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Irish investment firm purchases famed steakhouse

Dublin-based Danu Investment Partners Limited, an investment holding firm, recently acquired nearly all of Smith &Wollensky Restaurant Group’s eight restaurant holdings across the U.S. and London.

The Boston-based restaurant brand, operating under the group name of SWRG, sold seven of its locations, including restaurants in Boston, Chicago, Miami and Las Vegas.

The acquisition also includes Smith &Wollensky London, which opened under license in mid-2015.

The investment firm now owns the licensing rights to the Smith &Wollensky brand. But the original New York location that opened in 1977 remains under control of the company’s founder Alan Stillman, under his Quality Branded Restaurant Group.

“We’ve been huge admirers of this iconic brand for decades, having hosted a great number of business dinners cutting into S&W steak,” said Leonard Ryan, one of three principals at Danu.

Ryan said after partnering with the SWRG brand in London the firm began to “appreciate the quality and integrity behind the people and the brand.”

“It has incredible equity and enormous potential internationally, and there is still significant untapped potential in the U.S. for S&W and the emerging Wollensky’s Grill concept,” Ryan added. “We see big opportunities for growth all around.”

The new owners are also planning to renovate several of the properties to represent work that has already been done in London.

Much of what future patrons might expect to find in the future at several existing locations and the future launch of Wollensky’s Grill concept include two full bars, two main dining areas, a full butcher shop and an onsite dry aging room.

Discount ticket app comes to Vegas

An app now covering Las Vegas can help visitors and tourists enter music or sports venues faster and cheaper.

Gametime, which expanded to Las Vegas in February, offers low-rate, last-minute access to shows and events such as “Britney: Piece of Me,” “Mariah No. 1 to Infinity” and Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The app’s two-tap system saves users from having to print tickets; the tickets are sent to a users’ email or phone through a text message.

Las Vegas is the 47th city Gametime has entered since launching in 2012. Brad Griffith founded the company after nearly missing a San Francisco Giants playoff game because he couldn’t find a place to print his ticket.

Griffith, the company’s CEO, analyzed financial data for Google. He also started Zappedy, a platform letting local businesses market online and track customers’ offline purchases.

That venture was sold to Groupon in 2011 for just over $10 million, TechCrunch reported.

Colin Evans, a co-founder of StarHub, co-leads Gametime as chief revenue officer.

Welcome aboard

Lowe’s and Home Depot could hire nearly 1,300 seasonal employees in Nevada this spring.

Lowe’s plans to bring about 25 employees to each of Southern Nevada’s 13 stores, the Retail Association of Nevada said in a statement.

Home Depot could add about 40 employees per store. The company has 13 stores in Southern Nevada. The company could add more than 800 positions statewide.

Garden equipment and supplies sales grew statewide (10 percent) and countywide (11.8 percent) from 2014 to 2015.

Statewide taxable retail sales increased 5.5 percent last year from 2014, yielding nearly $52 billion, the Retail Association of Nevada reported. The state’s tally surpassed the national growth rate of 2 percent.

Clark County’s 5.6 percent rise in taxable retail sales topped Nevada’s.

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