soon. To learn more about building a better burger, please visit www.mysmashburger.com.

About Consumer Capital Partners

Headquartered in Denver, CO, Consumer Capital Partners is an innovative private investment, concept development and strategic advisory firm focused on multi-unit retail businesses, primarily in the restaurant, liquor, food and leisure industries. Consumer Capital Partners has deep experience in the fields of private equity, brand, concept and product development, and strategic consulting. To learn more about Consumer Capital Partners, please visit www.consumercp.com.