Top's Bar-B-Q to sell company-owned properties to expand the brand by Jennifer Chandler

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Top's Bar-B-Q has big plans.

The Memphis barbecue chain is selling a portfolio of 11 properties in order to free up cash to grow the brand.

"This is a sale leaseback," said Brown Gill of Gill Properties. Gill represents the Top's brand in all real estate transactions.

"We are not selling the Top's Bar-B-Q restaurants or the brand," he said. "Instead, this is a commitment to grow the brand."

Brown said the real estate deal would include a minimum of an 18.3 year commitment of the company to lease the buildings at the addresses for sale. The lease term would commence on Jan. 1, 2021, and expire on March 31, 2039, with two extension options of five years each.

According to Gill, nine of the 15 Top's Bar-B-Q locations are on company-owned properties. Both the company's headquarters and a warehouse holding the commissary kitchen are also included in the portfolio.

All 11 properties are being sold together for a lump sum of $12,829,527.

Top's Bar-B-Q has been in business for over 60 years. In 2019, the restaurant brand was acquired by a new ownership group that includes Darrell Horn, Matt Salisbury and Tiger Bryant, a local restaurateur and founder of Soulfish Café and Young Avenue Deli.

A 16th Top's restaurant is currently under construction in Bartlett and is slated to open this fall.

Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining Reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.

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