Irish investment firm Danu Partners acquired Boston-based The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group Inc, an operator of upscale steakhouses, from Bunker Hill Capital. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal gives Danu ownership of seven of the eight U.S. locations as well as Smith & Wollensky London, which Danu opened under license from Smith & Wollensky in June 2015.
BOSTON, March 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, Inc. (SWRG), a collection of iconic American steakhouses headquartered in Boston, MA is excited to announce its latest venture with Irish investment firm, Danu Partners.
Danu has completed an acquisition of SWRG, giving it ownership of seven of the eight US locations, including Boston, Chicago, Miami and Las Vegas, as well as Smith & Wollensky London, which it opened under license from SWRG in June 2015. Danu now has world-wide licensing rights to the Smith & Wollensky brand.
“We’ve been huge admirers of this iconic brand for decades, having hosted a great number of business dinners cutting into S&W steak,” says Leonard Ryan, one of three Principals at Danu. “Together with the SWRG team we recently launched the first international expansion of Smith & Wollensky in London. In that partnership, we grew to appreciate the quality and integrity behind the people and the brand. It has incredible equity and enormous potential internationally. And there is still significant untapped potential in the US for S&W and the emerging Wollensky’s Grill concept. We see big opportunities for growth all around.”
Danu’s funding of the London restaurant is evidence of its commitment to the brand’s heritage. Showcasing two full bars, two main dining areas, a full butcher shop and dry-aging room on-site, Danu invested heavily in this international, contemporary interpretation of the classic American steakhouse. Similar investment, detail and styling is planned for several of the existing US restaurants, elevating the dining experience to mirror that of the more recent openings and remodels, including the Chicago renovation and launch of the Wollensky’s Grill concept.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for our group,” stated Michael Feighery, 30 year S&W veteran, CEO and president of SWRG. “To be partnered with a group of hospitality professionals that appreciate the ongoing need to invest in our people and our facilities is critical to our success. Danu has that insight and they share in our vision for growth both here and abroad. We have a tremendous global following and rich heritage that we are all so proud of. It’s time to take that passion to the next level with our partners in Ireland.”
Danu has also announced that Tommy Hart, who served as Managing Partner and General Manager of Smith & Wollensky New York for 27 years, will join the SWRG board and will be an important adviser to the group as it implements its investment and expansion plan. The New York Smith & Wollensky, established in 1977 remains in control of its original founder,Alan Stillman and Quality Branded Restaurant Group.
About The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, Inc.
Since its establishment in 1977 as America’s premier fine dining steakhouse, Smith & Wollensky has been committed to delivering unparalleled hospitality and the best USDA Prime steaks, dry-aged for tenderness and flavor and hand cut on site daily. Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group is headquartered in Boston, Mass., and owns and operates seven iconic Smith & Wollensky locations in Miami Beach; Chicago; Las Vegas; Columbus, Ohio; Houston; and two restaurants in Boston. The acclaimed wine list, rich ambiance and exceptional service are designed to provide guests with a truly memorable steakhouse experience. Smith & Wollensky has received numerous local and national awards, including the “Grand Award of Excellence” from WINE SPECTATOR® and the “Award of Excellence” from Distinguished Restaurants of North America. Follow Smith & Wollensky on Twitter attwitter.com/smithwollensky and Wollensky’s Grill at twitter.com/wollenskysgrill.
Danu Investment Partners Limited is an investment holding company based in Dublin, Ireland. Danu was founded in 2009 and owns investments across a broad range of business sectors, with a strong focus on the hospitality sector. Learn more about Danu athttp://danupartners.ie.