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Smokey Bones names Christopher Artinian CEO

Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill has named Christopher J. Artinian as its president and chief executive.

Artinian, the former president and chief executive of Morton’s Restaurant group Inc., fills the post at Orlando, Fla.-based Smokey Bones that Ian Baines left in late 2010 when he became senior vice president of strategic innovation for Dallas-based Brinker International.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to help Smokey Bones transition from its successful turnaround phase to a new era of growth,” said Artinian, 42, in a statement. “I’m very excited to help this high-energy brand grow to the next level through outstanding hospitality and great food.”

Artinian worked with Morton’s for 17 years and was involved in the $116.6 million sale of that 77-unit steakhouse brand to Landry’s Inc. in December.

Under its parent company, an affiliate of Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sun Capital Partners, Smokey Bones over the past several years has repositioned the brand with new menus, uniforms, signage, lighting, music and décor, as well as a late-night food and beverage program.

Smokey Bones has 66 locations in 17 states. Parent company Sun Capital also owns Bar Louie, Boston Market, Fazoili’s, Friendly’s and Sweet Tomatoes.

By Ron Ruggless