With eco-awareness having firmly evolved from a once-hip and clique-oriented movement to a fundamental necessity, many local businesses are turning their attention to green details as a way of responsibly contributing to the health of our environment. One such company is the Choice Hospitality Group (CHG), owners of a collection of area hotspots including Ocean Avenue’s sushi spectacular, Tengu, and Holly’s West, an upscale, intimate and seductive lounge bar and restaurant located on Wilshire Boulevard that recently celebrated its first birthday.
Choice Hospitality Group is run by a quintet of young, energetic and environmentally conscious entrepreneurs who between them have lots of experience in the food and beverage industry.
The Mirror recently spoke with senior partner Alan Nathan. “Everyday, as individuals, we are recognizing the effects global warming and energy inefficiency are having on our society,” said Nathan. “To do our part in curbing these effects, the Choice Hospitality Group would like to set an example within the restaurant industry by ‘Going Green.’ It is our duty that our corporate focus reflects our individual commitment to the environment, and the well-being of the City of Santa Monica. By taking this step forward, we seek to improve our own practices and standards, and set an example to other restaurants citywide.”
For many years now, recycling has been a mainstay green practice of many responsible citizens and companies alike. CHG is green in other ways as well. Said Nathan, “Apart from recycling, CHG has implemented environmentally friendly business practices such as purchasing condiments and supplies in bulk, eliminating endangered seafood and fish farmed in ways that harm the environment, providing reusable dishware for staff use instead of disposable plates, eliminating water waste by encouraging employees to conserve when washing dishes. These are just a few things that any company can do to protect our environment.”
Energy is fast becoming a valuable commodity, and the amount of energy used in a restaurant to give the patrons a top quality dining experience can often amplify the guests’ “carbon footprint,” and CHG is fully aware of this and is taking active measures to conserve energy, including “only using Energy Star-rated equipment and appliances; insulating water heaters, storage tanks and hot water pipes; performing regular maintenance on refrigerators to increase efficiency; installing plastic strip curtains on walk-in refrigerator entrances; installing a programmable thermostat; installing energy-efficient windows; shading sun-exposed windows and walls during the warm season; implementing a company-wide policy encouraging employees to turn off lights; and only using the dishwasher when full.”
Nathan proudly stated that CHG’s efforts are not going to stop there, however, and further work would be done to promote eco-awareness in the community, starting in three ways: “Through our restaurants/nightclubs, through our employees and to our customer base. By setting up awareness programs focused on alternative transportation, public transportation, our own efforts, water conservation and energy conservation, we are leading by example. By letting people know about our efforts, we hope to induce change citywide.”
Holly’s West, 2460 Wilshire Boulevard, 310.828.3304.
Tengu, 1541 Ocean Avenue, 310.587.2222.