Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. said founder Dan Evins died Saturday in Lebanon, Tenn., at the age of 76.
Evins opened the first Cracker Barrel location in Lebanon in 1969 and the chain, which is still based there, now owns 608 locations in 42 states, the company said today in a statement. He served as chief executive officer until 2001 and chairman until 2004, when he retired and became chairman emeritus.
Cracker Barrel, which runs country store-themed restaurants with attached gift shops, was criticized last year by shareholder Sardar Biglari, who said the company didn’t disclose enough financial data. Biglari’s attempt to gain a seat on the board failed in December. He owned 13 percent of Cracker Barrel as of Jan. 13, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Cracker Barrel rose 0.2 percent to $52.73 on Jan. 13 in New York. The shares fell 8 percent in 2011.
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