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Breaking Up After 24-years Concord Sells Off Their Applebee’s By: Mitchell Ohnstad

America’s “Friendly Neighborhood Bar,” Applebee’s, is going to have a new owner behind the counter. This came as a shock to employees as Chief Executive Officer, Larry Bird (not to be confused with the hook-shot-master Larry Bird), sent out an email on Monday announcing the deal. The new “Neighborhood Owner” is Acon International who purchased 40 Applebee’s locations from Concord spread out throughout the Nation; most of them located right here in the heartland. Concord, however, did not sell two of their Applebee’s and their shares in Holiday Inn, Village Inn, and Famous Dave’s. Our Neighborhood right here in Lincoln, Nebraska, is not among the two that Concord kept. Eli Tucker, bartender and server at the 1133 Q Street Location, said, “This deal is definitely going to be interesting for our store in particular, because when big purchases like this happen people like to trim the fat, and, since our store is the lowest volume store we could very well be shut down.” The email that Bird sent out announced that Concord and Acon International had been discussing the deal for sometime now finally agreed, the emailed failed to announce the monetary amount. The email stated that a transition period will be taking place effective immediately and that Acon International begins their ‘shift’ at the first of the year. This will be a very different then what Acon International is used because their primary business ventures were focused on pizza delivery services. Recently Applebee’s has done a lot of work to transition their advertising efforts to a more modern natural feel adopting the “See You Tomorrow” campaign. Recruiting some big names such as Jason Sudeikis, co-star in the film Hall Pass, and Chris Berman, Monday Night Football announcer, to star in their commercials also has been a crucial element to he campaign. Another dramatic improvement the Applebee’s family added was a remodel of the interior of their restaurant across the Country, reducing the amount of ‘flare’ on the walls and replacing them with murals focused on the local area surrounding that location. This provides an entirely different atmosphere with the bar more centrally located giving it an elegant appeal rather than the previous sports bar layout. All franchises have adopted this new look, except for the location found right here in downtown Lincoln. For 24-years Concord has been apart of the Applebee’s Neighborhood and are breaking up to “pursue other ventures” Bird included in his email. What this purchase means to the Applebee’s located at 1133 Q is unknown, but employee Eli Tucker says “Let the applications start flowing.”

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