Finalists – Food Services
Lee Maen and Philip Cummins were dissatisfied with the general quality of dining in Los Angeles. Using their expertise in the nightclub business, they opened their first restaurant in 1997. The partners would eventually operate West Hollywood, Calif.- based Innovative Dining Group, a chain of dining brands that focuses on offering exciting cuisines in unique, contemporary environments.
As a large part of their success, Maen and Cummins broke from the common business model of taking a single dining concept and replicating it in as many markets as possible. They reinvented and created entirely new dining concepts to create different restaurants, introducing varied, neighborhood-specific menus with one-of-a-kind atmospheres.
IDG’s restaurants include Sushi Roku, offering sushi and Japanese favorites; Katana, a Robatayaki and sushi bar; BOA Steakhouse, a modern steakhouse; Delphine Eatery & Bar, serving classic and modern interpretations of California bistro fare; and hot bar and lounge Station Hollywood & The Living Room.
These restaurants not only provide fine dining but also help to revitalize their respective neighborhoods. The original Sushi Roku, located on Third Street in Los Angeles, transformed the sleepy street into one of the premier dining corridors in the city. Katana reignited the popularity of the waning Sunset Strip. And Delphine and Station, both located at the historic intersection of Hollywood and Vine, fostered IDG’s participation in the renaissance of Hollywood.
The company also has successfully expanded beyond Los Angeles to Las Vegas and Scottsdale, Ariz. Maen and Cummins are currently evaluating options in Miami, New York, Europe and the Middle East, as well. Considering their restaurants as much a part of the entertainment and hospitality fields as the culinary field, the duo is also considering expanding into the hotel business.
How to reach: Innovative Dining Group, www.innovativedining.com