D.C. chef heads to London for a restaurant rescue

Think of it as a non-televised version of the restaurant rags-to-riches shows “Hell’s Kitchen” or “Restaurant: Impossible.”

Dave Hansen, director of operations for Tapper Restaurant Group, arrived across the ocean Wednesday to lend his expertise to Bones, a year-old restaurant in the Hoxton/Shoreditch neighborhood of London.

The goal, according to Hansen: Get Bones a star from the super-exclusive Michelin Guide to restaurants.

Hansen will spend the next four months working with Bones owners Joss and Simeon Goodman and their partner, Simon Hill. He’s got four months to help turn the restaurant around.

Hansen ran his own restaurant consulting business called Lightbox Hospitality before he joined Tapper Restaurant Group, which runs D.C. restaurants including Floriana and Federal. He was recruited for the gig by a third party recruiter, he said.

He plans to deploy hospitality lessons from his “playbook,” a binder full of hospitality principles he’s crafted over the years.

“Not to oversimplify what we do, but whether it’s front or back of the house, it’s very rare that one of us re-invents the hospitality wheel,” Hansen said in an email. “Obviously remaining educated in new trends and techniques is critical, but those never trump well-established core values.”

Bones, a meat-centric rotisserie restaurant that opened in January, features rotisserie chicken, steak, lamb and a range of accompaniments. The owners got their start operating a corner store and cafe next door to their existing location.

Things will be business as usual in D.C. while Hansen is on hiatus, however. With Pulpo, another of Tapper’s restaurants, officially closed, the focus will return to the company’s flagship, Floriana and Federal, a restaurant that opened last year but now welcomes a new executive chef in Guilherme Baretto. Baretto previously served as chef at Floriana before returning to his native Brazil.


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