At last year’s Restaurant Leadership Conference, Chip Conley, former head of global hospitality for Airbnb, attributed this piece of advice he received to Michael Mina: “If you’re going to have more than one unit, you have to think of yourself as a sports franchise and establish a culture that attracts talent.”
While Mina stepped down last year as head coach of his restaurant group—naming industry vet Bill Freeman as CEO so he can focus on research and development—he still contributes to company culture. Mina Group President Patric Yumul says the company “constantly travel[s] in order to understand the latest dining trends as well as indigenous cuisines and social dining customs.” In fact, Yumul says the group opened the Mina Test Kitchen in 2015 to share its travel experiences via pop-ups, as well as test potential concepts. Currently featured at the test kitchen is an Italian concept, Postcards from La Costiera, that was inspired by the group’s trip to South Italy, and Yumul says Mina hopes to translate the experience to a permanent restaurant.
The group is also working on The Street, which Yumul describes as “a night market meets social house” with 14 food and beverage vendors that will launch in Honolulu this spring and in Los Angeles next. It will make its Midwest debut with two French concepts—Margeaux Brasserie and Petit Margeaux—that are slated to launch in a Chicago hotel this spring.
Concepts: Arcadia, Bardot Brasserie, Bourbon Steak, Clock Bar, Locale Market, Michael Mina, Michael Mina 74, Mina Test Kitchen, Pabu, Pub 1842, RN74, Stonehill Tavern, Stripsteak, The Handle Bar, The Ramen Bar, Wit & Wisdom Tavern