Babalu, meanwhile, continues to thrive. Roberts said the Overton Square eatery will track “north of $4.5 million in sales” this year, a testament to a particularly winning formula the company has hit on with the Babalu concept.
“Our volume there is through the roof,” Roberts said, adding that Babalu’s uniqueness is part of the appeal.
For an indication of the brand’s distinctiveness, he said the guacamole served tableside at the restaurant represents 10 percent of the company’s sales – “just that one menu item.”
The formula also calls for an insistence on quality – fresh squeezed juice, craft beers, top quality ingredients and the like – and the leadership tends to look for urban settings with a younger appeal in deciding where to place new Babalu locations.
“It’s not a suburban-type restaurant,” Roberts said. “It’s been overwhelming, the response Babalu has gotten at Overton Square. I think it’s kind of hit a nerve.