Author Archive

Restaurants – Lounges – Bars – Events Spaces

Fifty/50 Management Group, Inc., one of the
Chicago’s most recognized up-and coming
hospitality organizations, currently owns and
manages 15 brands and establishments in
Illinois with 5 more under development
through 2020.

Fifty was founded as a result of the great
friendship , teamwork, and working-relationship
between Scott Weiner and Greg Mohr
who met while working together at Lettuce
Entertain You in 2003. Managing Joe’s
Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab
together until 2008, the team developed a
dynamic relationship where their business
acumen and innovative ideas blossomed
together causing the duo to look for an
establishment of their own. “Greg and I
started training on the very same day and I
knew very early on that he was a guy I
respected, admired, and wanted to work with
for the rest of my career. It was a turning
point in my life.”

Weiner and Mohr, both in the mid-20’s
became business partners in 2008 and
created their first venture, a hip sports bar
geared towards young singles and professionals
interested in upscale-yet-approachable
bar food, hip hop, sports, fun drinks,
and casual fashion. Seeing an opportunity
with Chicago about to enact an indoor-smoking
ban, the menu was designed to treat
casual bar food with the same attention to
detail, consistency, and quality that they
were accustomed to executing in their fine
dining and steakhouse backgrounds.
The Fifty/50 Sports Bar opened in Wicker
Park on March 18, 2008 and soon became
one of the hippest and hottest restaurants
and bars in Chicago. It went on to win local
accolades for the food and national awards
for being one of the nations best sports bar
(Maxim, Yahoo, Nightclub & Bar, Thrillist). It
became a Chicago destination for athletes,
celebrities, and foodies in its prime. It was
known as an innovator for Chicago’s casual
dining renaissance brought about by the
smoking ban and the great recession.
More unique, casual concepts followed in
2010 with Roots Handmade Pizza, West Town
Bakery, and Homestead on the Roof. With
each new restaurant the company reinvested
in its itself and grew to evolve its infrastructure,
talent, and style while setting their sites
on more ambitious projects at different price
points and in different neighborhood
locations across Chicago. By 2017, the group
had grown to close to 500 employees, 30
million in sales, and over 35,000 loyalty club
members. At the time, the primary focus was
on opening bigger locations in Chicago
neighborhoods where they could procure real
estate and build local followings. Known
equally for their cutting-edge cocktail
concepts as much as their casual neighborhood
restaurants, Fifty has created successful
restaurants that range from fine-dining to
fast-casual bakeries.

As Fifty continues to grow and diversify their
locations and concepts, the focus is shifting
towards locations with higher density and
visibility where they can leverage their large
following and capitalize on the city’s growing
tourism and corporate infrastructure. There is
also a primary focus on growing the Roots
Pizza concept into secondary markets outside
of Chicago.

“Our group’s guiding philosophy centers
around a strong, centralized core culture
while being nimble and partner-driven on the
store level. Enormous value is placed on our
people and our development of talent. We
invest in our people and train them well” says
Weiner. “People tell us that we are creative
and we see trends early – and we appreciate
that kind of feedback – but we feel that we’re
just great listeners and students of this
industry. We pay attention to what our
customers and our employees say to us and
we react. We take the most amount of pride
in being considered hard-working and
disciplined operators who do the right thing
for our businesses and ou