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RH 25: Garces Restaurant Group

RH 25: Garces 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 >>

Headquarters: Philadelphia

Annual sales: $30-$50 million

Units: 15

Key personnel:  
• Jose Garces, founder
• Rob Keddie, e.v.p. & chief development officer
• Terry Poyser, v.p. of finance
• Melissa Scully, v.p. of operations

Single concepts:
• Garces Trading Co. (a European café and gourmet market)
• Chifa (a blend of Peruvian and Cantonese cuisine)
• JG Domestic (farm-to-table cuisine)
• Yuboka Noodle Bar (noodles and dim sum in the Revel Hotel/Casino in Atlantic City)
• Mercat (Spanish-inspired cuisine in Chicago’s Blackstone Hotel in conjunction with Sage Restaurant Group)
• Guapos Tacos Truck (a food truck)

JG Domestic

Multiple locations:
• Amada (authentic Spanish tapas with units in Philadelphia and Atlantic City)
• Village Whiskey (upscale bar menu in Scottsdale, Philadelphia and Atlantic City)
• Distrito (the cuisine of Mexico City with units in Palm Springs, Atlantic City, Scottsdale and Philadelphia)
• Tinto (a Basque wine bar in Philadelphia and Palm Springs)

Upcoming projects:
• A full-service restaurant and concessions for Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philly

Why it’s cool

Jose Garces is a quiet, gentle man. Even when he slew an army of the country’s best chefs to achieve Iron Chef status four years back, he did it with dignity and respect. And that’s how he’s built a growing empire of exciting restaurant concepts. Though he has a stable of Latin concepts, he’s proven to be more than a one-trick pony. Garces stretched beyond his Latin roots to create a great American bar (Village Whiskey), a European café and takeout market (Garces Trading Company) and a farm-to-table American concept (JG Domestic). He’s also demonstrated versatility by stretching outside his Philadelphia home base by creating concepts in Chicago (Mercat a la Planxa), Atlantic City (Amada, Village Whiskey and Distrito Cantina), Scottsdale, AZ (Distrito, Old Town Whiskey and Garces Trading Coffee Kiosk) and Palm Springs ( El Jefe and Tinto). In addition to 15 restaurants in five cities, Garces also operates the 40-acre Luna Farm, which provides organic vegetables, fruits, eggs and honey to his restaurants. And to demonstrate his involvement with the community, he also operates Garces Family Foundation, which helps Philadelphia’s immigrants by funding heath care and providing nutritional programming for youth. This is an organization built for the long haul.

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