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Western Sizzlin’ (previously known as Austins Steaks & Saloon) is a chain of privately held and publicly held retail buffet restaurants and steakhouses, with locations in 19 states of the United States and 99 franchise establishments and a subsidiary of Biglari Holdings Inc., which is in turn owned by Iranian American businessman Sardar Biglari. It is based in Roanoke, Virginia, United States. The concept for Western Sizzlin was conceived in 1962, by Nick Pascarella, with the first Western Sizzlin restaurant opening its doors in Augusta, Georgia, 1962. The business is recognised for its famous FlameKist steaks. According to company literature, Pasceralla reasoned that, "If searing the bottom of the steak made it juicy, adding flames to the top would make them twice as good." He was proved correct.
Western Sizzlin' was established in 1962, by Nicholas Pascarella. He was traveling around the United States in search of cheap land on which to build a steakhouse, and he stopped in Augusta because of a flat tire. It was the employees at the tire store who convinced him to set up his restaurant in Augusta.
Pascarella died in 1988. Following that, his spouse and son decided to sell the business. It was later bought over by Frank Carney, co-founder of Pizza Hut. However, after the buyout, Carney experienced difficulties in growing the chain to the high price his group paid for the business. Subsequently, Western Sizzlin filed for bankruptcy, and operated under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for nearly eleven months. In 1993, Dave Wachtel bought over the company for $10 million.