From left: Joey Simons, Masaharu Morimoto, Robbie Felice and Luck Sarabhayavanija.
Montclair Hospitality Group expands in Washington state with Morimoto to capture growing wealth segment
The Montclair Hospitality Group (MHG) is plotting its expansion to the West Coast by teaming up with iconic chef Masaharu Morimoto and rising star chef Robbie Felice. The initiative, led by CEO Joey Simons, is opening its operations in Washington state this fall at Fortress Development’s InterContinental Bellevue at the Avenue.
“This region in Washington has the highest concentration of billionaires in two square miles," Simons said. "It’s a food dessert, meaning very predictable food and nothing chef-driven or exciting. We’re ready to put this brand there and redevelop the landscape of Bellevue, making it a new foodie town.”
Simons has had a long-standing friendship with Morimoto throughout his career, allowing him to bring the chef on board for this joint venture.
“We wanted a concept that was approachable seven days a week with private dining and sushi counters, and it was a paint-your-own adventure,” Simons said. “There’s an element of lifestyle being injected into it that hasn’t been a Morimoto thing. Now, it’s a legacy brand of Morimoto that we’re bringing to the secondary markets.”
In addition to the Morimoto partnership, MHG, founded by Luck Sarabhayavanija, has expanded its partnership with James Beard-nominated chef Felice of Pasta Ramen to launch his popular East Coast brand within Washington’s InterContinental as well.
The group is also ramping up its footprint in its home location of Montclair, New Jersey, by opening Felice’s new Italian sandwich concept, called Fatto Con Amore, and a new Ani Ramen location in Hoboken, New Jersey.