Luna Grill Restaurants LLC, the San Diego-based company that operates 38 fast-casual Mediterranean restaurants in two U.S. states, announced Sept. 18 that New York-based private equity fund PWP Growth Equity had purchased a minority stake in the company.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
In a statement, the company said the funds will go toward expansion, both in the areas in which it has restaurants – across Southern California and in the Dallas/Forth Worth, Texas, area – and new geographies.
Sean and Maria Pourteymour founded Luna Grill in 2004.
They position the restaurants as a “luxe-casual” option, differentiating from the booming fast-casual model with meals made to order and served to the table, and an absence of disposable tableware or flatware.
“This investment will allow us to continue the rapid yet measured growth we have experienced over the past few years,” CEO Sean Pourteymour said.
PWP Growth Equity, which focuses on investing in lower middle-market companies, has also invested in Black Bear Diner and MOD Pizza, as well as a number of businesses in other industries. Chip Baird and David Ferguson co-founded the firm, which is affiliated with Perella Weinberg Partners.
Last year private investment firm CapitalSpring funneled nearly $30 million in financing into Luna Grill. Local investor ClearVision Equity Partners has also backed the company.
San Diego-based investment bank W Partners advised Luna Grill on the transactions with PWP and with CapitalSpring.