Best Business Lunch Finalist
Matthew Carlin, President, Metropolitan Hospitality Group
1. Tell us a little bit about your establishment and what makes you unique?
All of our concepts are designed and created to be the kind of places we love to go. Each location is designed to be an integral part of the neighborhood and includes things uniquely personal to us.
At Open Road, we created a place inspired by our love of music, the great outdoors and the spirit of the open road. A place where you can come as you are – suits or shorts, loafers or flip flops. One of our friends donated the Harley Davidson motorcycle behind our bar and a family member made the American flag the with Bud Light bottle caps!
At Trio, we brought urban sophistication to a local neighborhood grill that is perfect for date night, drinks or private dining. We created Merrifield’s only cigar bar and commissioned artwork specifically for the space that has special meaning to many of us!
At Circa, we created a local bistro and a go-to spot for lunch, brunch, dinner and happy hour. Our patio features a gorgeous plaza area highlighted by a serpentine piece of artwork created by a local artist!
2. How does your company strive to embody hospitality?
We understand the world does not need more restaurants – it needs unique and special places with personality where people can go, share a drink, have a great meal and an amazing time. Our team is empowered to find and deliver impact moments that WOW our guests with the goal of creating lasting memories and relationships with our guests. We also strive to embody hospitality through our warm company culture which fosters professional and personal growth as a team.
3. What or who are some companies or people that inspire you and your team?
We are continually inspired by the charity partners we work with and their incredible missions. We believe in giving back to our communities and nothing inspires us more than working with Arlington Food Assistance Center and INOVA Children’s Hospital. A portion of all our dessert sales goes to these incredible organizations. We believe in leading generously and giving generously which is a value that is continually inspired by our local charity partners.
4. What are some publications, print or digital, you read daily or have read that help you stay on top of your game?
We enjoy reading Food and Wine, Imbibe, Northern VA Magazine, and Eater to name a few! We try to subscribe to every local and national publication. These publications help to inspire us and allow us to challenge ourselves to stay innovative with our seasonal dishes in the ever-evolving food and beverage industry!
5. What advice would you give to up-and-coming leaders in the hospitality industry in the region?
Always take care of your team, listen to your guests, don’t be afraid of technology and innovation, and have fun!