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Star Restaurant Group is passionate about great chicken and passionate about great whiskey.  This fervor has led them to the creation of another original restaurant concept, Chicken + Whiskey.  Motivated by the growing trend of rotisserie chicken restaurants taking off throughout the Mid Atlantic, SRG saw the opportunity to expand upon a proven model and added the whiskey element to it.  “It’s a very simple idea, “ explains Des Reilly, Managing Principal of SRG.  “We wanted to do an authentic Peruvian rotisserie chicken joint with a classic neighborhood bar…that’s it.”  The space, located on the bustling corridor of 14th Street in Washington, D.C. poses some interesting challenges.  “Converting a 127-year-old row house into a casual restaurant on one side and bar on the other, is no easy task.  However, the location was too good to pass up,” explains Reilly.  Schamu, Machowski + Patterson have been contracted to do the design and architectural work with a nod towards a 1940s vintage, industrial feel.


The Chicken:  Heading up the food program will be Venezuelan talent, Enrique Limardo, known locally for the hit success of Alma Cocina Latina in Baltimore.  Limardo was named Best Chef, 2016 by Baltimore Magazine with Alma taking Best New Restaurant, 2015 honors.  Keeping the food menu limited while providing fantastic, Peruvian flavors will be the focus.  “The star will be the charcoal rotisserie chicken but the sides are really going to impress people…just wait and see,” says Reilly.

The Whiskey:  Managing Principal and beverage specialist, Kris Car, will design the beverage plan. “Count on an extraordinary and international whiskey program,” says Carr.  “The beauty of this place will be its connection to the neighborhood.  Very local, very casual watering hole.  Locally owned and protected, we like to say!”


Looking forward to a Spring 2017 opening, SRG partners, see the connection to the Logan Circle neighborhood as a key part of the business plan and a partnership for success.  SRG Managing Principal, Stu Damon personally engages the 14th street neighborhood advisory commission as well as direct neighborhood outreach.  “This is important.  The social spaces we develop are an integral part of the community fabric.  We respect that and we want to be great neighbors.”


Star Restaurant Group has signed a 20-year lease with The Peterson Companies to own and operate an original concept on a 6,700 square foot corner of prime restaurant space in National Harbor, Maryland. Officially named The Walrus Oyster & Ale House inspired by the Lewis Carroll poem The Walrus and The Carpenter, the restaurant will offer local, moderately priced, eastern shore style seafood and a vibrant oyster bar. The godfather of seafood himself, James Beard award winning chef, Bob Kinkead will oversee the food program, which promises to be an exciting and approachable menu. “People fly in to the National Harbor from all over the country and we wanted to give them some local flavor. Let them know what Maryland is really all about,” says Kinkaed.. Count on The Walrus “fun” factor to compliment the food as well, with an oversized, industrial strength bar featuring an impressive list of local tap beers, tap wines and colorful frozen drinks for those warm, sunny days on the deck. A key addition to the space will be a 75-seat deck with beautiful water views of the Potomac and nearby Old Town Alexandria. The 150-seat restaurant will open in June and serve dinner, lunch and Sunday brunch. The National Harbor has drawn recent national attention with the announcement of the Capital Wheel opening in May and the MGM Grand Casino launch in 2016.


Read more about the National Harbor @


It’s 5 am on a bitterly cold winter’s day in February and the partners of Star Restaurant Group are busy digging through flake ice at Congressional Seafood as they inspect a shipment of brown trout that has just arrived fresh from Canada.  As they prepare for the launch of their newest restaurant concept, The Walrus Oyster & Ale House opening this June in Maryland’s National Harbor, the partners want to know where every morsel of seafood on their menu is sourced and how it is handled prior to arriving at the restaurant’s door.   This obsession with quality control has led them into the very capable hands of Congressional VP/Director of Operations, Jonathan Pearlman.


“We opened our doors in November 1996 with the mission to serve fine dining establishments and gourmet markets with high end seafood. With some of the industry’s top salesmen and a processing room with highly trained fish cutters, we were able to offer a service that no other company in the area was able to achieve.”


Next up for Star will be site visits to the local oyster farms where the shellfish they will serve this summer are raised.


New York financier, James T. Dingman, has contracted Star Restaurant Group’s Kristopher Carr to oversee the operations of his Nassau based hospitality company. Kris is currently directing the reorganization of Traveller’s Rest and Island Smoke House restaurants as well as Harbor Terrace, a private event space. Traveller’s Rest has been a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike for more than 40 years, known for its authentic Bahamian cuisine and ocean views. With labor costs rising and an aging infrastructure, Dingman needed a fresh approach to his restaurants’ business models from someone who knew the lay of the land. Carr’s extensive background with Cain at The Cove, Paradise Island made him an excellent fit for the job. Kris is assisting Dingman’s Out West Ventures for the launch of Sandy’s Beach Club and Cantina both scheduled to open to the public in May before his return to the U.S. for The Walrus opening.


When Michael Sternberg and Stu Damon first met with Kellie Budd, they quickly realized she had the four key attributes that Star Restaurant Group needed from an attorney; an impressive legal background, an intimate understanding of the restaurant business, local industry leadership and perhaps most importantly a keen sense of humor. It didn’t take long for Kellie to be brought on as the company’s legal advisor.


Raised in Chicago, Kellie worked her way through college as a restaurant server and graduated with honors from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She went on to receive her JD from George Mason University. Kellie began her professional career as a law clerk with Doumar Martin PLLC while still in law school joining the firm as an attorney upon graduation. She specializes in corporate litigation, entity formation, commercial leases, partnership and compensation agreements and acquisitions and divestitures. Kellie also serves as President of the Northern Virginia Black Attorneys Association. “Kellie Budd has a full understanding of our business because she’s lived it, and that goes a very long way,” say Damon. “The work we do inside of our restaurants cannot be isolated from what we do outside, it’s all interwoven and Kellie gets that.”

STAR Signs LOI at National Harbor

Star Restaurant Group has signed a letter of intent with The Peterson Companies to lease a 6,700 sq. ft. restaurant space at National Harbor. Named The Walrus Oyster & Ale House after the Lewis Carroll poem The Walrus and The Carpenter, the restaurant will offer Eastern Shore influenced seafood and a vibrant raw bar under the guidance of James Beard award winner, Chef Bob Kinkead. The Walrus will serve 7 days a week and sports a 75-seat patio with spectacular water views. In season, a kiosk in the main esplanade will offer Lobster Rolls and Crab Salad Sandwiches for those wanting to grab a bite while strolling along the waterfront. Opening is projected for spring 2014. Read more about the National Harbor @

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