Every year, Eater celebrates the best in new dining — a look at the top chefs, restaurants, and design that have opened in the last 12 months and made a big impression on the city. It’s the tenth annual edition of the Eater Awards, happening in 24 cities around the world.

This past year represented one of the most exciting years in recent memory, from the large scale projects in Downtown’s ROW development like Manufactory to the revival of West Hollywood’s iconic Formosa Cafe. Restaurants in every neighborhood from Santa Monica’s slate of contenders like Birdie G’s, Pasjoli, and Fia to Highland Park’s Otoño and Hippo reflected the unique makeup of LA’s diverse landscape. Take a look at the winners below, and why they were such vital additions to the LA dining scene in 2019. Read more…

AS FEATURED ON FRANCHISE TIMES Uno Pizzeria Pins Expansion on New Hub-and-Spoke Model

When Jim Ilaria joined Uno Pizzeria and Grill in November 2018 the management team was working on a 6,500-square-foot prototype restaurant with the intention of using it to bring the brand into new markets. “And I said that’s not going to work, not where the industry is going, it’s too big,” recalled Ilaria when I sat down with him last week at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. Read more…



Newly created company will design, build and manage low-impact tented camps offering transformative, nature-based wellness and adventure experiences, either as extensions of existing resorts or stand-alone lodges

Nomadic Resorts has teamed up with US-based The Passionality Group who will serve as strategic growth partners identifying suitable owners and developers across the globe

(LOS ANGELES, CA) October 16, 2019 – Today at the Independent Lodging Congress held in downtown Los Angeles, California, Nomadic Resorts announced the launch of Nomadic Escapes, a tented lodge management company creating a new breed of sustainable tented camps offering transformative, nature-based wellness and adventure experiences.

Nomadic Escapes will design, build and manage low-impact tented lodges on behalf of its owners in areas of outstanding natural beauty where adventure-loving guests can enjoy high-quality outdoor sports activities, savor healthy, local cuisine and stay in luxury pods, treehouses and tents.

On a deeper level, the brand’s mission is to create lodges that have a positive impact on the social, cultural and environmental elements of the destinations in which they operate. On one hand, the camps are committed to providing dignified employment to members of the communities where they operate; on the other hand, 5% of the camp’s profits will be used for land regeneration projects in collaboration with Eco-systems Restoration Camps who are setting up volunteer reforestation projects throughout the world.

The theme of regeneration and community is fundamental to the Nomadic Escapes ethos – the goal is to create immersive wellness experiences where guests and lodge staff can reconnect with nature and themselves.

Louis Thompson, CEO of Nomadic Resorts and founder of Nomadic Escapes, said,  “Having worked with leading luxury hospitality groups on some of the most prestigious experiential resorts and lodges in the world, we have been waiting for the right moment to launch Nomadic Escapes. In 2019 the demand for authentic experiences that offer a combination of extraordinary adventure, wellness, culinary excellence and luxurious accommodations, and the success of our design projects, have convinced us that the industry is ripe for a radically different, responsible hospitality brand that enthusiastically embraces local communities and eco-systems.

Our aim now is to identify developers and existing hotel operators with access to incredible locations who understand this market shift and want to participate in the alternative experiential travel opportunity. We believe there are fantastic opportunities to develop satellite experiences for existing resorts, as well as stand-alone tented lodges focused on specific adventure sports and wellness experiences, off the beaten track.”

Nomadic Resorts partnered up with US-based The Passionality Group who will serve as strategic growth partners identifying suitable owners and developers across the globe. Regarding the collaboration with The Passionality Group he added:

“Our friends at Passionality bring on board their genuine passion for the experiential lodging category, as well as significant relevant expertise and an impressive and engaged network that compliments the skills of our existing team. There is great synergy between both cultures and teams, and I am very confident that we now have the vision, resources and network to develop a unique brand that will deliver exceptional guest experiences in beautiful, sustainably-designed environments, yet respect the human and biotic communities where they operate.”

Keith Pierce, Managing Partner of The Passionality Group, said, “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering up with Louis and his stellar team at Nomadic Resorts to grow Nomadic Escapes in a thoughtful and sustainable way. We are very passionate about the experiential travel & lodging space and believe the opportunity for growth is significant. We are humbled and grateful to take part in this exciting journey and are already in active discussions with several interested ownership groups.”

About Nomadic Resorts
Nomadic Resorts is an interdisciplinary design & project development company servicing the hospitality industry since 2011 with offices in the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and South Africa. Using a holistic approach, Nomadic Resorts creates sustainable resort and residential projects that reflect a true sense of place and fit organically into their natural surroundings as we believe that designs should serve as a bridge to connect nature, culture and people. For more information, visit or contact Louis Thompson, CEO, at or +230 5931 0955

About The Passionality Group

Founded in 2016, The Passionality Group is a strategic growth partner to iconic and emerging hospitality brands who share a genuine passion for authenticity and innovation while exhibiting meaningful potential for growth. For more information, visit or contact Keith Pierce, Managing Partner, at or +1-516-380-7183.

Media Inquiries
Louis Thompson, CEO
C: +(230) 5931 0955
Skype: louis.thompson

Development Inquiries
Keith Pierce, Managing Partner
The Passionality Group
C: (516) 380-7183

AS FEATURED ON LA EATER Inside the colorful, fascinating V DTLA

There may not be a more vibrant restaurant to open in 2019 than V DTLA, the self-styled social dining hub arriving Friday in Downtown. The “multi-sensory” dining experience is a bright and colorful mishmash of shapes and tones and flavors, all held together under one gorgeous ceiling. Read more…

These Boutique Hostels Will Make You Want to Ditch Hotels

Hostel Fish, Denver
With an eye for design and attention to even the smallest details, Hostel Fish in downtown Denver, Colorado, offers some of the swankiest dorm accommodations you’ll find. Its private rooms are especially full of character. Every bed has easy access to charging stations, and guests can go on hostel-hosted pub crawls. Read more…

The Leading Hospitality News Authority Since 1875

Passionality Group targets hostels, bars, small hotels
A benchmark of a great hotelier very often correlates directly to his or her passion for the industry. So it comes as no surprise when three of lodging’s well-known veterans—including former competitors—join together to advance a new concept and company, that they would draw on the very thing that drives them. Read more…



Hostel Fish is founding member property –
– Additional projects under development in emerging neighborhoods of Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami –

(BROOKLYN, NY) October 19, 2018 – Today at the Independent Lodging Congress held here in Brooklyn, NY, The Passionality Group announced the launch of The Phileas Club, a collection of independent lodging experiences in emerging neighborhoods and destinations, each truthful to their own history and environment.

The Phileas Club

The collection, available to travelers early next year, is inspired by Jules Verne’s 1873 Around the World in 80 Days novel, which recounts the journey undertaken by Phileas Fogg and his valet Passepartout. The Phileas Club is geared towards inspired travelers seeking to connect and socialize with locals and other like-minded guests, while discovering emerging neighborhoods and destinations around the world.

Unlike other lodging collections, unexpected surprises and delights will mark the difference as every Phileas Club location will celebrate its uniqueness in different ways. Guests will be treated to discoveries both on-property and around the neighborhood, while property teams will be fully empowered to be themselves and charm guests by stimulating interest-based interactions between locals and guests.

The Phileas Club and its member locations invite explorers to discover local cultural and culinary treasures; feature in-the-know local events organized by the Club’s experience curator; include a neighborhood bar; offer premium coffee and a complimentary book exchange; and provide a range of lodging options, from inspired private accommodations to premium bunks in shared rooms.

As part of its social and environmental responsibility, The Phileas Club expects to donate part of its direct booking proceeds to the charity of each guest’s choice. In addition, each Phileas Club will conduct outreach in the local community in its own unique way.

The Passepartout Pass, The Phileas Club’s recognition program, will invite members to a community of other like-hearted explorers wishing to discover authentically hyper-local experiences based on members’ requests and the local curator’s weekly picks. Members may enjoy complimentary upgrades, complimentary breakfast, preferred access to Passepartout events and special perks on local explorations and services, subject to availability at each location.

Hostel Fish in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood is The Phileas Club’s founding member location and will re-launch mid-to-late next year. Hostel Fish features a full-service community bar, communal kitchen and 64 beds spread between private and shared accommodations. To date, Hostel Fish has received numerous mentions and accolades including Thrillist’ Best American Hostels and The Grand Hostel’ Top Luxury Hostels. Additional projects are already under development in emerging neighborhoods across Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami.

Chad Fish, founder of Hostel Fish, said: “Three years after opening Hostel Fish, we were eager to explore additional locations beyond Denver. When we met Passionality and learned about their team, deep industry expertise and strong values, and later learned about The Phileas Club and its significant growth potential, we knew immediately that it was the right opportunity for us to kick-off this exciting journey together.”

To help ensure an authentic neighborhood experience, Passionality is exploring a strategic alliance with 213 Hospitality, an acclaimed hospitality group with over 25 neighborhood bar and brewpub establishments across Los Angeles, San Diego, Austin and soon Denver. Upon the execution of the alliance, 213 Hospitality would be responsible for bar and brewpub operations of select future locations.

In addition, Passionality will also deploy its other portfolio brands at Phileas Club locations where appropriate, including Vagabond Coffee, Nighthawk Breakfast Bar and 18I89 Stockholm.

Passionality is actively seeking suitable locations with character in emerging neighborhoods within walking distance of appealing cultural, culinary and nightlife options. Long-term leases and management agreements are preferred, and initial target locations include Miami; Los Angeles; Chicago; New Orleans; Portland; San Francisco; Washington, DC; Austin; Nashville; Savannah; New York; and San Diego.

Daniel del Olmo, founding partner of The Passionality Group and creator of The Phileas Club, said, “In a 2017 Eventbrite research report, 78% of Millennials would choose to spend on a desirable experience over buying something desirable. We clearly witnessed this trend when we invested in PodShare early last year and uncovered a great opportunity to organize this emerging segment of independent lodging experiences. As owners ourselves, and unlike other brand collection business models, we firmly believe that when interests are aligned with other owners, partnerships are more equitable and mutually beneficial. Therefore, we are currently exploring avenues to allow our founding properties to become co-owners of the brand and are in discussions with several prospective members while continuing to be on the lookout for suitable founding locations.”

In addition to providing property owners an opportunity to actively participate in the growth of The Phileas Club, property owners will receive brand support in all relevant disciplines including revenue management, sales and marketing, e-distribution, operations, guest experience, design and construction, site selection and development.

The Phileas Club
Hostel Fish

About The Passionality Group

The Passionality Group advises and invests in company founders who share its passion for hospitality brands that exude authenticity, drive innovation and exhibit meaningful potential for growth. With over 200 years of hospitality experience, the team is unequaled in expertise and unrivaled in passion for hospitality. The group’s primary activities are concentrated in three areas: Lifestyle food and beverage, experiential travel and lodging, and strategic alliances. To date, The Passionality Group portfolio of investments consists of various emerging concepts including Wafels & Dinges, Vagabond Coffee, 18I89 Stockholm, Nighthawk Breakfast Bar, PodShare, Hostel Fish and For more information, please visit or contact Keith Pierce, Managing Partner, at or 1-516-380-7183.


Media Contact:
Keith Pierce
Managing Partner
The Passionality Group
C: (516) 380-7183

The Passionality Groups and 213 Hospitality sign strategic alliance

July 2, 2018. Los Angeles, California – The Passionality Group has entered into a strategic partnership with 213 Hospitality to jointly explore hospitality projects, leveraging each other’s relevant expertise and network.

The acclaimed hospitality group, helmed by celebrated innovator Cedd Moses, has both established and elevated hospitality through its diverse collection of over twenty venues, connecting their communities through, very simply, the utmost respect for its staff and customers. Under Moses’ vision, 213 Hospitality has expanded beyond its start in Los Angeles to key markets in California and Texas with an array of forthcoming projects to debut across the country. The group has brought and will continue to bring their acclaimed drink program and service philosophy to each brand extension, while still reflecting the unique style and culture of their respective cities.

213 Hospitality’s properties include: 4100 Bar, Arts District Brewing Company, Bar Clacson, Bar Jackalope, Bar Three Piece, Broadway Bar, Caña Rum Bar, Casey’s Irish Pub, Cole’s French Dip, Golden Gopher, Half Step, Las Perlas, Seven Grand, The Slipper Clutch, The Varnish, Tony’s Saloon, and three projects in partnership with Proprietors LLC: Honeycut, The Normandie Club, and The Walker Inn.

To learn more about 213 Hospitality, click here.

The Passionality Group prepares to franchise Wafels & Dinges globally

August 2, 2018. New York City, New York – The Passionality Group recently unveiled plans to make Wafels & Dinges franchises available in select markets across the world. Later this year, eligible franchise partners will be able to sign up for multi-unit territories which will be available for development in a variety of formats, including from small-format kiosks to free standing flagship units. Wafels & Dinges is one of New York’s most iconic indulgent concepts, featuring fresh authentic Belgian liege Wafels that may be topped with a variety of irresistible toppings, known as Dinges. To learn more about Wafels & Dinges, click here.

The Passionality Group acquires stake in Hostel Fish, Denver

August 24, 2018. Denver, Colorado – The Passionality Group has finalized a minority investment and entered into a multi-faceted partnership with Hostel Fish and its founder, Chad Fish to enhance its existing location and jointly develop future properties. Located in one of America’s most progressive cities, Hostel Fish aims to provide a premium hostel experience and create the most comfortable, vibrant environment for bad-ass travelers to gather together and use as a base camp for exploring, a watering hole for meeting new friends and an affordable way to stay in the heart of Denver’s RiNo district. To learn more about Hostel Fish, click here.