Longtime best friends and entrepreneurs Lonnie Moore & Mike Malin fulfilled a lifelong dream to open a bar in 2001 when they opened a small tapas lounge called Belly on Los Angeles' Santa Monica Boulevard. Belly was built on equal parts sweat and credit card debt, and soon became a popular industry hangout. Belly reigned as a top nightclub and well respected lounge before closing in 2004, with Malin and Moore looking to focus more specifically on the restaurant industry. With the success...... Read Full Bio »
Longtime best friends and entrepreneurs Lonnie Moore & Mike Malin fulfilled a lifelong dream to open a bar in 2001 when they opened a small tapas lounge called Belly on Los Angeles' Santa Monica Boulevard. Belly was built on equal parts sweat and credit card debt, and soon became a popular industry hangout. Belly reigned as a top nightclub and well respected lounge before closing in 2004, with Malin and Moore looking to focus more specifically on the restaurant industry.
With the success of Belly, The Dolce Group formed in 2003, opening their first restaurant in West Hollywood, Dolce Enoteca e Ristorante. Both Lonnie & Mike, originally from the East Coast, together felt there was a need in the marketplace for a restaurant that was hip and sexy, yet comfortable and consistent in quality service and food. With a slate of celebrity investors (Ashton Kutcher, Wilmer Valderrama, Chris Masterson, Danny Masterson, Laura Prepon, Dule Hill, Jamie Kennedy and more) Dolce serves a high profile crowd, in addition to the restaurant elite that only frequent the best restaurants in the city. The Dolce Group opened Geisha House in Hollywood in 2005.
Conceptualizing Tokyo 2050, Geisha House is a two-story Japanese fusion and sushi restaurant, anchored by an imaginative Californian take on traditional Japanese cuisine and an incomparable selection of rare sakes. Geisha House continues to draw record crowds night after night, as well as international media attention. In addition, Geisha House was one of the first developments to spearhead a redevelopment boom in Hollywood, proudly serving as the first tenant on a formerly dilapidated strip of Hollywood Boulevard that has since become LA's hottest new dining and nightlife district.
With the success of Dolce and Geisha House in Los Angeles, Lonnie & Mike continued scoping Los Angeles real estate to create additional venues in the city. Continuing their efforts in revitalizing Hollywood Blvd, The Dolce Group decided to create a sister restaurant for Dolce, another Italian concept with a neighborhood café feel. Bella Cucina Italiana opened in 2005, just down the street from Geisha House, and served Southern Italian Food for lunch and dinner for five years until it was renovated and reconcepted in 2010 to become Angels and Kings, a modern and edgy rock and roll bar.
In 2006, The Dolce Group refurbished, revamped and reopened the famed Hollywood haunt, Les Deux. Les Deux was a French-themed hideaway lounge in Hollywood that served an ultra-exclusive clientele as one of the most preeminent nightclubs in America from 2006 to 2010. A notorious celebrity playground, it was in many ways the "Studio 54" of the modern era. The Dolce Group followed up on this nightlife success with another sleek and sexy lounge, Wonderland, which opened in Hollywood in October 2009.
Also in 2006, the Dolce Group spread their innovation and empire to Atlanta, Georgia and Huntsville, Alabama. Dolce Enoteca opened within the Atlantic Station development in November, 2006 and has brought resurgence to the mid-town area by offering Atlantans a glamorously decorated restaurant serving fine wine and delicious cuisine. Ten Pin Alley, a new concept by the Dolce Group, also opened in Atlanta in February, 2007, and is a high-end bowling alley and lounge with a classic, old English feel. In May, 2007, Geisha House opened a second location within the same Atlantic Station development, and the third location of Geisha House opened in Orange County's City Place in March 2009. In February, 2008, Dolce Enoteca opened its fourth location in Huntsville's Bridge Street Town Centre. Ketchup opened in early March, 2007 in the Sunset Millennium complex on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood. Ketchup serves an innovative menu in a sleek space, with a modern and sophisticated flair, inspired by classic American diners of the past. Additional Ketchup units opened in Washington DC's National Harbor development in May 2009, and in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in March 2010.
In April 2009, The Dolce Group opened Rare 120°, an exclusive American steakhouse, in The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Diners at Rare 120° will enjoy classic steakhouse cuisine, mixed with more modern culinary flair amidst a sleek atmosphere accented with gleaming exotic wood finishes and whimsical design touches. After Rare 120°'s smash success at the Hard Rock, the group was commissioned to open a second restaurant in the hotel's new tower. A new concept full of "small plates and big fun", Johnny Smalls, was born in early 2010. The newest addition to the Group, The Burgundy Room, a multipurpose space combining a sports bar, live entertainment, dueling pianos, and Floridian-inspired cuisine, opened in Miami's famous CocoWalk lifestyle center.
Most recently, Lonnie and Mike hosted a VH1 reality show titled 'Famous Food', on which they mentored a cast of seven celebrities, Heidi Montag ("The Hills"), DJ Paul and Juicy "J" from rap group Three 6 Mafia, Danielle Staub ("Real Housewives of New Jersey"), Jake Pavelka ("The Bachelor"), Ashley Dupre (Singer) and Vincent Pastore ("The Sopranos"), to open a new restaurant on the world famous Sunset Strip. The celebs were assigned weekly tasks including creating a concept, marketing, hiring staff, and pulling off the grand opening. After ten episodes, Mike and Lonnie selected a winner to be a managing partner of the new restaurant named Lemon Basket. The series will premiere on Sunday, July 10 at 10PM ET/PT on VH1.
The Dolce Group is a company built on original restaurant and nightlife concepts, with a flair for design, taste for fine food, and contagious sense of energy present in all of their venues. The personalities that make up The Dolce Group are dedicated to delivering a unique dining experience in each of their locations, ensuring diners a meal of fine food and wine, fantastic service, and an entertaining evening. The Dolce Group also counsels prospective restaurateurs with a consulting service based on their principles. With plans to open further satellite locations of their most famous outposts and plans for new concepts, The Dolce Group will immerse their signature style into marketplaces all over the country and around the world.