• Old Chicago signs franchise deals for 8 upper Midwest, West units

DENVER -- The Old Chicago casual dining chain has signed deals for eight new locations in the U.S. upper Midwest and West.

According to the Denver Business Journal, the Old Chicago Franchise Corp., a subsidiary of the Louisville, Colo.-based Rock Bottom Restaurants Inc., has signed franchise deals with Don Cape and Mike Walz.

Cape is scheduled to open the first of his five Old Chicago locations in early 2004 in Bozeman, Mont. The remaining restaurants will open in Idaho and Washington.

In a release, Cape said he became a franchisee based on Old Chicago's strong track record and business model.

Walz will open the first of two Old Chicago units in South Dakota next year. The first will be in Sioux Falls, followed by another undetermined location. Walz also expects to open another restaurant in Sioux City, Iowa.

The new franchise agreement follows the January 2003 announcement between Old Chicago and Wilmar, Minn.-based Restech Partners to open nine new locations in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Old Chicago serves a menu of moderately priced deep-dish pizza, pasta and calzones, along with an extensive beer menu.

The company operates 51 Old Chicago restaurants.

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