Thirsty Lion Gastropub Cofounder and Concept Entertainment Group CEO John Plew successfully developed and operated eight different concepts in the restaurant and bar space over a 15-year period prior to founding Thirsty Lion. With 42 years in the industry, the veteran innovator and brand curator responded to COVID by turning the company’s Portland Grand Central Bowl & Arcade into Central Kitchen Online Food Hall. As restrictions eased, Plew successfully transitioned Grand Central Bowl back to its eatertainment roots while continuing the strategic expansion of Thirsty Lion. Today the company’s focus remains on opening new locations for the popular gastropub; opening two in 2022 with two more on the way in 2023. Thirsty Lion currently operates and continues to grow locations in Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, and Texas and will be expanding into the Southeast and Midwest in coming years. In 2021, FSR spotlighted Thirsty Lion in its NextGen 25 report, while also featuring it as one of the “13 Restaurant Chains that Defied COVID Odds.” The same year, Hospitality Technology Magazine presented its Industry Hero Award to Thirsty Lion for its forward IT integration and pivoting to off-premise and digital in-house solutions to serve customers and support employees. Having experience in all aspects of the business, Plew attracts exceptional talent, which has formed the strong team in place today carrying the brand expansion forward.