This is an excerpt from Restaurant Wine, issues #175-177 (2017-2018).

Joshua Nadel, MS, Beverage Director, NoHo Hospitality Group, New York City

Company outlets, locations, contracts:

11 units: 8 in New York City and Brooklyn; 2 in Baltimore, 1 in Miami. “5 of these are in hotels where we run the entire F&B program, from the three meal period restaurant to in-room dining, banquets, pools, rooftops, etc. Most venues fall under the category which we describe as ‘chef driven, two star’ establishments”.

Wine’s role in the company:

“Wine is very important to us, but it does not take ‘top billing.’ We have Sommeliers on the floor of every restaurant with the exception of Bar Primi (our most casual restaurant), and we sell a TON of wine. Wine also plays large in the visual experience of our restaurants. That being said, we are a chef-and-food-first hospitality company, and the breadth of wine selections and service follows the individual menu concept and check average. We don’t have any of those places where $20 Pizza and rustic interior are juxtaposed against verticals of Grand Cru Burgundy, for example. Our programs are more of a cohesive message alongside our menus.”

Responsibilities as Beverage Director:

“I write all the opening beverage programs, including wine, spirits, cocktails, tea, coffee, water, soda, dairy, in-room dining, banquets—the whole shmear. I design and build the bars, choose bar wares and bar tools, glassware, glass racks, dish pits. I work full time on the floor during all openings for 60-90 days, including pre-opening training. I recruit management and line level employees. I am responsible for financial performance of all outlets, P&L’s, working with CFO and finance, etc.”

“When not involved in an opening, I work service between three-four nights a week and, if necessary, five nights. I teach a 10-week Advanced Level Wine & Spirit College twice a year to between 15-20 students (curriculum and materials fall somewhere between Certified & Advanced levels of the Court of Master Sommeliers programs).

“As to wine program specifics: I choose and approve every wine by the glass and core list item, but individual sommeliers and beverage managers have creative freedom to oversee most bottle listings and to propose by the glass and core list items. Our programs are very collaborative.”

This is an excerpt from Restaurant Wine, issues #175-177 (2017-2018).

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Restaurant Wine is published by Ronn Wiegand, one of four people in the world to hold the titles of Master of Wine and Master Sommelier.