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IPO of the Month (So Far): Chuy’s Holdings Inc.

August 15, 2011

When is a chain not a chain?  Operating all across Texas with locations in several other states, Chuy’s is a chain restaurant that seeks to define itself against that identity .  In their S-1 filed last week, they boast that “each location is unique in format, offering an ‘unchained’ look and feel, as expressed by our motto ‘If you’ve seen one Chuy’s, you’ve seen one Chuy’s!’”

The document describes the restaurant as a “noisy, sprawling Tex-Mex hacienda” decorated with “festive metal palm trees.”  Included are pictures of the Chuy’s menu, featuring burritos “as big as yo’ face.” They even have what they call the “Nacho Car” which contains chips, salsa — and chile con queso conveniently located in the trunk.

When it comes to nutritional value, though, Chuy’s seems to better fit the stereotype of a chain restraurant.  In the risk factors section of the filing, shareholders are cautioned that the health consciousness of consumers might have an inverse relationship to the success of the franchise:  “Legislation and regulations requiring the display and provision of nutritional information for our menu offerings, and new information or attitudes regarding diet and health or adverse opinions about the health effects of consuming our menu offerings, could affect consumer preferences and negatively impact our results of operations.”

Chuy’s is offering their stock at $0.01 per share in the effort to raise substantial capital. But that just leaves one question: can buyers purchase their shares in the form of enchiladas?

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