After acquiring eight-unit steakhouse chain Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group in 2016, Irish investment firm Danu Partners, has completed its restaurant portfolio with the acquisition of the Boston-based Strega Group from restaurateur Nick Varano. With the addition of the Italian chophouse chain, Danu Partners has launched a new hospitality group called PPX Hospitality Brands, which will be operating out of Medford, Mass. PPX Hospitality will now be led by Smith & Wollensky CEO and president Michael Feighery, who will oversee the 16 PPX brands while remaining in his current role.
“Through the creation of PPX Hospitality Brands and with Smith & Wollensky’s commitment to genuine hospitality and quality, we will bring additional support systems, growth strategy and a team of resources to drive the Strega brand to new heights,” Feighery said in a statement. “We are committed to investing in The Strega Group’s team members, brand awareness, facilities and the customer experience throughout greater Boston.”
The Smith & Wollensky location in New York City, and its casual sister restaurant, Wollensky Grill remain under independent ownership by founder Alan Stillman as part of the Quality Branded group.
As part of the new agreement, Danu Partners will now own and operate Strega Waterfront, Strip by Strega and Strega Prime, as well as five locations of Caffe Strega, and the company’s catering business. Varano will maintain control over his restaurants in Boston’s North end, including Nico, Rina’s and Strega North End.
“The Strega brand was built by my passion and determination to add to Boston's outstanding culinary scene over the past 17 years and to have this opportunity to pass on the Strega experience to a company like Danu Partners is an incredible opportunity," Nick Varano said in a statement. “This will be a new day for The Varano Group and I look forward to the continued success of everyone involved.”
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