In the early 1990s, Gary Bryant owned a Hickory Hams shop. With sandwich sales outdistancing packaged hams, he saw a need for an upscale sandwich shop. He sold his business and opened the first Bear Rock Cafe in Greensboro in 1997. Today there are twenty-nine restaurants in nine states, including sixteen in North Carolina. The restaurants feature a mountain lodge dÃ©cor and a varied menu of salads and sandwiches. Revenues in 2003 were $16 million.