Struggling Granite City Food & Brewery is put up for sale or merger

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It is named after St. Cloud's moniker, but business is anything but rock solid for the Granite City Food & Brewery.

The owners of the St. Cloud-based restaurant chain have announced they are looking for a buyer as the company struggles to turn a profit.

The eatery, which also brews its own beer, has enlisted investment bank Houlihan Lokey Capital to help it with a "possible strategic transaction," the Pioneer Press reports, which could be a sale, disposition or a merger.

The newspaper notes the chain was created in St. Cloud in 1999, but has since expanded to 13 different states, including 5 locations in Minnesota – Roseville, Eagan, St. Louis Park, Maple Grove and St. Cloud itself.

The Star Tribune describes the American-style restaurant company as "long on ambition, short on profits," noting it has pushed ahead with expansion plans in spite of tough trading conditions since the recession.

In preliminary results released Tuesday, reported by Twin Cities Business, the company lost about $2.5 million in 2014, down from $3.6 million the year before.

Revenue rose in 2014 to $136 million, up from $134 million a year earlier.

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