The Future 50
Flat Top Grill
Flat Top Grill is a traditional casual-dining chain that gives customers the chance to assemble their own stir-fry dishes and watch as their creations are cooked on an exhibition-style flat-top grill. Keene Addington established Flat Top Grill in Illinois in the early ’90s. Additional stores followed throughout the Chicagoland area before the chain branched into neighboring markets in Indiana and Wisconsin. In 2009, Flat Top Grill’s parent company, Happy Valley Corp., merged its chain operations with Stir Crazy Fresh Asian Grill, which is owned by The Walnut Group. Terms for the deal were not disclosed. Both chains remain separate, individual growth vehicles operated by one management company, Flat Out Crazy LLC. In mid-2010, Flat Top Grill secured $12 million in growth capital through its merger with Stir Crazy Fresh Asian Grill and through monetary arrangements with U.S. Bank and The Hillstreet Fund IV.