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2012 Restaurant Executive Summit
Laurence Kretchmer 2012 RESTES SpeakerLaurence Kretchmer
Bold Foods LLC

Behind the scenes at Chef Bobby Flay’s restaurants is the reserved yet forceful presence of Laurence Kretchmer, co-owner and managing partner of Bold Food. The two first collaborated when they swung open the doors of Mesa Grill (102 Fifth Avenue, 212-807-7400) in New York in 1991. Since then, the creative pair have opened sixteen other restaurants including Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas (3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-731-7731); Bar Americain (152 West 52nd Street, 212-265-9700); Bar Americain at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT (1 Mohegan Sun Blvd, 860-862-8000); Bobby Flay Steak at Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, (One Borgata Way, 866-MY-BORGATA); Mesa Grill at The Cove, Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas (1 Casino Drive West, 242-363-2000); and their latest venture, Bobby’s Burger Palace (BBP), with eleven restaurants located in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington DC. Two more restaurants will open before the end of this year and another handful next year.

Kretchmer came into the restaurant world by way of real estate. A graduate of the University of Michigan where he studied Political Science, Kretchmer’s business interests culminated in a graduate degree in Real Estate Development and Investment from New York University. After working for several years in Real Estate Development, he became involved in Mesa Grill as a financial partner, overseeing its development and construction. After getting a taste of the daily workings of the hospitality industry, he was so intrigued that he eventually became a co-owner. Today Kretchmer oversees all operational, financial and business matters as well as all new business development for all of the company’s restaurants.

Kretchmer’s natural enthusiasm for tequila, wines and cocktails, extends to the staff at all of his restaurants, where he oversees all of Bold Food’s beverage programs. He is also the author of The Mesa Grill Guide to Tequila, now translated in five languages.

His deep appreciation for spirits as well as his business and management acumen symbiotically work with Flay’s talents for creating ever-evolving and irresistible menus. The two enjoy a close friendship, and a complementary professional alliance in which their different skills and interests perfectly combine. Yet at the heart of it, Kretchmer puts it best, “we‘re both hard-core New Yorkers” who thrive on the energy of dining out, and work tirelessly to infuse their own restaurants with this vitality and excitement.