RH 25
Mercer Restaurant Group

Matt Semmelhack (left) and Mark Liberman

2016 RH 25: Mercer Restaurant Group

The best and brightest restaurant companies are not just creating one great concept; they're creating many. See Restaurant Hospitality's picks for powerful multi-concept companies that not only play it cool, they kick ass. See all concepts >>

Headquarters: San Francisco

Annual Sales: $11 million

Units: 7

Key Personnel: 
• Matt Semmelhack, founder/managing partner
• Mark Liberman, executive chef/managing partner

SINGLE CONCEPTS:
• AQ Restaurant & Bar (California cuisine with a 10-course tasting menu and seasonally changing decor) 
• Bon Marche Brasserie & Bar (Parisian brasserie, micro brewery and cocktail bar)
• Melange Market (funky coffee bar inside the ODC Dance Theatre)
• Fenix Restaurant (regional, small-plates Mexican cuisine)
• The Trading Post Bakery (rustic artisan bread bakery)
• Sababa Hot Pita Bar (store-made Israeli-style stuffed pitas)
• The Trading Post Restaurant (rustic wine-country comfort food)

UPCOMING PROJECTS: 
• Three more units of Sababa Hot Pita Bar next year
• Longview Ranch (a new concept with a working farm, orchard and culinary garden)

WHY IT’S COOL: Survival in one of the world’s great culinary cities is challenging, to say the least. There are a small, elite number of restaurants that draw the bright lights of the national paparazzi, but most have to stake a claim and demonstrate that they are better than the rest around them. This is where Mercer excels. Semmelhack and Liberman create terrific restaurants that stand out from the crowd. AQ is unabashedly high end, but the rest are the kinds of restaurants that everyone needs on their go-to list. Add to that a funky coffee bar and an artisan bread shop, and a wildly popular pita bar and the bases are covered.  

Next: Rapoport’s Restaurant Group
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