PRESIDENT / CEO
Hospitality expert & entrepreneur Andre Neyrey is the founder and leading advisor, developer and deft-risk mitigator at Blackwood Hospitality. After earning a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of New Orleans, Andre worked as an Area Director for the highly successful national chains Steak and Ale and Popeye's.
In 1992, Andre moved to Los Angeles and joined Johnnie's NY Pizzeria. His qualifications and expertise proved invaluable to the growth and success of the company, and within one year, he was promoted to Vice President of Operations. It's no wonder - he managed to successfully lower overall food costs, develop the company's infrastructure, implement controls to insure product consistency, and initiate employee training manuals. By January 1996, Andre was appointed President and CEO.
After overseeing the sale and transition to an investment group of Johnnie’s NY Pizzeria, and impassioned by his involvement with some of the hottest restaurant projects in LA like Jones Hollywood and El Dorado, Andre started his own restaurant consulting firm. One of Andre's many projects included the initial concept creation and design development of Rix Supper Club. He also consulted for Voda, a vodka and caviar bar, for all phases of kitchen layout, purchasing, and the hiring and training of all kitchen staff. Andre also demonstrated his creativity at O2, Woody Harrelson's oxygen bar on Sunset Boulevard, where he was responsible for all development phases, including design, construction and opening operations. Furthermore, from 2003 to 2006, Andre was the CEO of Jaxx, a three-story homage to 1970s rock'n’roll located on the Sunset Strip.
With the success of his original business model in California, Andre founded Blackwood Hospitality in New York City, where he now resides. As demonstrated by his extensive résumé, the hospitality industry is Andre's passion and it shows in his projects, the relationships he has with his clients and the vast amount of experience he shares with them. He knows first-hand the challenges and the joys of owning and operating a restaurant, and views his job as a partnership with his clients in their journey. In addition to what Andre brings to the table, the talented team he has built at Blackwood Hospitality possesses his same commitment and enthusiasm for this industry, and mostly importantly for their clients.
As Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Gregory is integral to the restaurant development process at Blackwood Hospitality. With a wide array of experience and areas of proficiency, he develops creative solutions that generate an impact and lasting impression for our clients.
Kevin’s career began at sixteen, working all positions in a local bakery. At eighteen, he leveraged his time there into a position working under Michelin-starred chef Chiharu Takei at Equus – The Castle on the Hudson, working full-time executing 13-course tasting menus and large-scale catering production. From the first day he put on an apron to his current position consulting with and opening restaurants alongside Andre, Kevin has always been passionate about the hospitality industry.
A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Kevin has developed an extensive knowledge of the restaurant business. From finance to floorplans, branding to baking, and conceptual ideation to opening day, Kevin has a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to launch a successful business in the New York City market.
While at Cornell, Kevin worked on various design consulting jobs as well as conducted research into 'design thinking' in a hospitality context with the goal of influencing the future of Cornell’s business education. Kevin has also worked for Abigail Kirsch, a top NYC catering company and Impulse Event Productions, an event planning and marketing activation specialist, giving him a perspective on varied aspects of the industry.
In addition to his foundation in the restaurant business, Kevin graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, with a focus on pastry and attained advanced certificates from Carpigiani Gelato University in Anzola D’Emilia, Italy.
Prior to joining Blackwood, Kevin led AllDay Industry, a hospitality consulting firm, as Creative Director where he worked with a multitude of restaurant clients in NYC as well as across the United States and abroad.
He has developed concepts and intriguing brands for everything from breweries and wine bars to fast-casual burger joints, Michelin-starred French restaurants, bakeries, pizzerias, and more. In addition, he has done work for hotels, retail brands, and wholesale products.
Kevin’s vast knowledge, attention to the aesthetics and details of restaurants, a range of design capabilities and an ability to create exciting concepts has led him to become an essential part of Blackwood’s team and is well-respected by our clients.
Reza Roohi leads a self-described “revolution against the commonplace and expected” in his role as a hospitality entrepreneur and operator; he pursues this same zeal with the opening of Tiger Beverly Hills with partner Luis DeCasas. Directing the operations, management and expansion of all Roohi Enterprises Management Company properties is just one element of this nightlife maverick’s duties. His passion and proficiency also extend to the crea
tion and execution of an overarching vision and experience for
From sourcing locations to potential acquisitions, from envisioning marketing and promotional campaigns to maintaining invaluable personal relationships with key clientele, Roohi’s tireless efforts drive his properties’ financial performance and cultural prominence. Strategic community involvement, sound financial practices, pioneering operations methods and an ability to integrate complex technology into the process are additional Roohi signatures.
Roohi brings champion-caliber experience in management, operations and partnership structuring to both Roohi Enterprises Management Co. and Monarchy Hospitality Group. Roohi started his hospitality career in Atlanta, where he propelled the success of several Atlanta nightspots; while managing the city’s famous Limelight nightclub for the notorious impresario Peter Gatien, Roohi generated $12 million in annual sales.
Roohi then served as Co-founder and President of SBE Restaurant Group, which he created when he met and partnered with Sam Nazarian. Roohi’s contributions to the growth and success of SBE paved the way for the group’s market dominance and acclaimed trend-setting status. He also directed pre-opening and management operations for some of the country’s most celebrated nightspots, including Beverly Hills Sanctuary (a partnership with celebrities
Pamela Anderson, Brett Michaels, and Costas Mandylor), Odessa in Laguna Beach (with former Lakers star Norm Nixon and Academy Award® winner Denzel Washington), and the acclaimed SBE brands Area, Privilege, Hyde Lounge and Katsuya Brentwood, a $6 million concept he created by joining the forces of world renowned architect and designer Philippe Starch and Zagat-leading executive chef Katsuya Uechi. On Roohi’s watch, SBE properties individually
boasted annual sales ranging from $4 million to $20 million.
In 2007, Roohi partnered with Vinny Laresca and Chuck Pacheco to open Villa Lounge in West Hollywood with a stellar client list that boasts the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Kevin Connelly, Mark Wahlberg, Prince and Mick Jagger. It continues its appeal to this day.
Under Monarchy Hospitality Group, Roohi has partnered with Luis DeCasas to open Tiger, a “post-Asian”restaurant that takes contemporary Japanese cuisine to the next level. With plans to grow internationally, Roohi continually explores new frontiers and varieties of alternative venues. Encompassing mainstream trends, his brand of experience will be something anyone in almost every major destination city will encounter.
Prior to commencing his stellar career in the hospitality industry,
Roohi ranked as one of the top professional fighters in the world, joining the Professional Karate Association upon his arrival in the United States in 1977. Roohi was rated tenth in the world. He went onto an undefeated record of 22-0 over a seven-year, undefeated professional boxing career, shifting seamlessly between the light-middleweight to light-heavyweight division over fourteen fights.
Stephan Fernandez is a native Californian with almost 20 years of restaurant and hotel experience. He started his career at Johnnie's NY Pizzeria, where he was the Area Manager for the 10-unit chain in Los Angeles. He then worked for the SBE hot spots group as an Operations Manager for several restaurants, including Yu Restaurant and HydeLounge Stephan was later the Food and Beverage Opening Manager at world renowned Hotel Casa Del Mar, and while under his supervision, the hotel was accredited as "one of the leading hotels in the world" during the first year of operation. Over the years and as part of his duties, Stephan has developed great hiring skills. He appointed front and back of house staff in all disciplines including culinary positions, directors of catering and sales, financial controllers, human resources managers and bartenders. He has also developed training and operations manuals for various venues. Member of the California Restaurant Association, Stephan currently resides in Los Angeles and is the Operations Director for Villa Lounge, where once again, his strongest asset of VIP customer relation is on display with celebrities and A-listers.
Blackwood Hospitality has numerous experienced consultants we assign to projects depending on style, cuisine, client needs and expertise. Each project has a full team dedicated from concept to opening.
In addition we have a database of full time/part time employees for our clients to hire for their locations. We can also arrange and manage the interview process, hiring and training.
FRONT OF HOUSE STAFF
Managers, Servers, Runners, Hosts, etc.
BACK OF HOUSE STAFF
Chefs, Sous Chefs, Line Cooks, Pastry Chefs, Expeditors, Dishwashers etc.
Mixologists, Bartenders, Bar Backs, Sommeliers, etc.
WHO WE ARE
Blackwood Hospitality is a full-service consulting and advisory firm providing innovative and strategic counsel to the hospitality industry at large in NYC.
Specializing in restaurant and hotel openings along with turnarounds for struggling or financially distressed operations, our expertise is wide ranging and includes concept development, food and beverage strategies, menu development, real estate brokerage, restaurant design and construction, operational procedures, marketing, and staff training.
WHAT WE DO
With over 60 years of collective experience, we leverage our resources and experience to help our clients create value and mitigate risk while recognizing each individual business’ unique perspective and hospitality experience they want to create.
Our exceptional team of seasoned restaurant professionals, former owners, restaurant brokers, executive chefs, bar managers, general managers, marketing experts, and graphic designers have decades of experience in their respective fields, allowing them to bring fresh, informed ideas to our clients’ tables and help bring to life or revive sustainable brands that drive bottom line performance.
HOW WE WORK
If it's our client's first venture, we act as a shepherd, guiding them through the terrain of opening their first restaurant. If a client faces a distressed situation, we offer objective analysis, feedback, and solutions concerning the strengths and weaknesses of front and back of house operations, menu, and marketing strategy.
At Blackwood Hospitality, we have an unwavering commitment to mastering the dynamics of the hospitality industry and sharing that holistic wisdom with our clients. Together, we execute projects that express an authentic viewpoint that is efficiency-conscious and profit-maximizing.
Start-up and roll-out
& CREATIVE SERVICES
Brand & concept development
Business plan development
Menu design & development
Exterior signage design
Marketing collateral & signage
Labor & food cost analysis
Rebranding of existing concept
Staff retraining & recruiting
Product mix - menu analysis
Executive chef & mixologist consults
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION SERVICES
Project management and oversight
Interior and exterior design
Architect selection and oversight
General contractor oversight
Liaison for permits & licenses
POS & back office selection
Staff recruiting & training
Bar & mixology service systems
Cash handling procedures
Delivery & catering operating systems
Manuals, policies, procedures, forms & checklists
Food safety audits & system development
REAL ESTATE SERVICES
Mergers & acquisitions
FUNDING & FINANCIAL SERVICES
Fundraising and angel investors
Food & beverage product development
Delivery & catering menu development
Food & beverage sourcing and costing
Kitchen design & layout
Kitchen equipment selection
Introduction to US marketplace
(for international brands)
Franchising and licensing