In the early 1980s, we, Mark and Robin McCrary, along with our brother-in-law, Jimmy Brannum began to dream about a cool place to hang out with friends, drink beer and eat great food. We called it "Rock and Roll Chili Pit". I, Robin, created business cards. The titles on the card read:
Mark "the brains" McCrary
Jimmy "the looks" Brannum
We also took an ad out in Rolling Stone Magazine to sell T-Shirts. We didn't sell any T-shirts. That was okay since we didn't have any T-shirts to sell.
We fantasized a lot about Rock and Roll Chili Pit and everything that would be in the restaurant; a big pit with a large kettle of chili hanging above it, great rock music and paraphernalia, and all of our friends. We loved "going" there together.
Babies came. Life happened. The dream remained just that; a dream.
Eventually, Jimmy, his wife Robin (yes, Mark's sister and wife are both named Robin), and their three children moved to Montana to be McDonalds owner/operators. Even while an owner/operator of McDonalds, Jimmy wanted to open a hotdog stand or small hotdog restaurant. He never lost his passion and desire to open and run a restaurant where he could have creative freedom with the foods he loved; hotdogs (& chili too).
In January 2008, Jimmy lost his five-year battle with brain cancer. We lost a friend, a brother-in-law, a husband, and a father.
Jimmy was an amazing performer. His biggest claim-to-fame was as an Elvis impersonator. He had many opportunities to showcase his talent including a time he performed at a McDonalds' Owner-Operator convention in Las Vegas. He was "The King" and we miss him.
Mark and I opened our first burger restaurant September 27th, 2010 in the Hollywood district of Portland, OR with another couple. We built the brand to eight restaurants before splitting from our business partners January 7th, 2016.
After our business partnership fell apart, we found ourselves, along with our adult children and other members of our team lost for direction. We were stunned, hurting, and confused. After we caught our breath, we began to consider new directions. It wasn't long before we knew what the answer was; to return to the original dream, to Rock and Roll Chili Pit. We knew we would be doing this without the third dreamer of RRCP; Jimmy.
Mark and I presented the plan to our team; our adult children and their spouses and the others that would rebuild with us once again: Tony & Megan McCrary, Ben & Heather Hitchcock, Michael McCrary, Tristen Walden, Lynn Saine, Jerid Wallace, & Anna Bellware. More people were brought in as we began to develop the concept more completely.
We knew we needed to bring Jimmy into this adventure. Mark and I visited Jimmy's family; Robin, Aaron, Janet, & Jared. We decided to create a unique burger to honor Jimmy. The proceeds from this burger would be donated to Brain Cancer research.
"Top Jimmy" is a chili-dog ON a burger!
The chili dog at RRCP is simply: "Jimmy".
It is our desire to honor Jimmy and bless others through this venture.