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Dunn joins the company from Alshaya Group, where he was vice president of its food division.

Rosa Mexicano names Jim Dunn CEO

Former Smith & Wollensky, Hard Rock exec takes the reins at the casual-dining restaurant chain during a ‘great transition time’

Mexican casual-dining chain Rosa Mexicano has named Jim Dunn CEO, the company announced Tuesday. He joins the company during an accelerated period of growth and a “great transition time,” according to a company release.

“In 1984, our founding chef, Josefina Howard, opened the first Rosa Mexicano restaurant in a small New York City neighborhood and won over loyal fans with her authentic Mexican cuisine, creative bar and spirits program, and warm hospitality,” Dunn said in a statement. “I’m thrilled as CEO to honor her legacy and continue the growth and success of Rosa Mexicano as the leading server of continued commitment to our loyal guests. Our brand following continues to amaze me, daily.”

Dunn joins the company from Alshaya Group, where he was vice president of its food division, managing multiple food brands’ expansion across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Russia, Europe, and Asia.

Prior to that, he was founder and CEO of WellDunn Restaurant Group, president & chief operating officer at Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, COO of House of Blues, and European director of Hard Rock International leading strategy, development, and growth.

Dunn will be responsible for overseeing Rosa Mexicano’s growth and expansion as it goes into new markets, the company said. Mainly, Dunn will focus on new restaurant openings and a revamp of the brand’s vision, aesthetics, and menu. 

New York City-based Rosa Mexicano has six locations in New York City, New Jersey, Maryland and Boston, with additional pending openings in Burlington, Mass.; Ardmore, Pa.; Pentagon City, Va., and West Hartford, Conn.

In 2018, Rosa Mexicano was purchased by private-equity group TriSpan Rising Stars L.P

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