Denver-born and based Sage Restaurant Concepts (SRC), a Sage Hospitality Group company, announced several new additions to their home office team. Boasting more than 35 restaurant, bar and coffeeshop locations in 13 states across the country, the restaurant group accelerated growth of its portfolio in the past 12 months despite the pandemic’s devastating effects on the industry, and is continuing growth in its talented leadership team. Comprised of seasoned restaurateurs and innovators, new additions to the team include Derek Simcick, appointed as Director of Culinary; John Stanton appointed as Director of Beverage; and Jeffrey Mihalakis appointed as VP of Operations.
Under the direction of these new additions, SRC will continue its rapid portfolio expansion, which includes 14 new food and beverage outlets in the first six months of 2021 alone. SRC recently expanded into three new states and added licensed and third-party licensed concepts from lauded chefs, such as Michael Mina, Richard Sandoval and Chris Cosentino to its portfolio.
Simcick, SRC’s new Director of Culinary, offers an extensive background in food and beverage, culinary and boutique hotel partnerships. A media darling in his own right, Simcick is no stranger to the camera: He won the Food Network’s 2021 Chopped 420 Championship; appeared on Season 21, Episode 3 of Beat Bobby Flay; and was named one of America’s sexiest male chefs in 2017 by People Magazine. Prior to joining SRC, Simcick served as senior regional executive chef at Barcelona Wine Bar in Conn. He also held executive chef and beverage manager positions at Hyatt Hotels and Thompson Hotels in Wash., as well as Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in Calif. Spending his formative years experiencing food from all corners of the globe, Simcik lived in Greece, Tunisia, Germany, France, Japan and Austria all before the age of 20, developing a great love and appreciation of cuisine as a reflection of local culture. As Director of Culinary at SRC, Simcick will oversee the robust collection of restaurants, ensure the highest standards are met and that SRC’s mission – to craft exceptional experiences that forge a bond with guests – is actualized.
An expert on all things dining and drinking, Stanton – SRC’s new Director of Beverage – has more than a decade of experience in the hospitality industry and enjoys finding innovation in every aspect of the culinary experience. Coming from Nashville, Tenn., where he served as assistant general manager at Kimpton Henley, Stanton has extensive experience in the creation and execution of beverage menus that perfectly complement a chef’s talents. Stanton was a member of the Kimpton team for many years, starting his journey as the beverage manager of Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa in Grand Cayman before making his way back to the states as West coast manager of bars for Kimpton’s F&B division. He served on the opening team of Kimpton Armory in Bozeman, Mont. before taking on the AGM role at Henley in Nashville. In his Director of Beverage role at SRC, Stanton will oversee the beverage programs for the company’s many restaurants and bars.
A business and hospitality leader, Mihalakis brings a nearly twenty-year track record of success with high-profile hotels, restaurants and real estate organizations. An innovator, executor and collaborator with an extensive background leading hospitality organizations through a wide range of strategic growth initiatives and operational improvement projects, Mihalakis specializes in business development, strategic planning, concept and branding, new openings, renovations and general operations. Prior to joining SRC, Mihalakis was a strategic consultant for foBT Hospitality; director of amenities at The Durst Organization; director of food and beverage at 1 Hotels and Taj Hotels; director of operations at The Dinex Group; and more. His signature achievements include the reinvigoration of several Boulud concepts in Miami, Toronto and Las Vegas; the hotel and restaurant openings of the premier 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, DBGB Washington, D.C. and The Bar at Pierre; and launching sustainable hospitality spaces for tenants of The Durst Organization. Mihalakis’ diverse and exceptional background provides him with a versatile toolbox of skills that will help him excel as SRC’s newest VP of Operations.
SRC creates industry-leading restaurant and bar concepts with soul for the people who live, work and play in the communities they serve. Comprised of seasoned restaurateurs and innovators, SRC is committed to consistently crafting exceptional experiences that forge a bond with guests and believes in the power of impacting lives through hospitality.
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