IN THE NEWS: Smith & Wollensky parent buys Strega restaurants

Smith & Wollensky parent buys Strega restaurants

By Jon Chesto Globe Staff,Updated January 29, 2020, 1:44 p.m.

An Irish investment firm is looking to grow its restaurant business in the United States, and the Strega group in Boston is the next deal on its plate.

Dublin-based Danu Partners completed its purchase this week of three Strega restaurants and related businesses from the Varano Group, said Michael Feighery, chief executive of the Danu-owned Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“There are a lot of similarities, [including] a similar check average,” Feighery said of the Strega purchase. “They have a great history here in Boston, not dissimilar to how the original Smith & Wollensky was founded in Manhattan.”

However, the deal does not include Strega North End and two other Italian restaurants in that neighborhood, Nico and Rina’s. The Varano Group will continue to operate them, the companies said in a statement, and Nick Varano will also remain involved with Fratelli, a restaurant at the Encore Boston Harbor casino and hotel in Everett.

Danu created a new holding company, PPX Hospitality Brands, to oversee its US restaurant expansion; PPX will include Smith & Wollensky and Strega, to start. The business will be based at Smith & Wollensky’s headquarters in Medford, and run by Feighery. The Strega division will be overseen by Nick Foley, who is among those joining from the Varano group. Feighery said the two groups, taken together, generate roughly $100 million in annual revenue and have more than 1,000 employees…


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