If you are a fan of BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, you might have wondered if it has any connection to BJ’s Wholesale Club, the popular membership-only warehouse chain. After all, they share the same name and logo, and they both offer great deals on a variety of products and services. But are they really related, or is it just a coincidence? Here is the surprising truth about the relationship between BJ’s Restaurant and BJ’s Wholesale.
The Origin of BJ’s Name
According to Wikipedia, BJ’s Restaurant was started by a discount department store chain called Zayre in 1984, in Massachusetts. The company’s name was derived from the initials of Beverly Jean Weich, the daughter of Mervyn Weich, the president of the new company
BJ’s Wholesale Club, on the other hand, was founded in 1984 as well, but in Rhode Island. It was originally a division of Zayre Corporation, but it was spun off as a separate company in 1989. The name BJ’s was chosen to honor one of the founders of Zayre, Bernard (Ben) Cammarata
The Split of BJ’s Companies
In 1988, Zayre Corporation sold its name and stores to Ames, a rival discount chain, and renamed itself as TJX Companies. TJX then spun off its warehouse division, which consisted of BJ’s Restaurant and HomeClub (a home improvement retailer), to form Waban Inc. in 1989.
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In 1997, Waban Inc. spun off BJ’s Restaurant to become an independent company, headquartered in California, while Waban renamed itself to HomeBase Inc. HomeBase later went out of business in 2001.
BJ’s Wholesale Club remained under TJX until 2011, when it was acquired by two private equity firms, Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital Partners. It returned to being a public company in 2018, and is currently headquartered in Massachusetts.
The Current Status of BJ’s Businesses
Today, BJ’s Restaurant operates 214 restaurants in 29 states, under the names BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, BJ’s Grill, and BJ’s Pizza & Grill. It offers a variety of menu items, such as pizza, burgers, salads, pasta, sandwiches, and desserts. It also brews its own craft beer and has a beer club for its members
BJ’s Wholesale Club operates 229 clubs in 17 states, mostly on the east coast. It offers a wide range of products and services, such as groceries, electronics, furniture, clothing, jewelry, optical, travel, home improvement, and cellphones. It also accepts all valid manufacturers’ coupons and has its own brands for some products
So, is BJ’s Restaurant related to BJ’s Wholesale? The answer is no. They are two separate companies that have different origins and histories. They only share the same name and logo because they were both once part of Zayre Corporation, but they have since split and gone their own ways.
However, that does not mean that you cannot enjoy both of them. If you are looking for a delicious meal and a refreshing drink, you can visit BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse near you. If you are looking for great deals on a variety of products and services, you can join BJ’s Wholesale Club and shop at your convenience.
Either way, you will be getting a lot of value from BJ’s!