Jan. 14 2014 12:00 AM

Deal includes Malarkey restaurants, Stingaree nightclub

Searsucker
Photo by Michael A. Gardiner
Earlier this week, I wrote about how, on Friday, Enlightened Hospitality Group (EHG)-owner of the "Fabric of Social Dining" restaurants-closed its Gabardine and Searsucker Scottsdale restaurants, ostensibly to focus on its "premier brands" (presumably San Diego's Searsucker and Herringbone). I commented on the cognitive dissonance implicit in the announcement and I speculated that it was timed to get the bad news out before this Thursday's high-stakes launch of Herringbone in Hollywood's Mondrian Hotel. 

It turns out I was four days ahead of myself and not nearly cynical enough. --- Friday's news was timed to precede a major announcement: the sale of a controlling interest in EHG and full ownership of Gaslamp nightclub Stingaree and catering company Campine. In a statement, EHG announced a partnership with Hakkasan Ltd., which Brennan described as "the ideal culmination of more than a decade long career in the hospitality industry":

"My experience with the Hakkasan team has been nothing but first class, and I look forward to helping to build a major international hospitality company."

Hakkasan came to international attention as a Chinese restaurant in London that earned a Michelin star. Since that original London location, Hakkasan expanded to Mumbai, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Beverly Hills and Shanghai. From its original modern Chinese concept, the company has expanded to include additional Chinese and Japanese concepts.  EHG's Searsucker and Herringbone brands appear to be its first non-Asian restaurant property, though it opened a Las Vegas nightclub in April.

While not explicitly stated in the press release, the inclusion of full ownership in Stingaree and Campine appears to indicate that rather than a sale of EHG, the transaction is a sale of company's CEO James Brennan's interest in EHG. The transaction appears to auger well for the financial viability of a company that has experienced a troubled year. Conspicuously absent from the press release, however, is any comment from Brian Malarkey.

Write to michaelg@sdcitybeat.com and check out his blog and reviews. 

Calendar

  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28