The Patina Group, which owns and operates eight restaurants, including Wine Spectator Grand Award-winner Patina in Los Angeles, is merging with the New York-based Restaurant Associates management company as of today.
The chefs and senior management of the Patina Group will remain the same, according to its chairman and founder, chef Joachim Splichal. "I felt that this [merger] gives the possibility to grow the company while developing some concepts on the East Coast," said Splichal. "It also gives Restaurant Associates a presence on the West Coast."
The Patina Group, which began in 1989 with Patina in Los Angeles, now includes Pinot Bistro and Cafi Pinot in Los Angeles, Pinot Hollywood, Pinot Provence in Orange County, Pinot Blanc in Napa Valley and Pinot Brasserie in Las Vegas. It also operates four museum cafes and Patina Catering, one of the largest caterers in the Los Angeles area. Also under the Patina umbrella, Splichal and his wife and partner, Christine, just opened Nick & Stef's, a downtown Los Angeles steak house, in October. They hope to replicate their steak-house concept on the East Coast.
The rapid expansion of the Patina Group presented challenges to Splichal, whose first love is cooking. "This [merger] leaves me free to be the creative mind rather than the business mind," he said. Splichal added that Patina will undergo a major renovation next year and that the group will open two new restaurants at Disney's California Adventure theme park in 2001.
Restaurant Associates, which operates over 130 establishments on the East Coast, is owned by the London-based British Compass Group, one of the world's largest food service companies. The majority of Restaurant Associates' holdings -- which encompass restaurants and corporate food service accounts -- are in Washington, D.C., and New York, including three dining spots at Rockefeller Plaza.
For past reports on Joachim Splichal's restaurants: