Denihan Hospitality Group Appoints Sims Foster as Vice President, Restaurants and Bars

  • Denihan Hospitality Group
  • 12.23.10
New York restaurateur and club manager, Sims Foster, has been appointed vice president of restaurants and bars for Denihan Hospitality Group., according to Brad Wilson, chief operating officer.

In this newly created role, Foster will focus on the concept, development and management of celebrity-chef driven restaurants and bars, as well as overseeing the catering, room service and food and beverage operations for all of Denihan’s hotel brands and properties, including Affinia Hotels, The Surrey, The James, The Benjamin and the Royal Palm.
Foster has served as a consultant with Denihan since August 2008, most recently working in tandem with Celebrity Chef Geoffrey Zakarian on the conceptualization and October 2010 opening of The National, Midtown Manhattan’s popular, contemporary American grand cafe and bar located at The Benjamin Hotel, and Jimmy, the newly-opened rooftop bar at The James New York, Soho. 

Over the past two years, Foster has also overseen the operations of other Denihan projects, including Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s C-House at Affinia Chicago, and the opening of Chef Art Smith’s Art & Soul at the Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia hotel, in Washington, D.C. 

“Sims is a brilliant restaurateur, and his expertise, intuition and innovative thinking have brought the success of our restaurant and bar operations to a new level,” said Brad Wilson, chief operating office at Denihan Hospitality Group.  “His entrepreneurial spirit fits well within Denihan’s model of working with brand chefs to operate its restaurants and bars with an entirely independent feel and philosophy.” 

Similarly, Foster’s expertise has not evolved through a traditional hotel food & beverage career path.  With a Bachelor of Arts degree in music performance, Foster moved to Brooklyn in 2000 hoping to pursue his passion as an accomplished jazz trumpet performer.  To make ends meet, he took a job at Lotus, the high-profile club and restaurant in Manhattan’s Meatpacking district, doing painting and other odd jobs, and his talents were soon noticed by the club’s ownership.  Fast-forward to 2003, Foster was named general manager of Lotus.

Foster has also been the owner/operator of several restaurants in New York’s Catskills region, including Peez Leweez, Resort and The Lazy Beagle.   Immediately prior to working with Denihan, he was director of operations at Manhattan’s three-star, one Michelin star restaurant Country, another Geoffrey Zakarian creation. 

“I am looking forward to developing a dynamic and industry-leading food and beverage team at Denihan and building the best hotel restaurant and bar division in the country,” said Foster. 

Currently on the radar for early 2011:  The opening of David Burke Kitchen at The James New York in Soho in February; and next, a new bar and restaurant concept at the Royal Palm in Miami’s South Beach, the latest addition to Denihan’s portfolio of boutique lifestyle hotels, which is slated to undergo a $50 million renovation in 2011 and 2012.

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