After years of friendship Eric Greenspan (chef/partner at The Foundry), Jay Perrin (former GM at Campanile and The Tar Pit), and Jim Hustead (OnSite Consulting, Entropy Collective) have joined forces to form The Foundation Hospitality Group, a restaurant consulting company focused on strengthening The Foundry on Melrose and expanding into other restaurant projects. On a recent balmy evening, Eater caught up with the personality-packed trio who were excited to share future development plans.
Greenspan opened The Foundry in May 2007 and about a year and a half into the project Hustead came aboard to help manage front of the house and work on building that music scene in the restaurant's lounge. More recently, just two months ago, Perrin decamped from chef/owner Mark Peel's circle of well respected upscale eateries, Campanile and The Tar Pit, to take over front of the house at The Foundry so Hustead could focus on the entertainment side of things.
[Photo: Greenspan inside The Foundry/ Drink Eat Travel]
After appearing on a slew of tv shows Greenspan received offers for expansion, though turned down opportunities knowing that he had to grow his own team at The Foundry before he could pursue other ventures. Now with that team in place, The Foundation Hospitality Group is ready.
So, what's to come? For starters, The Foundation is working to smooth out the kinks at The Foundry, which translates to building the front lounge and better defining the restaurant's overall ethos. After all, this is a place where one can grab a grilled cheese sandwich or pasta shaved with black truffles. However, aside from The Foundry, The Foundation has signed on to develop the food and drink program for The Roof at the new Hotel Wilshire which will open on September 22. Greenspan says that the menu is "my take on exciting comfort food," guests can expect versions of tuna tartare, burgers, fries, and calamari priced between $10 to $18. Naturally, Perrin will handle drinks, and he's working on some old school cocktails in addition to beer and wine selections. For the most part The Roof is a more casual spot, think pool-side dining with a 25-person fire pit for cooler nights.
In addition to Greenspan's Grilled Cheese, construction for which seems to have stalled a bit, The Foundation is exploring the possibility of a venue called Pancake Lasagna, a sample menu of which was offered at Tart back in May. Over Labor Day weekend Greenspan plans to serve another pancake-lasagna brunch over at The Foundry.
All men agree they are open to additional ventures but they don't want to bite off more than they can handle. "We want to have fun and do quality projects," said Greenspan. "We hug all of our customers," adds Hustead. And Perrin just smiled.
·Eric Greenspan Creating Menu at Hotel Wilshire's The Roof on Wilshire [~ELA~]