US steakhouse group names ops director ahead of London debut

Smith & Wollensky London

Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group has hired a new operations manager ahead of its debut in London this summer.

The US-based outfit – which says it is “not a chain but a boutique collection of iconic restaurants” — has turned to Nathan Evans to lead the UK team and spearhead its launch this side of the Atlantic.

The company has secured a site in the Adelphi Building on the Strand, which is due to open in June. It will mark Smith & Wollensky’s first steakhouse outside of America and tenth site overall.

In addition to his duties on a group level, Evans will be responsible for all operational aspects of the business including acting general manager during the opening phase of London, creating a satellite office in the UK, the hiring of all staff and overseeing day-to-day duties.

The brand said he will be “a key component in developing the Smith & Wollensky formula for the UK market without diluting what has made it much-loved Stateside”.

Prior to his appointment, Evans was deputy managing director and business development director for the Boisdale Group.

Other key positions have included senior manager at Davy’s of London, with its 27 wine bars and restaurants across the capital, and operations consultant for Foxy Roast & Grill in Hove.

Evans said: “I first ate at a Smith & Wollensky restaurant in the late nineties and fell in love with it like so many others before me. Despite the other operators that have entered the London market since, I have never been more certain that the brand will succeed. Quality runs through everything that Smith & Wollenksy does, from the dry-aging and butchering of USDA prime beef on-site to the incredible wine lists.”

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