Smith & Wollensky Plans International Expansion

by Katie Lee

Boston — The venerable U.S. steakhouse, Smith & Wollensky, famously described by the New York Times as “the steakhouse to end all arguments,” is expanding its global presence.

Dublin-based investors, Danu Partners, acquired Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, Inc. from Bunker Hill Capital earlier this year.

“Following our first successful international launch in London [pictured here], we want to bring the unique Smith & Wollensky experience to other key international cities,” says Leonard Ryan of Danu Partners. “Our teams in the U.S. and London have worked closely together to build a robust infrastructure and this is a perfect platform on which to build a global business.”

Joining the team will be international development executive Oliver Munday who has worked for the last 20 years in growing U.S. restaurant brands around the world.

“Having completed transactions in over 30 different 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 Michael Feighery, president and CEO of the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group.

“Smith & Wollensky occupies a very special place among the great U.S. fine dining restaurant brands and there is global demand for such a classic American steakhouse experience,” says Munday. “We will only be entertaining a handful of select markets — including Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Dubai and Mexico City — but interest is already strong.”

Since Danu purchased Smith & Wollensky, it has embarked upon a program of significant reinvestment in the brand. The new 2015 London restaurant located in the Adelphi building on John Adam Street is evidence of its commitment to the brand’s heritage, while executing a more contemporary interpretation of the classic American steakhouse. Extending global expansion is the next logical step in the brand’s growth.

Similar attention, detail and restaurant upgrades are underway at existing U.S. locations in Chicago, Miami and Columbus, Ohio, as the company explores additional domestic markets and opportunities for the more casual and social extension brand, Wollensky’s Grill, now open in Chicago.

Established in 1977 as America’s classic steakhouse, Boston-based Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group owns and operates seven Smith & Wollensky locations in the U.S.: Miami Beach; Chicago; Las Vegas; Columbus, Ohio; Houston; and two restaurants in Boston. The first international location is now open in London. For more information, visit and

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. For more information, visit

SOURCE: The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, Inc.

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