David Sloan, co-founder and former CEO of Naf Naf Grill, and Franklin Wiener, former COO of Naf Naf Grill, last year founded brand creator and accelerator Venture Kitchen. The first two companies in Venture Kitchen are Blackwood BBQ and INVICTO. Both brands are now in growth mode this summer.
INVICTO is a fine-casual chain of retro market stands featuring authentic and inspired Mexican street foods. The menu features Tijuana-style tacos, Cemitas, Sonoran hot dogs, and Mexican-inspired shakes and fries. The second INVICTO is opening in Mellody Farm in Vernon Hills, Illinois in May. The first INVICTO opened last October and has been a tremendous success so far. Franklin Wiener says, “We are incredibly encouraged by the customer response to INVICTO. INVICTO is intended to transport people to another time and place. The concept proves that in our digital-first world people are seeking concepts that provide more than food but a comprehensive, textured, & interactive experience”
Blackwood BBQ is one of the country's first fast casual barbecue brands. Blackwood BBQ is doubling in size from three to six units this summer with two additional units in downtown Chicago and the brand’s first true suburban unit in Schaumburg, Illinois. David Sloan says “Blackwood BBQ is the millennial brand for BBQ. What has been a hidden secret has the spotlight on it and we couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to show folks why this brand is so special.”
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