Tampa-based Next Level Brands’ (NLB) Jeff Gigante has proven himself as the brand’s visionary. With two forthcoming concepts later this year (Boulon Brasserie and Union New American), the team he has curated is an all-star lineup of industry professionals and leaders in multiple sectors including hospitality, real estate, business, and marketing. Each individual team member’s key strengths are integral to the restaurant group, each providing a depth of knowledge and foresight – thus further reinforcing the brand’s vision and growth potential to transform Tampa’s dining scene. Gigante, former Co-Founder of Ciccio Restaurant Group, along with real estate entrepreneur Andrew Wright, and attorney/investor Joseph Guggino form the core corporate team at NLB. Now they are pleased to announce a one-of-a-kind alliance with restaurant icon Chris T. Sullivan, former Chairman and CEO of Outback Steakhouse, Inc.
Sullivan, who has known Gigante and Wright for many years through his involvement in the Tampa Bay restaurant community, notes that he has always been impressed with the projects they engage in and what they have each accomplished in their individual careers. “I consider Jeff one of the top restaurateurs and operators not only in the Tampa Bay area, but the entire country,” remarked Sullivan. “Likewise, Andrew is someone who has his hands in many of the most exciting and successful projects in the market. Jeff and Andrew have the expertise and vision to create something great and I look forward to helping however I can.”
Now in the latter part of his career, Sullivan’s participation is seen as a symbolic “inauguration” by Gigante. “Chris is the ideal addition to this illustrious line-up of professionals,” he remarks. “Our vision aligns beautifully, and his support and mentorship are the perfect resource for the progression of Next Level Brands.”
Both Sullivan and Gigante have a shared sentiment that a great workplace fosters great talent. Case in point, the NLB team has curated a team of industry leaders to help open their next two concepts, which include Executive Chef Adam Polisei and Kal Harris as a General Manager (both formerly of Ocean Prime); and Miami-based Unfiltered Hospitality Group to create the libations programs for both forthcoming concepts.
“Overall, if you have a great idea along with the right people in the right places, you can have a very successful business in Tampa Bay’s dining industry,” says Sullivan. “I feel that Next Level Brands has each of these pieces and I’m excited to be part of it.”
Boulon Brasserie is set to open Fall 2022 at Water Street Tampa. Union New American is slated to open in the Winter of 2022-2023 in Tampa’s Westshore District. Forbici Modern Italian, their popular Hyde Park Village concept, opened in 2019.