Restaurant News BitesSometimes restaurants get a free boost from a community member that is only focused on helping others. Residents of Elkton, Maryland have been getting a boost of happiness from the tireless waving of William ‘Hoppy’ Hammond for almost a decade. The man stands out on the sidewalk and spends each morning waving to the cars that pass by to cheer up travelers that are feeling stressed or less than happy about heading into work. When Chris Polizzi was working on opening his Hurricane Grill & Wings location, he tossed Hoppy a t-shirt for the restaurant when passing by but thought nothing of the gesture. He was elated to find out that the shirt was becoming free advertising for his restaurant and decided to give back to the selfless individual that worked tirelessly to cheer everyone up. A fish tank set up in the restaurant for Hoppy quickly filled with hundreds of touching thank you notes.  [Cecil Daily]

South Korea, China, and Japan are all known for kooky and quirky restaurants built around specific themes. While Woong Cho’s restaurant is no different than most other theme cafes in principle, his love of nerd culture has helped him stand out. Cho has been collecting movie, animation, and comic book memorabilia for decades. Unlike restaurants that simply buy bulk orders of memorabilia to create a quick kitsch-look, the collection in CW Restaurant was built by a dedicated fan that spent hours hunting down props from movies like Terminator and Star Wars. Limited edition figurines sit side by side with custom pieces. Of course, the restaurant still wouldn’t be such a success if it wasn’t for a comprehensive menu, fair pricing scheme, and great service. [Kotaku]

When you have a specific talent, it’s best to put that talent to use for others rather than just keeping it to yourself. Christian Bullock is doing just this with this skills at creating successful restaurant concepts. As part of the teams behind brands like Canadian Brewhouse, Famoso, and Wok Box, he has plenty of experience in capturing the attention of diners that already have dozens of choices. His next venture will be known as Butcher, Baker, Fresh Beermaker and involves a renovation of the staid and stale image of the classic brew pub. While many restaurant developers would be focusing on consultancies or resting on their laurels, Bullock loves building new concepts from the ground up and deciding to pursue that plan once again. The new Canadian fixture will involve fresh baked breads and slow roasted meats, along with top notch brews.  [Edmonton Journal]

A&W plans move into better-burger world with test of fast-casual restaurant  []

Investing in the restaurant industry: Making wise choices   [CultureMap Austin]

Restaurant group expands Empire a bite at a time  [Ottawa Citizen]

Latest Unavoidable Fast-Food Buzzwords: The Rise of Crazy, Premium, Snacks  [Time]