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RH 25: Cohn Restaurant Group

RH 25: Cohn 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 multiconcept companies that not only play it cool, they kick ass. See all concepts >>

David and Lesley Cohn

San Diego

Annual sales: $65 million

Units: 16

Key personnel:
• David Cohn, president & c.e.o.
• Lesley Cohn, c.f.o.
• Deborah Scott, executive chef & partner
• Shanon Brant, director of operations
• Debbie Shumaker, v.p. of administration

Single concepts:
• 100 Wines Hillcrest (European)
• 333 Pacific (upscale California coastal cuisine)
• Blue Point (upscale seafood and steaks)
• BO-beau Kitchen and Bar (approachable Mediterranean)
• Corvette Diner (’50s style comfort food meets rock & roll)
• Chop Soo-ey (food truck focusing on Asian and barbecue pork dishes)
• Ms. Patty Melt (food truck focusing on the classic sandwich)
• Indigo Grill (modernized new-Western cuisine)
• Island Prime and C Level (upscale steak and seafood restaurant and more casual bistro under the same roof)
• Tea Pavilion (Asian inspired)
• The Melting Pot (fondue)
• The Prado at Balboa Park (modern American)
• The Pineapple Grill (Pacific Island cuisine)
• Vintana (California modern cuisine)

Island Prime

Multiple locations:
• Gas Lamp Strip Club, A Steak Place and La Jolla Strip Club, a Steak Place (casual takes on the traditional steakhouse)

Upcoming projects:
• SEA 180 (a coastal tavern)
• A Mediterranean-inspired restaurant set to open this fall

Why it’s cool

What started as a fun and funky diner has grown into a restaurant empire. Evoking ‘50s and ’60s nostalgia with rock and roll memorabilia, the Corvette Diner has been a favorite since it opened in 1987. The flagship features good food (traditional diner dishes mixed with modern classics) and even more fun (live entertainment from DJs to a singing and dancing staff decked out in poodle skirts). The early success created a domino effect that’s still rolling today. Buoyed by a partnership with one of San Diego’s top chefs, Deborah Scott, the Cohns expanded into fine dining, food trucks and inventive locations. Scott helms some of San Diego’s most celebrated eateries, like Indigo Grill, Island Prime/C Level and Vintana, the latter being the Cohns’ stunning $2.5 million venture in the penthouse of a Lexus dealership (what?). The Cohns have dared to go where others haven’t, from the car shop to previously underserved areas of the city, with the “sure to fail” 333 Pacific a prime example in the now-bustling Oceanside neighborhood.

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