This Grandfather Bet His House That Burgers and Beer Will Never Go Out of Style | Inc.com


Hop Jack’s is locally famous for its brews, burgers, and neighborhood feel. The company has 12 restaurants, with three more under construction, mostly around Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. It employs 800 people and does more than $30 million in annual sales. The casual-dining juggernaut is the creation of a first-time entrepreneur who found himself unemployed in his 50s.

Mark Eggen, 62, spent most of his life working for the Red Robin chain, where he learned two things: how to run restaurants and how to scale restaurants. Eggen would likely have been a Red Robin lifer had the company’s IPO not required he relocate from Seattle to Denver. Unwilling to move while his kids were in high school, Eggen joined another company, from which he got fired.

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