Hoover's - A D&B Company - We Make It Easier
Browse Company Record


    1657 Crofton BlvdPhone: +1-410-721-3770
    CroftonMDFax: +1-410-793-0754
    United StatesMap Map This Company
    http://www.davcorestaurants.comHoover's coverage by Michael McLellan


    DavCo was formed in 1969 as a division of Krystal Hamgurgers, the hamburger chain launched in 1932 by R.B. Davenport and J. Glenn Sherrill. In 1976 the Davenport family acquired the franchise rights to develop Wendy's fast-food restaurants for the metropolitan areas of Baltimore, St. Louis, and Washington, DC. DavCo opened its first Wendy's that year and had 44 units by 1980.

    In 1983 Krystal combined DavCo with another of its restaurant chains, Po Folks, and took the firm public under the Po Folks name. True to its moniker, Po Folks filed for bankruptcy in 1987, and sold DavCo's Baltimore and Washington, DC, operations to DavCo president Ronald Kirstien and EVP Harvey Rothstein. Kirstien and Rothstein later bought back the St. Louis restaurants and continued to operate the company as DavCo.

    Kirstien and Rothstein took DavCo public in 1993 and used the influx of capital to buy Southern Hospitality (operator of 38 Nashville Wendy's restaurants) in 1994. The company began franchising Friendly family-dining restaurants three years later after acquiring franchise rights in Delaware, Maryland, northern Virginia, and Washington, DC.

    Believing DavCo was undervalued on Wall Street, Kirstien, Rothstein, and shareholder Citicorp Venture Capital took the company private again in 1998. To focus on its restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic, DavCo sold its Midwest division to local ownership that year. It sold Southern Hospitality to fellow Wendy's franchisee Bridgeman Foods the following year. The company continued to expand in 2001 and celebrated the 25th anniversary of its first store opening. In 2002 DavCo sold its remaining 27 Friendly's franchises.

    The first franchisee of Friendly Ice Cream (it acquired the rights in 1997), DavCo sold the family-dining restaurants during 2002 and 2003. Chairman and CEO Kirstien resigned from the company in 2004 and was replaced by Rothstein. That year DavCo flirted with going public but withdrew its application with the SEC the following year citing unfavorable market conditions.

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