Joe O’Brien has been appointed the national director of operations for the Boston-based Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group. In this role, O’Brien will be responsible for operations and the overall management of the company’s nine locations, including the supervision of general managers, front-of-house and back-of-house quality standards.
“This is an exciting time at Smith & Wollensky and as we continue to grow domestically and explore locations abroad, we are pleased to have Joe join our team,” says Michael Feighery, president of the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group. “Joe brings over 30 years of restaurant experience, which includes management of some of the finest restaurants in the county. He also has a remarkable culinary background making him invaluable to us. In addition to leading our team of general managers, Joe will work closely with Matt King, our national director of culinary development, to continue to deliver on our commitment of the finest guest dining experience.”
O’Brien’s experience includes serving as the regional executive chef for China Grill Management in Las Vegas for the opening of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, including the operations and supervision of four independent restaurants on that property. He joins Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group from Charlie Palmer Group where he served as director of operations with responsibilities for all aspects of the group’s fine dining properties, including Aureole, Charlie Palmer Steak, and Dry Creek Kitchen. The position took OíBrien across the country overseeing openings and operations of properties in New York City; Reno, Nev.; Washington, D.C.; Dallas; and throughout California.
“Smith & Wollensky has always been to me a benchmark of engaging restaurant service and an iconic business model,” O’Brien says. “My travels continually placed me in cities where I’ve watched Smith & Wollensky’s staff members consistently approach their guests with pride—through quality in their steaks, knowledge of their wines, and sincerity in their service. The timing was right for both me and the group, and it took us no time to realize a comfortable fit for this opportunity. I’m certain we’ll be furthering the guest experience, advancing the brand and growing our teams. Iím absolutely thrilled to contribute.”