In a very short while, One Group became a 100 million dollar restaurant empire, and the expansion of the brand is due in great part to the woman beside the man, Senior VP Celeste Fierro. She’s responsible for packing One Group venues with high-profile events and her celebrity friends. Celeste is credited with making STK, the crown jewel in the One Group Empire, female friendly. One Group head honcho Jonathan Segal relies on Celeste and her Blackberry, filled with bold face names, to manage day to day operations. With over a thousand employees and joints opening constantly, she’s a busy lady, one of those unsung heroes of hospitality that deserves at least the 15 minutes of fame I can give her.
Besides your own venues, which hotspots do you like to hang out at in NYC? I always like to check out our friends’ places to show support. Lately I’ve been stopping in at Lavo, Da Silvano, and the lounge at Provocateur.
What do you think it is about your venues that constantly brings the A-list crowd? It’s really all about the overall experience at our venues. We hire great staff to make the service top notch, our music program is fresh and fun, and the food is always delicious, whether you’re eating a steak at STK or indulging in our new Italian fare at Asellina.
The ONE Group is opening an STK in Las Vegas, Atlanta, and in Midtown NYC in the next few months. What’s different about each new location? STK has a signature look and feel (white horns on a white brick wall, crème/black banquettes) but then we tailor small parts to each city. I’d say it’s 75% STK, and 25% is catered to the city.
How have you paved your way in an industry dominated by men? Look, I’m friends with all these guys. I don’t put up with any shit. We all have fun and get the job done.
How does your team keep your restaurants thriving when some are already in their 5th year? Consistency is key, delivering the same great experience. People know what they’re getting. Great food, great experience.
You just opened your first Italian restaurant, Asellina. What has that process been like? Developing a new concept is always fun. Definitely intense, but the restaurant looks beautiful, so we’re really excited to see how everyone enjoys it. So far the feedback has been great. Our clientele from Meatpacking has followed us up here and we’ve tapped into this great new NoMad neighborhood.
When you have a night to hang out with your girlfriends, do you go to your own venues? Sometimes, sure. Other nights we’ll just get together for wine at home and catch up.
While Jonathan Seigal has Celeste I have Jodi Weiser. My assistant for almost a year, Jodi will admit to being 25 years old tomorrow, but as past assistants of mine will attest, 1 year with me is like 5 years with normal humans. So she will celebrate her 30 birthday at Juliet Supper club this Sunday.