Joe's Crab Shack

At Joe's Crab Shack we deliver craveable seafood from the coast to your table. Born in the heart of Texas, we've been serving fun-loving people, great food, drink and memories since 1991. Only at Joe's Crab Shack can you strap on a bib, order your favorite bucket of crab, and boogie with the best of them.

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Romano's Macaroni Grill

Inspired by Italian trattoria cuisine, culture, and conversation, Romano’s Macaroni Grill has been proudly serving unforgettable meals that leave a lasting impression to our deserving guests since 1988 – with knowledge, care and Italian charisma infused in everything we do.

At Romano’s Macaroni Grill, we know that for our guests any night out is a big night out – and it is our responsibility and privilege to treat it as such. That’s why we start every meal off right: With a bottle of wine at the center of the table, while you explore our menu of expertly handcrafted rustic dishes and Italian classics. Warm distinctive touches, like our signature honor system wine and bustling open kitchen, create a memorable, sensory experience that you’ll remember long after you leave the table.

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Brick House Tavern + Tap

Brick House Tavern + Tap features a chef inspired menu of elevated American fare prepared in our scratch kitchen and served by a staff who share our same passion for food and drinks. The innovative menu, in combination with hand-crafted cocktails and a wide variety of local, craft and import beer, makes Brick House a next generation tavern that provides our guests with a truly differentiated "gastro pub" experience. A 360 degree view of sports is always on and gives Brick House a relaxed, sportscentric atmosphere. Every man, every day.

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Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Ray Blanchette

President & Chief Executive Officer

Ray Blanchette is a respected food industry veteran with more than two decades of restaurant experience. Prior to joining Ignite Restaurant Group in 2007, Ray served as President and Chief Operating Officer for Pick Up Stix, a leader in the quick-casual dining segment. He also held multiple leadership positions with Carlson Restaurants Worldwide. During his 18-year tenure with Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, Ray not only was recognized for his financial and operations accomplishments, but also for his success in developing high-performance teams.

Ray consistently gives back to the restaurant industry through his volunteer support of many organizations that benefit from his leadership and insights. He has served as board member and previous chairman of Dine Out for No Kid Hungry, member of the CEO Leadership Roundtable where Ray is focused on solving industry issues, member and recruiter for the NRA's Restaurant Advocacy Fund. He also serves on the executive board of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

Ray earned a master's degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.


Michael Dixon

President & Chief Financial Officer

Michael Dixon is a seasoned financial leader with broad experience in blue chip restaurant, retail, and entertainment companies including The Walt Disney Company, PetSmart, Cheesecake Factory, and Pinkberry. Before joining the Ignite team, Mike spent time in both public accounting and the client side of finance. Mike brings a wide range of experience with casual dining, public reporting, franchising, and debt financing. 

In the Chief Financial Officer role with Cheesecake Factory, Mike added discipline to the accounting, reporting, and planning functions, and helped build the financial infrastructure as the organization grew. In his subsequent role with Pinkberry, Mike helped develop the business plan and proforma of Pinkberry to ensure franchisee success.

A native of Michigan, Mike received a master's degree in accounting and a bachelors in business administration from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Jim Mazany

President of Joe's Crab Shack

Jim Mazany was named President of Joe's Crab Shack for Ignite Restaurant Group in February of 2013. Jim joined Ignite in 2007 and assumed his position as Chief Operating Officer in 2010. Under his leadership, Joe's Crab Shack has produced impressive results, which include restaurant level margin growth of 450 basis points and 18 consecutive quarters of comparable sales growth.

Jim brings his experience from his tenure with Apple Gold, the second largest Applebee's franchise group. He served as Vice President of Operations, supervising the function of 68 restaurants, recruiting directors, developing his team and he lucratively executed a turn-around plan to improve sales and margins. Prior to Apple Gold, Jim served as Director of Operations for T.G.I. Friday's where he ran the highest volume market in the country located in Long Island, New York.

As an advocate for several philanthropies, Jim encourages his teams to get involved with national charities, as well as those within their communities. Most notably, Joe's national partners, Autism Speaks and No Kid Hungry, where Jim serves as the 2013 Chair of the Dine Out for No Kid Hungry.


Ellen Clarry

Senior Vice President of Quality Assurance and Global Supply Chain

Ellen Clarry has more than thirty years of product development and management, quality assurance, planning, pricing, and procurement experience in the restaurant and food processing industries. Prior to joining Ignite in 2006, Ellen held leadership roles with Tyson Foods, Ventura Foods, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, S&A Restaurant Corp. and Ingredient Technology Corporation. Ellen serves on the board of directors and executive committee of National Fisheries Institute, a trade Association committed to helping its members succeed in the global seafood marketplace.

Ellen holds a bachelor of arts degree. from Excelsior College, in Albany, New York.

David Catalano

President of Brick House Tavern + Tap

Prior to joining Ignite in April 2013, David held numerous executive leadership positions over his 20-plus year career. He has a broad range of experience that spans both the hospitality and entertainment industries. His leadership strengths include building high performing work teams, brand growth and development, domestic and international operations, and franchising. David's experience includes serving as VP of Operations for T.G.I. Friday's, Chief Operating Officer for Hard Rock Cafe, COO for Apple Gold (one of the largest Applebee's franchise groups), and EVP and COO for Rave Motion Pictures. David is also President and Owner of Catalano Management and Consulting.

David is a native of upstate New York where he earned his BA from State University of New York at Brockport. He currently resides in Colleyville, Texas.

Edward McGraw

Chief Development Officer

Ed McGraw has over 20 years of business experience with a focus on restaurant real estate and legal matters.  Ed has extensive tenant-side retail and restaurant deal making experience throughout the country where he has developed hundreds of restaurants and retail stores..  Prior to joining Ignite in 2009, Ed held senior level development positions with Carlson Restaurants Worldwide (T.G. I. Friday's, Pick Up Stix), Wagamama and David's Bridal.  Ed is also an attorney with civil litigation experience in Philadelphia. He is also serving as an HB Meek Executive in Residence at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

Ed holds a doctor of jurisprudence degree from Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, DE, a master's of business administration and a bachelor's degree from State University of New York in Buffalo New York.

John Gilbert

President of Romano's Macaroni Grill

John F. Gilbert, III has served as President of Romano’s Macaroni Grill since March 4, 2014. Previously, Mr. Gilbert served on the Board of Directors of Famous Dave’s for one year and served as its CEO from October 2012 until February 2014 and also served on the Board of Ignite. Mr. Gilbert has served as President and CEO of Vermont Teddy Bear since 2009. Vermont Teddy Bear is a leading ecommerce retailer. Prior to Vermont Teddy Bear, he served as the Chief Marketing Officer for the TJX companies, the world’s largest off-price retailer.

Additionally, Gilbert has nearly 20 years of restaurant experience, including top brand leadership roles at Dunkin Donuts, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and TGI Friday’s restaurants. Mr. Gilbert is 57 years old.

Restaurant Support Positions at Ignite

Ignite Restaurant Group is headquartered out of Houston, TX. We hire innovative employees who enjoy the challenge of supporting a growing organization and want to use their skills to contribute to Ignite’s success. We need dedicated professionals to manage our Restaurant Support Center Operations which include Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, IT, Marketing, Purchasing, Development, Recruiting and Training. To learn more about the exciting opportunities available, click the link below.

Ignite Development

If you have a real estate site in the United States that you would like us to consider leasing or buying for Brick House Tavern + Tap, Joe’s Crab Shack or Romano’s Macaroni Grill please contact:

To become a Franchisee of Brick House Tavern + Tap please contact:

For international development opportunities for Brick House Tavern + Tap, Joe’s Crab Shack or Romano’s Macaroni Grill please contact:

Investor Relations

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Ignite Restaurant Group, Inc. owns and operates three restaurant brands: Joe's Crab Shack, Romano's Macaroni Grill and Brick House Tavern + Tap. Each brand offers a variety of high-quality, chef-inspired food and beverages in distinctive, casual, high-energy atmosphere. The Ignite brands provide guests with memorable, matchless dining experiences.

Contact Us

  • Corporate Office
  • 9900 Westpark Drive Suite 300
  • Houston, Texas 77063
  • Restaurant Support Center
  • (713) 366-7500

  • Restaurant Support Center
  • (855) 664-0991

  • Code of Conduct Hotline
  • (866) 882-0366