David Zadikoff, founder and CEO of Cornerstone Restaurant Group, announced Wednesday that Josh Zadikoff will take on the role of president at the hospitality company, which oversees Chef Bill Kim’s bellyQ and urbanbelly restaurants in Chicago as well as iconic Michael Jordan-brand restaurants throughout the country, among others.
The announcement comes as Josh Zadikoff leads an exciting development for Cornerstone: a partnership with global home furnishings retailer Crate and Barrel to open a full-service restaurant in Oakbrook Center that will serve as a showcase both for Kim’s award-winning cuisine and the Crate and Barrel brand.
“This is a natural transition for us and the right time, given Josh’s experience, his thirst for driving the business and his desire to build on our family-focused legacy,” says David, 67, who remains deeply involved at Cornerstone as CEO.
“This is what I love to do. My dad has set an amazing foundation for Cornerstone and instilled our culture of heartfelt hospitality. I’m thrilled to guide us into this next generation,” Josh says.
As part of the transition, Josh and David have assembled a core leadership team. Danny McGowan, currently Vice President, has been named COO. Vice President of Finance Matt Goldstick becomes CFO.
In addition to Cornerstone’s convergence into the retail space, the team is collaborating on other exciting projects to be announced soon that include international expansion of the Cornerstone brand and the growth of its dynamic urbanbelly brand.
Josh, 33, got his first taste of hospitality as a youngster, traveling extensively with his family, visiting his dad’s restaurants and even living in hotels (David was a longtime hotel executive before starting Cornerstone). He worked various restaurant jobs during high school and in college, he completed a management training program at Wildfire, a Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises restaurant.
Upon graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Josh joined Cornerstone and helped open and manage SolToro Restaurant in Connecticut. After four years at Hyatt Hotels, he returned to Cornerstone to open and manage Michael Jordan’s Steak House Chicago for three years before moving into the role of Brand Operations Manager for Cornerstone. In this leadership role, Josh oversaw the ENO Wine Bar concepts and the Michael Jordan portfolio of restaurants, led the brand refresh and renovation of SolToro and created the concept for Michael Jordan’s Restaurant in Oak Brook, which opened in August 2017.
Of McGowan, a 30-year veteran of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, David Zadikoff says, “His knowledge of operations is a tremendous asset. He’s a mentor and leader who’s seen and done it all.” Goldstick, who previously worked with Cornerstone as Finance Manager, returned in January 2018 after a very successful period with Ernst & Young leading a mergers and acquisitions team.
“Matt is remarkably bright and has a breadth of financial experience that will enable our growth. With this leadership team of Josh, Danny and Matt, I couldn’t be more excited about Cornerstone’s future,” David says.
A native of South Africa, David Zadikoff immigrated to the United States in 1976 and found work in the storeroom at the Los Angeles Hilton hotel. That led to a hotel career spanning five cities, until he and Jonathan Albert founded Cornerstone in 1992.
“My dad has defined what it means to be the absolute role model of a business leader by infusing his passion for hospitality with his purpose of making a difference in people’s lives. This is our cornerstone, one that as a team we’ll continue to uphold,” Josh says.
Cornerstone Restaurant Group and affiliate Jump Higher, L.L.C., led by restaurateurs David Zadikoff and Josh Zadikoff, in partnership with Michael Jordan, oversee all Michael Jordan-brand restaurants, including Michael Jordan’s Steak House (Chicago, Connecticut, New York, Portland), Michael Jordan’s Restaurant in Oak Brook, Michael Jordan’s 23.sportcafe (Connecticut), and SolToro Restaurant (Connecticut). Additionally, Cornerstone’s growing Asian ventures with Chef Bill Kim include the Michelin Bib award-winning bellyQ and both locations of urbanbelly, in Chicago's West Loop and Wicker Park neighborhoods. In 2019, Cornerstone will partner with retailer Crate & Barrel to open a full-service restaurant in its Oakbrook Center location, with Kim leading the menu development. Cornerstone also manages operations for ENO Wine Room (Chicago, San Francisco).
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