Ruby Tuesday founder backs NY’s Mexicue

A New York restaurant concept that combines Mexican and barbecue foods has a found an investor in Sandy Beall.

Beall, who in 2012 stepped down as CEO  of Maryville-based Ruby Tuesday 40 years after he founded it, now owns 25 percent of Mexicue, a fast-growing restaurant concept that has three New York locations. It plans to open two new locations each year, according to a New York Times feature that was published today.

11128587_853459971370071_6083254315259203084_nBeall got involved when the restaurant owners approached investors hoping to raise about $500,000 for its second restaurant

“I’ve invested a lot in Mexicue because I believe in what we’re doing,” Beall told the New York Times.

The restaurant began in 2010 as a food truck selling on New York streets and opened its first brick-and-mortar store in 2011. It saw revenues top $6 million in 2014.

After he announced he was leaving Ruby Tuesday, Beall said in an interview that he planned to spend time in New York, where he has a residence, and that he would likely get back into the restaurant business.11182154_855907167792018_7118786201631497925_n

“I am still very passionate about business. I love business. I’ll still stay involved in some way with restaurants. I will stay busy,” Beall told the News Sentinel at the time.

For his part, Beall appears to be using his decades-long experience to help guide his new, younger partners:

Does Beall share the younger Mexicue founders’ zeal that the brand could turn into a major player in the restaurant industry and someday go public?

“Everybody at that age thinks that,” Beall said, laughing. “It could. But we take things one store at a time. I’m not worried if we have four or 100. Just do it right one day at a time and you’ll make plenty of money.”