Chef Brian Malarkey and James Brennan Sell Majority Interest of Enlightened Hospitality Group to Hakkasan Ltd. | Stingaree Also Purchased

January 13, 2014

It's no wonder that Enlightened Hospitality Group has been shedding dead weight as of late (closing Gabardine & Searsucker Scottsdale last week). The group previously helmed by nightlife guru James Brennan and local celebrity chef Brian Malarkey has sold majority stake in the company to Abu Dhabi based Hakkasan Ltd. Hakkasan has also completed a full acquisition of Stingaree nightclub.

Malarkey and Brennan
The acquisitions reflect Hakkasan Ltd.’s commitment to further expand into U.S. markets and its ongoing development into a multifaceted global lifestyle brand. Through these deals, Hakkasan Ltd. is now the majority stakeholder for all EHGRP entities including highly recognized social dining properties Searsucker (San Diego, Del Mar and Austin) and Herringbone (San Diego and Los Angeles), which will be owned and operated and in a strategic partnership with the original development team. Immediately following the acquisition, both groups will embark on their first endeavor together with the launch of Herringbone at Mondrian Los Angeles opening this week.

“We are delighted to welcome Enlightened Hospitality Group into the Hakkasan Ltd. family as we move forward with our plans for expansion in the U.S. This is an exciting time for everyone involved and our first priority will be to expand upon the success of EHGRP’s current venues by introducing the existing brands into additional markets both domestically and internationally,” said Neil Moffitt, CEO of Hakkasan Ltd.

“The partnership between Enlightened Hospitality Group and Hakkasan Ltd. is the ideal culmination of more than a decade long career in the hospitality industry for me, and most certainly marks a personal high. My experience with the Hakkasan team has been nothing but first class, and I look forward to helping to build a major international hospitality company,” said James Brennan, CEO of Enlightened Hospitality Group.

Since 2001, Hakkasan Ltd. has been at the forefront of the industry having redefined traditional Cantonese cuisine executed with modern flair. Recognized as one of the most influential international restaurant groups, the fine-dining phenomenon has Michelin stars for its New York restaurant and both of its London locations including its flagship in Hanway Place and its new addition in the heart of Mayfair. It also has restaurants in Miami, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Dubai, Doha, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Beverly Hills, with an offering in Shanghai to open in early 2014. Recently, the distinguished brand embarked on its first foray into nightlife with the opening of its successful 60,000-square-foot nightclub, Hakkasan Las Vegas at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, which debuted in April. Hakkasan Ltd. has also just announced plans to open its first luxury resort on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, which is scheduled to begin construction in 2014.

Enlightened Hospitality Group is a San Diego based restaurant and nightlife development group founded in 2010 by experienced hospitality innovator James Brennan and Executive Chef Brian Malarkey. Their impressive portfolio includes Searsucker (San Diego, CA), named by OpenTable Inc. as the #2 “Hottest New Restaurant in the Country” in 2011, a “Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurant in the Country” in 2012 and 2013, a ”Hot 40 Restaurant” by Gayot in 2013; Herringbone (La Jolla, CA) also named by OpenTable Inc. as a “Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurant in the Country” in 2013; Searsucker Austin, TX, Searsucker Del Mar, CA and the soon-to-open Herringbone Los Angeles, CA. Enlightened Hospitality Group also manages and operates Stingaree, the largest and most exclusive nightlife destination in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter and Campine, A Culinary + Cocktail Conspiracy, a catering and event production company.