“It’s a beauty pageant for bikes,” explains Jackmont Hospitality GM Shawn Crenshaw, about Wednesday Bike Night at his TGI Fridays store in Camp Creek.

photo by Justin Miller

If you’re free on any Wednesday in Atlanta and ride a motorcycle, allow me to present Bike Night at TGI Fridays Camp Creek. Shawn Crenshaw, the restaurant’s general manager, describes the scene like this:

“The testosterone, the pretty bikes, they show off and park out front,” he explained. “It’s a beauty pageant for bikes.”

The scene looks festive, as shown in the photo, drawing more than 300 bikers along with radio host (and biker) Greg Street and monthly V-103 live broadcasts. It’s an eight-year tradition, but I just learned about it when visiting Jackmont Hospitality this week for an upcoming story. 

They are franchisees of some 38 TGI Fridays restaurants and were just named the Dallas-based casual dining chain’s Operator of the Year, plus a half-dozen other franchised and non-franchised chains including Slapfish, Charley’s and Einstein Bros. Bagels. 

Crenshaw calls Bike Night an example of the “boldness of the company,” meaning Jackmont. “We do creative things.” His goal is “identifying the niche communities” the restaurant can serve.

Intriguingly, Jackmont Hospitality also operates a fine-dining restaurant at Hartsfield-Jackson airport on Concourse E called One Flew South, with James Beard-nominated chef Todd Richards, Jackmont’s culinary director, at the helm. On Concourse D, check out Chicken+Beer in Jackmont’s partnership with Ludacris the rap star. 

If you want addictive fried chicken skins, collard greens, fried chicken and cornbread at the latter, or lamb ribs or a fish sandwich to blow your mind at the former, check them out. You will never think of airport food the same way again.

Thanks to Mary Elizabeth Kidd, Jackmont’s delightful and well-traveled marketing manager, for driving me all over Atlanta and connecting me with an impressive team led by CEO Daniel Halpern. Halpern is co-founder of Jackmont Hospitality along with the late Maynard Jackson, three-term mayor of Atlanta and that “Jackson” on the airport’s name, along with Jackson’s daughter Brooke Jackson Edmond. 

To Halpern, thanks for the whiskey called Uncle Nearest 1856, named after the slave who taught Jack Daniels his craft, as Kidd explained it in one of her many interesting tales. That’s the first time I’ve been offered whiskey at 1:30 p.m. during an interview, but perhaps it could be a fine new tradition.

Franchise Times will bring you the entire tale in an upcoming print edition.

 

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