The Irving-based company behind Uncle Julio’s has chosen a pair of veteran restaurant executives as its next leadership team.
With more than 40 years of experience between them, Scott Lawton was named CEO, and RJ Thomas was hired as president and chief operating officer by Uncle Julio’s Restaurant Group to further its growth, according to a news release.
Lawton co-founded Bartaco in 2011 and later became president and chief operating officer of Bartaco until it was sold to Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group in 2018. He then returned to Bartaco as CEO after it was acquired by private equity consumer-focused heavyweight L Catterton.
“Uncle Julio’s commitment to authentic, one-of-kind dining experiences has created an incredibly loyal following, and I’m honored to assume the role of CEO,” Lawton said in a prepared statement.
“The company’s legacy and culture built around attention to detail in every part of the dining experience will continue to serve as the foundation for Uncle Julio’s during this next phase of growth,” he added.
Uncle Julio’s Restaurant Group also owns Hacienda Colorado and Savage Burrito, according to its website. Uncle Julio’s has seven restaurants in Dallas, Fort Worth, Grapevine, Allen, and Arlington.
“I have long admired Uncle Julio’s for its unique take on Mexican dining — making authentic recipes from scratch using the freshest ingredients in a welcoming atmosphere,” Thomas said in a prepared statement. “I’m proud to join Scott and the incredibly talented Uncle Julio’s team to help guide the company to continued success by combining great food and great service to drive great experiences.”
Thomas was president and chief operating officer of King’s Seafood Company before joining Uncle Julio’s Restaurant Group.
Uncle Julio’s opened its first restaurant in 1986, according to the press release.
The company was acquired by L Catterton in 2017. The firm has been a driving force behind other North Texas restaurant brands, including Dallas-founded Velvet Taco.