Founded with absolutely zero funding, Last Word Hospitality (LWH) was launched by principles Adam Weisblatt and Holly Fox in 2014 through a variety of consulting contracts, a lot of hustle, and an equal amount of good luck. Five years later, LWH has earned the reputation of being one of LA’s scrappiest, most creative, and versatile hospitality consulting and management groups. To date, LWH has provided consulting support for Verve Coffee, Bestia, The Rose Venice, Proper Hotels, Bavel, Runyon Group, SproutLA, August Uncommon, and other select clients.
In 2016, Fox and Weisblatt formed a partnership with the long-time owners of Silver Lake’s Rambutan Thai, and on a budget of $50,000, rebranded as Same Same. Within one year of operations, Same Same had tripled Rambutan’s sales, and earned the designation as one of the top restaurants in one of LA’s most competitive neighborhoods. With the company’s first foray into ownership established, LWH will be introducing Found Oyster in East Hollywood in Summer 2019, the Red Dog Saloon in Pioneertown, CA by the end of 2019, and have aggressive growth plans for 2020 and beyond.
HOLLY FOX (COO)
A Zagat’s 30 under 30 honorees, Holly Fox has become known as one of the premier Restaurant Builders and Hospitality Program Development Leaders in Los Angeles. Fox attended UCLA as a math major, earning a degree in Sociology, and immediately pursued a career in hospitality. After joining the SBE team as an Executive Assistant for restaurants, Fox quickly took on the responsibility of venue openings and operational project management in Los Angeles, Miami, and Dubai.
Fox has also spent time working for Innovative Dining Group in Los Angeles on the marketing and design firm, Heads Above Water, doing interior restaurant design and opening management. Fox provides leadership in concept development, financial forecasting, demographic analysis, project management, and turning restaurant concepts into realities.
ADAM WEISBLATT (CEO)
A Massachusetts native, avid traveler, lifelong restaurant man, and well-respected hospitality mentor in Los Angeles, Adam Weisblatt brings over fifteen years of bar and restaurant experience to LWH. After earning a Hotel and Restaurant Management degree from UMass-Amherst, Weisblatt moved to California and began developing his successful style of hospitality leadership. After spending four years working with the renowned beverage group, ProprietorsLLC, Weisblatt and Holly Fox founded Last Word Hospitality.
Weisblatt has provided consulting in Chicago, LA, Moscow, Mumbai, and beyond - he sits on the Board of Directors for LA’s FEAST Charity and is the Director of Last Word Academy, a free management-training program for aspiring hospitality managers and entrepreneurs.
MIKE SANTOS (Director of operations)
Santos leads all in-house LWH venues and operations, specializing in staff leadership and training, venue maintenance, maximizing profitability, and picking up the phone whenever it rings (which is always). A true hospitality lifer, Santos and Weisblatt first waited tables together on Martha’s Vineyard in 2008. After entering management while living first in Australia and then New Zealand, Santos moved to LA in 2014 and worked with both 213 Hospitality and the Centeno Restaurant Group.
In January 2016, Santos joined LWH in a management capacity while opening Norah in West Hollywood. Santos carries with him a workman-like approach to the hospitality industry, shaped in part by his unique upbringing as an immigrant from Portugal to Providence, RI when he was five years old. Santos is also a partner in the soon-to-launch Red Dog Saloon in Pioneertown.
ARI KOLENDER (Director of culinary)
Leading in all culinary development, BOH training and systems, and kitchen mentorship is Ari Kolender. Kolender began his culinary career in 2005, working in some of LA’s best kitchens, including Providence and Red Medicine. In 2012, Kolender moved to Charleston, SC, to work with the opening teams of The Ordinary and Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oyster Shop, where he was nominated as a semifinalist for the James Beard Rising Chef Award.
Kolender currently helms Hayden Wine Bar in Los Angeles where his seasonal menu has been mentioned in LA Times, LA Weekly, Food & Wine, amongst other publications. Kolender works alongside the LWH team on consulting and brand development projects, including the upcoming Found Oyster in East Hollywood.