Top 100 Independents: The newbies

tao downtown

Tavern on the Green in New York City may be the most notable restaurant to return to the ranks of top-grossing independent restaurants in the country. When a similar list was published (by Restaurants & Institutions magazine) six years ago, the Central Park icon sat in second place, having generated $34 million in food and beverage sales. After a $17 million renovation, a pared-down version reopened last year under new ownership. And despite chef shake-ups and mixed reviews, the restaurant re-emerges on the Top 100 Independents ranking at No. 93 with more than $12 million in estimated sales.

It’s one of nearly two dozen restaurants appearing on the list this year that were not among the ranks in 2014. Some are relatively new goliaths with instant fans, such as Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab (No. 16; $20.5 million in sales) in Washington, D.C., which opened in 2014, joining its more-established siblings in Las Vegas and Chicago (we regard an independent as a brand having less than five branches). Another example: Le Diplomate (No. 41; $16 million in sales), also in D.C., Stephen Starr’s French Bistro, which opened in 2013 and is a favorite of U.S. dignitaries looking for an alternative to the more traditional haunts like Old Ebbitt Grill (No. 6; $28 million). Others, sharing specific figures this time around, earned their spot on the list with sales of $12 million or more.

Here’s a list of all the newcomers to the 2015 Top 100 Independents ranking:





Tao DowntownNew York City2$38,000,000
Lavo New YorkNew York City4$31,000,000
Carmine's New York City5$30,984,068
Bottega LouieLos Angeles14$21,122,795
Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak
& Stone Crab
Washington, D.C.16$20,500,000*
David Burke PrimehouseChicago19$18,480,000
The Smith (Lincoln Square)New York City26$17,475,000
Taste of TexasHouston30$16,895,230
Chicago Cut SteakhouseChicago31$16,875,000*
The SourceWashington, D.C.33$16,700,000*
Le DiplomateWashington D.C.41$16,101,000
Quality ItalianNew York City51$15,337,858
Rustic Inn CrabhouseDania Beach, Fla.56$15,000,000*
The Smith (Midtown)New York City62$14,452,000
Carmine'sAtlantic City, N.J.83$13,065,111
Tavern on RushChicago89$12,687,644
SpagoLas Vegas91$12,600,000*
MakotoBal Harbour, Fla.92$12,437,096
Tavern on the GreenNew York City93$12,300,000*
The Southern Steak & OysterNashville, Tenn.95$12,289,167
Phillips SeafoodBaltimore97$12,095,816
Alioto's RestaurantSan Francisco99$12,039,092
OceanaNew York City100$12,000,000

Based on 2014 food and beverage sales
**RB Estimate

Did we miss your restaurant? If your operation had food and beverage sales above $9 million, we want to know about it. Please contact Kelly Killian at kkillian@winsightmedia.com to be included in the next Top 100 Independents survey.


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