Grill Concepts, Inc. announced that company co-founder Bob Spivak has named John Sola as his successor to lead the company and its more than 30 restaurants around the country. Spivak started the company when he opened The Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills with co-partners Mike Weinstock and Dick Shapiro more than 30 years ago. Sola will now lead the multi-faceted restaurant group that has grown to include The Grill on The Alley, The Daily Grill, In Short Order, Public School on Tap, The Ritz, and the new Point Restaurants, a fresh seafood concept with multiple locations that will be unveiled in the coming year. Concurrent to Sola’s appointment, the company also promoted Thomas Kachani to executive vice president operations and Phil Kastel to executive vice President culinary.
A more than 30-year veteran of the company, Sola was promoted to chief executive oficer and president of Grill Concepts where he will lead all aspects of the organization, including the growth of its current restaurant brands while developing new restaurant concepts for today’s culinary marketplace. Sola began his career as the executive chef of The Chronicle in the L.A. market and then went on to develop the first Grill on the Alley with Spivak. Over his career at Grill Concepts, Sola has held multiple leadership positions on the culinary, operations and development teams.
“John has been my partner and friend since I started the company, more than 30 years ago,” says Bob Spivak, co-founder of Grill Concepts. “John is a true restaurateur with proven experience in operations and strategic development. Most importantly, he understands that our business is about people and he has developed a strong culture to help our people thrive.”
“Bob Spivak has been a visionary in the restaurant industry, building a single restaurant into a diversified restaurant group with multiple brands poised for continued expansion,” adds John Sola, newly appointed CEO and president of Grill Concepts. “I look forward to building and growing our portfolio of restaurants with Thomas and Phil by introducing our brands to new markets, creating new concepts and continuing to cultivate the finest culinary and operations talent.”
When Spivak came up with the idea for Public School, he tasked Sola to develop the brand, and collaborated with Kastel and Kachani to refine the concept and open its first several locations. Sola has continued to collaborate with Kastel and Kachani to develop new brands for Grill Concepts, like the redevelopment of The Ritz Prime Seafood.
Public School is a full-service restaurant and bar that delivers “An Education in the Art of Food and Beer.” The chef-driven menu offers an elevated and seasonal twist to traditional gastropub fare. The menu is complemented by a beer list featuring local, regional, and national craft beers with several handles rotated regularly.
The Ritz Prime Seafood offers a fine dining experience with a worldly menu. Sustainable fish and seafood flown in daily from pristine waters, dry-aged steaks, a skillfully constructed wine list, and a cocktail program situated on the water in Newport Beach, California.
With Kachani’s additional responsibilities, he will lead the operations of all restaurants for Grill Concepts. He will be responsible for achieving the financial and profitability plans for the restaurants through supervision and execution of revenue management strategies, operating and guest service standards, expense controls and talent management.
In Kastel’s expanded role, he will oversee culinary direction for all existing and upcoming restaurant concepts for Grill Concepts. He will continue to lead the culinary team, providing strategic leadership, guidance and direction on food concepts, initiatives, and operational programs to ensure the company remains a leader.