Smith & Wollensky restaurants going global
US steakhouse Smith & Wollensky, famously described by the New York Times as “the steakhouse to end all arguments”, is expanding its global presence, setting its sights initially on such cities as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo, as well as Dubai and Mexico City.
This follows Irish investment company Danu Partners acquiring Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group (SWRG) from Bunker Hill Capital this year. Its first overseas restaurant was opened in London.
“Our teams in the US and London have worked closely together to build a robust infrastructure, and this is a perfect platform on which to build a global business,” says Leonard Ryan of Danu Partners. Joining the team will be international development executive Oliver Munday, who in the past 20 years has worked at growing US restaurant brands internationally.
“Having completed transactions in more than 30 countries with multiple restaurant brands including Hard Rock, Margaritaville and Planet Hollywood, Oliver brings the contacts and expertise needed to allow us to reach our full potential on the international stage,” says SWRG president/CEO Michael Feighery .
“Smith & Wollensky occupies a special place among the great US fine-dining restaurant brands, and there is global demand for such a classic American steakhouse experience,” says Munday. “We will be entertaining only a handful of select markets … but interest is already strong.”
Since Danu Partners bought Smith & Wollensky it has embarked upon a program of reinvestment, which as well as expansion includes upgrades of its restaurants in the US.
Established in 1977 with its headquarters in Boston, Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group has seven locations in the US. The restaurant has received such accolades as the Grand Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator and an Award of Excellence from Distinguished Restaurants of North America.
An investment holding company based in Dublin, Danu Investment Partners was founded in 2009 and covers a range of business sectors, with a focus on the hospitality sector.