WE CREATE AMAZING RESTAURANT EXPERIENCES

  • CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT
  • DESIGN
  • FINANCE & ACCOUNTING
  • OPERATIONS
  • MARKETING & BRANDING
  • TRAINING

WE CREATE AMAZING RESTAURANT EXPERIENCES

  • CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT
  • DESIGN
  • FINANCE & ACCOUNTING
  • OPERATIONS
  • MARKETING & BRANDING
  • TRAINING


Alexandria Restaurant Partners is a team of industry veterans with over 100 years of combined restaurant experience.

We are a digital design agency that gets excited about unique ideas and the passionate people behind them.

Alexandria Restaurant Partners is a team of industry veterans with over 100 years of combined restaurant experience.

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About Us

We own, operate, develop, manage and consult for restaurants in Northern Virginia, Georgia, Florida,  and South Carolina. Each member of our team brings a proven track record of success and industry knowledge that makes ARP a leader in concept development, culinary innovation, and efficient operations. Our services are full scope including:

Our full scope of services include:

  • full concept development
  • design – architectural, interior design, and wayfinding
  • finance and accounting, back office
  • full-service operations
  • marketing and branding
  • training and human resources

We are a growing restaurant company with seven restaurants under our control  today, with five in our ownership, and two operated under management agreements.  This will grow to 10 stores by the end of 2016, and we plan to open two more restaurant concepts per year until we are ready to expand more rapidly.

We are always seeking great, entrepreneurial-minded individuals to join our team. Now is an ideal time to get in on the ground floor of a company that will be growing for years to come!

Our Team

David Clapp
Partner, Alexandria Restaurant Partners

David Clapp is a founding partner of Alexandria Restaurant Partners (ARP), a team of industry veterans with over 100 years of combined restaurant experience that own, operate, develop, manage and consult for restaurants in Virginia, Georgia, and Florida. His primary focus for ARP is on operational strategy, finance and growth.

Clapp, a native of Fort Mill, South Carolina, began his restaurant career in high school and then continued it at Trump’s restaurant in Athens, GA while attending the University of Georgia. He earned a BFCS degree in Hospitality Management from UGA in 1993, and then in 1993, he accepted a managerial position with Café Tu Tu Tango Restaurant group, which was based out of Miami, Florida. With this dynamic company, he worked his way up through the ranks to become the vice president of operations in 1996, helping to grow the brand to six restaurants with $20 million in annual sales.

In 2003, Clapp left Café Tu Tu Tango, to create and open Dantanna’s Surf, Turf & Turf in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood. Dantanna’s quickly became known for its from-scratch cooking, using only the highest quality ingredients, in a vibrant environment that celebrates the passion and excitement of sports. Then three years later, in 2006, he joined forces with long-time friend and colleague Dave Nicholas to create Bottom Line Hospitality (BLH), a restaurant management company focused on operations and development. BLH owned or operated multiple restaurants in Florida, including two Chispa restaurants, three Bruschetta restaurants, and Café Tu Tu Tango.

Following that success, Clapp turned his focus back to Atlanta, launching Dantanna’s Downtown in 2009, at CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. That same year, he led a team to acquire the Café Tu Tu Tango brand and its restaurant in Orlando, Florida. The restaurant offers eclectic tastes from around the world sourced locally, in tandem with supporting local artists who work among the diners and interact with them in a uniquely collaborative creative process. The artists’ works are both displayed and for sale in the restaurant.

Next Clapp developed and opened Millstone Pizza + Taphouse in Rock Hill, South Carolina in 2013, with a friend from his high school days. Inspired by their “Great Pizza Tour of 2012” they pulled their most memorable elements from their favorite New York and Chicago pizza bars, combining them to create the ultimate pizza bar and restaurant, featuring wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas and an extensive, ever rotating, craft beer collection.

In 2013, Nicholas and Clapps’ company, BLH, began working with the owners of Virtue Feed & Grain in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, to turn around the fledgling concept. In two years, BLH has more than doubled Virtue’s sales while turning it into an iconic Old Town restaurant. Realizing the tremendous potential in Northern Virginia, Clapp and Nicholas set out to grow in the area. In 2014, they rolled BLH into a new company, Alexandria Restaurant Partners and began a focused expansion in Alexandria and the surrounding markets. Clapp also grew his Atlanta brand in the same year, with Dantanna’s Tavern, in Sandy Spring, Georgia. Named after Clapp’s two children, Dan + Anna, Dantanna’s remains an owner operated, independent business with over 120 employees.

Currently restaurants in the ARP collection include The Majestic Café and Virtue Feed & Grain in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia; Dantanna’s Surf, Turf & Turf and Dantanna’s Downtown in Atlanta, Georgia; Dantanna’s Tavern in Sandy Spring, Georgia; Café Tu Tu Tango in Orlando, Florida; Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap opening at Yates Corner in the Rosemount area of Alexandria, Virginia in September 2015; and Palette 22 due to open in the Village of Shirlington, Virginia in late 2015.

 

Dave Nicholas
Partner, Alexandria Restaurant Partners

Dave Nicholas is a founding partner of Alexandria Restaurant Partners (ARP), a team of industry veterans with over 100 years of combined restaurant experience that own, operate, develop, manage and consult for restaurants in Virginia, Georgia, and Florida. His primary focus for ARP is operations, recruitment, talent and concept development.

Nicholas, a native of Rochester, New York, began his restaurant career when he moved to South Florida in 1980, and landed his first bartending job. Bitten by hospitality bug, Nicholas honed his skills by working his way through a variety of restaurant roles that grounded him in the business while fueling his entrepreneurial spirit. His love of the art of crafting cocktails inspired him to create training schools for aspiring mixologists that made motivated candidates road ready upon graduation. From these early days Nicholas’ focus has been on creating, operating and owning restaurants with a unique twist.

In 1992, Nicholas was appointed general manager of the original Café Tu Tu Tango in Coconut Grove, Florida. He went on to spend 5 years as the Regional Manager/Director of New Project Development for Cafe Tu Tu Tango Restaurant Group based in Miami. Next in 2000, he took on the role of director of operations for Ghirardelli Chocolate Company’s Restaurant and Retail Division, supervising all aspects of this $30 million division, which kept him on the road from coast to coast during his tenure. Then in 2005, Nicholas ventured into restaurant ownership with Himmarshee Bar & Grill, a critically acclaimed establishment in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, which he owned until 2012.

In 2006, Nicholas joined forces with long-time friend and colleague David Clapp to create Bottom Line Hospitality (BLH), a restaurant management company focused on operations and development. BLH owned or operated multiple restaurants in Florida, including two Chispa restaurants, and three Bruschetta restaurants.

Three years later, Nicholas and Clapp led the purchase of the Cafe Tu Tu Tango brand (and Orlando restaurant) and began its turnaround, with plans to grow the concept in the future. Café Tu Tu Tango offers eclectic tastes from around the world sourced locally, in tandem with supporting local artists who work among the diners and interact with them in a uniquely collaborative creative process. The artists’ works are both displayed and for sale in the restaurant. Since 2009, Nicholas has presided over all aspects of Café Tu Tu Tango, Orlando, Florida, as well as the development of the on-site management team.

In 2013, Nicholas and Clapps’ company, BLH, began working with the owners of Virtue Feed & Grain in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, a modern American tavern, in a historic setting, to turn around the fledgling concept. Nicholas moved to Alexandria to lead the effort. Within two years, the dynamic duo more than doubled Virtue’s sales while turning it into an iconic Old Town restaurant. Realizing the tremendous potential in Northern Virginia, Nicholas and Clapp set out to grow their business in the area. In 2014, they rolled BLH into a new company, Alexandria Restaurant Partners, LLC (ARP) and began a focused expansion in Alexandria and the surrounding markets.

Restaurants in the ARP collection include – The Majestic Cafe and Virtue Feed & Grain in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia; Dantanna’s Surf, Turf & Turf and Dantanna’s Downtown in Atlanta, Georgia; Dantanna’s Tavern in Sandy Spring, Georgia; Café Tu Tu Tango in Orlando, Florida; Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap opening at Yates Corner in the Rosemount area of Alexandria, Virginia in September 2015; and Palette 22 due to open in the Village of Shirlington, Virginia in late 2015.

Graham Duncan
Corporate Executive Chef, Alexandria Restaurant Partners

Graham Duncan brings a wealth of culinary and restaurant management experience to his role as corporate executive chef at Alexandria Restaurant Partners (ARP). He was tapped for this new position in April of 2015, with his main focus on the conception and development of the menus for all ARP restaurants in Florida, Georgia and Virginia.

Since joining ARP, Duncan has kept busy updating the ARP concepts including The Majestic Café and Virtue Feed & Grain in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, while working on expanding the offerings at Café TuTu Tango in Orlando, Florida. Duncan is currently engaged with developing ARP’s newest small plates concept, Palette 22, anticipated to open in November, with a focus on what he likes to call “cutting edge and authentic global street food”.

 

Originally from South Florida, Graham pursued his passion for the kitchen by attending Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach, earning his Culinary Arts degree in 1990. Graduating in the top five percent in his class, he immediately accepted the position of junior sous chef at the West Palm Beach bistro, Café des Artistes.

Subsequently Duncan held positions of increasing responsibility in Florida and Long Island, New York exploring and refining his techniques with different cuisines. He prepared French cuisine and pastry under Chef John Varnom at Au Bar/Au Sea in Palm Beach and Sag Harbor; Italian-Mediterranean under Chef Emile Labrousse in Fort Lauderdale at Casa Vecchia, and country French and Italian fare under Chef Ulrich Koepf at Bistro Mezzaluna, also in Fort Lauderdale.

In 1994, Duncan moved to Atlanta and assumed the position of executive sous chef at the Pacific Rim fusion restaurant, Azalea. He got his first taste of the local food movement in Atlanta as the top toque of City Grill, a position he held from 1999-2004. At this AAA 5-diamond rated fine dining restaurant, he worked with Georgia Grown Organic Farm Co-Op farmers, holding recognition dinners at the restaurant for local farmers, along with being one of the main market chefs at The Morningside Farmers Market. Duncan was also only the second chef in the region to exclusively feature Sweet Grass Dairy cheeses at City Grill.

During his time in Atlanta, he took over the kitchen at Fifth Group Restaurants’ regional Mexican concept, SALA-Sabor de Mexico in 2004, where he mastered the modern regional foods of Mexico with a concentration on the cuisines of Vera Cruz and Oaxaca.

Next, Duncan served as the executive chef for the Lettuce Entertain You concept, Wildfire Steaks, Chops & Seafood, from 2006 to 2008. Always looking to expand his knowledge, Duncan earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality & Restaurant Management from the New England Culinary Institute in 2006.

In 2008, Duncan moved to the metro Washington, D.C. area to serve as opening executive chef for Founding Farmer’s flagship location, which launched to great acclaim and recognition, including being named, in 2009, as Top 50 Best New Restaurant by Travel + Leisure and among the 100 Best Restaurants, by Washingtonian. While there, Duncan was instrumental in sourcing all produce, dairy, and meat from local farmers in Virginia and Maryland.

Duncan went on to serve as executive chef at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant in Tysons Corner, Virginia, in 2009, before launching his own enterprise, Chefxpertise, in 2010, with a focus on creating culinary concepts, restaurant strategy, design, product innovations and culinary training for independent restaurant clients.

Duncan attributes his culinary forte, in part, to three key chefs’ influence in his career: Chef Ulrich Koepf taught him how to work concisely, 80 hours a week in a hot kitchen and “have fun doing it!” Chef Emile Labrousse showed him that the pot washer is just as important as the owner and customer, deserving the same respect. Chef John Varnom taught him to cook “down and dirty” for which he is eternally grateful.

Duncan currently lives in Burke, Virginia with his wife Maia, two daughters Annika and Kenna, and a little furry terror named Sophie. When not in the kitchen he can be found playing Frisbee golf, electric bass, or grilling lake trout on the deck.

Sheena Rooke
Executive General Manager, Alexandria Restaurant Partners

Sheena Rooke is the executive general manager for Alexandria Restaurant Partners (ARP). Her primary focus for ARP is recruitment, hiring, staff training, restaurant development, benefits administration, budgeting, inventories, and cost controls.

Rooke, a native of San Jose, California, attended California State University, Long Beach, receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication, in 1994. She is proud to have been chosen as the Outstanding Graduate in her department, as well as serving as president of the Student Speech Communication Association, voted the Organization of the Year by CSULB.

In 1994, Rooke began her restaurant management career in Long Beach, California, working in a variety of front-of- house roles with training in every position and increasing levels of responsibility. From 1999 to 2006, she worked at Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, starting as a general manager in San Francisco, California. Her GM assignments included West Palm Beach and Orlando, Florida, before she returned to headquarters in San Leandro, California as operations planner. In this role, she was responsible for creating budgets, capital expenditures, recipe development and point of sale upgrades for the $30 million restaurant and retail division. It was here she met ARP Partner Dave Nicholas, then director of operations for the division.

Then in 2006, Nicholas tapped Rooke to be general manager of Himmarshee Bar & Grille, a critically acclaimed restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, which he owned and operated.. Rooke was next appointed general manager for Chevy’s Fresh Mex in Pleasant Hill, California in 2009. During her four -year tenure, she was recognized by being awarded General Manager of the Quarter for Sales, Profitability and Secret Shopper scores. In 2013, ARP brought her in to serve as general manager of Virtue Feed & Grain, in Alexandria, Virginia, as part of their turnaround team . With this success, ARP asked her to take over the general manager responsibilities for The Majestic Cafe.

Restaurants in the ARP collection include – The Majestic Cafe and Virtue Feed & Grain in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia; Dantanna’s Surf, Turf & Turf and Dantanna’s Downtown in Atlanta, Georgia; Dantanna’s Tavern in Sandy Spring, Georgia; Café Tu Tu Tango in Orlando, Florida; Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap opening at Yates Corner in the Rosemount area of Alexandria, Virginia in September 2015; and Palette 22 due to open in the Village of Shirlington, Virginia in late 2015.

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