Big changes for the embattled Besh’s restaurant group: Its hotel restaurant division, Our House Hospitality, has spun off, separating from Besh and changing its name to QED Hospitality, reports Ian McNulty. Brian Landry and Emery Whalen, who helmed Our House Hospitality under the Besh umbrella, are co-owners of the new organization. Whalen takes the CEO position, while Landry is the chef. Landry is also chef at Besh Restaurant Group’s Borgne.
In recent years, Besh established several restaurants in hotels, but not all of them will move to QED Hospitality. BRG will keep Domenica in the Roosevelt and Borgne in the Hyatt Regency. QED will manage the restaurants in the Pontchartrain Hotel, including the Caribbean Room (named one of Eater’s Most Beautiful Restaurants in America in 2016), the Silver Whistle cafe, and the Hot Tin rooftop bar. Also, it will manage two Nashville spots in the Thompson Nashville hotel, including Marsh House.
According to the report, the Besh Group says this “corporate restructuring” has been “under consideration for over a year.” McNulty notes that the LLC for QED was filed in November. Eater New Orleans placed a call to the Pontchartrain’s Caribbean Room at the beginning of October and was told then that then that the group that manages the restaurants there was in the process of “separating itself” from Besh. According to NOLA.COM, neither John Besh nor his business partner, Octavio Mantilla, have any ownership or financial interest in the new company.
This is the latest development in the unceasing drama that has engulfed Besh’s restaurant group since Brett Anderson published his tide-turning report on the pervasive culture of sexual harassment at the Besh Restaurant Group.
The restaurants still under the Besh Restaurant Group’s umbrella are August, Borgne, Domenica, Pizza Domenica, Shaya, Lüke, Willa Jean, and Johnny Sánchez.
Johnny Sanchez in Baltimore closed just ahead of the report of the sexual harassment allegations. Besh Steak in the Harrah’s Casino was renamed BH Steak and now has no connection to Besh. Besh sold Northshore gem La Provence in May of 2017. Currently Shaya restaurant is at the center of a contentious trademark dispute with Alon Shaya.
UPDATE JAN 4, 2018: This story was updated with more information on the ownership structure of QED Hospitality.