Just when you think Joachim Splichal's Patina Restaurant Group is gorged, it pops another morsel in its mouth. It was announced today that the LA and NY-based group bought the Smith & Wollensky national steakhouse chain, which includes all restos except the ones in New York (Smith & Wollensky's CEO retains ownership of those, plus its partner brands). "When we bought ourselves back last year, our goal was to expand premium restaurants on both coasts," Splichal told Eater LA. For now, the chain will remain as it is, no fancy steakhouse additions or classic Splichal French aesthetics will be brought in?yet. "This is our first acquisition, and we'll evaluate it," he said. "It's a good brand in good locations with good revenue. Right now we want it to stay the same." The group plans to take the S&W brand worldwide.
Splichal and the Patina Group are working on several other local projects (natch), like turning the shuttered Maple Drive into a "contemporary, hip" seafood restaurant. Clive Wilkinson Architects has been tapped to do the design; the firm made Google's Silicon Valley headquarters one of the coolest---as in "we're adults but can we please have an office like a playground"---offices on the planet. Splichal said the yet unnamed resto will open in late September or early October. The Splichal culinary
seed empire keeps spreading: Not only did his new Cafe Rouge get high marks in the O.C., but a Patina will be opening in NYC, and former chefs and managers spider-crawl along the landscape opening new places around town almost daily.
· Smith & Wollensky to be Bought by Patina Restaurant Group [Bloomberg]