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Grill Concepts names successor to co-founder Bob Spivak

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Grill Concepts, the multi-concept operator of such well-known brands as The Daily Grill and The Grill on the Alley, has named John Sola to succeed co-founder Bob Spivak as CEO.

Among Sola's duties will be launching a new seafood chain called Point during the coming year. Developing additional concepts will be a major part of his responsibility, according to the company.

Sola has spent 30 years with Grill Concepts, starting as executive chef of The Chronicle restaurant in Los Angeles. He opened the first The Grill on the Alley, one of Grill Concept’s larger operations, with Spivak.

“John has been my partner and friend since I started the company more than 30 years ago,” Spivak said in a statement.  “John is a true restaurateur with proven experience in operations and strategic development. Most importantly, he understands that our business is about people and he has developed a strong culture to help our people thrive.”

Sola will also carry the title of president. His promotion marks the third time in recent weeks that founders of a multi-concept operation have delegated at least a part of their leadership to another executive. Michael Mina recently relinquished the CEO’s title at Mina Group to Bill Freeman, and Cameron Mitchell promoted David Miller to president of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants.

Simultaneous with Sola's promotion, Grill Concepts promoted Thomas Kachani to EVP of operations and Phil Kastel to EVP of culinary. 

The company operates 30 restaurants in total. Most are at the higher end of full service, but also in the fold is a fast-casual venture, In Short Order—Daily Grill, and a gastropub, Public School.

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