The Avenue Bar, a longtime Madison institution, is to be purchased by Food Fight, a company that owns Monty's Blue Plate, Johnny Delmonico's, Hubbard Avenue Diner, and several other restaurants around the city.
In a press release of Wednesday afternoon, the Zach family, owners of the bar, stated that:
Paul and Clare Zach are proud and excited to announce the pending sale of the Avenue Bar to Food Fight, Inc. We have been looking for some time for the right people to carry on our tradition and found that in the Food Fight organization. We have admired the way in which Food Fight values the individual characteristics and identity of their restaurants. That was important to our family. In our discussions with Food Fight, both parties emphasized that while the ownership structure will change, the parties intend for the Avenue Bar to continue the tradition that has made it a Madison institution. The Zach family is extremely happy that the Avenue Bar will be in great hands.
Spokesman Alex Fortney of Food Fight confirmed that this is the first time that the company has purchased an existing restaurant rather than starting from the ground up.
Food Fight is not planning any changes, says Fortney. "It's a successful business. We have respect for what they've done, and appreciate what they do," Fortney adds.
The bar was originally built in the 1950s and expanded to serve more food in the late 1970s. Its fish fry and fish boil consistently place high in local favorites and best-of polls.
The news was held until staff members were notified this afternoon. The switch should take place by or before June 1, says Fortney.
Food Fight Restaurant Group includes Monty's Blue Place, Market Street Diner, Hubbard Avenue Diner, Bluephie's, The Cooper's Tavern, Johnny Delmonico's, Fresco, Steenbock's on Orchard, Tex Tubb's, Eldorado Grill, Ocean Grill and more.