ICON LLC was founded on March 8, 1999 by second generation restaurateurs Richard Melman and Gerard Centioli and their long-time general counsel Michael E. Fox.
The trio founded ICON for the expressed purpose of establishing partnerships with bona fide icons, which they define as brands that meet three criteria.
- Best-in-class reputation
- Stood the test of time
- Distinctive name that defines the brand
Together, ICON and its partners develop ICONcepts that build upon, extend and reflect the original brand.
Joe’s Stone Crab Development Company LLC
The first ICON partnership was established with Joe’s Stone Crab, Inc. of Miami Beach, Florida. This famous restaurant, opened by Joe and Jennie Weiss in Miami Beach in 1913, began serving Florida Stone Crab in 1921. In 1999, ICON and the Weiss Family formed Joe’s Stone Crab Development Company to develop the brand beyond Miami.
The first ICONcept, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, opened on October 19, 2000 in Chicago at The Shops at North Bridge. A poll of Chicago Magazine readers promptly named it “Best New Restaurant of the Year.” A second Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab opened on October 22, 2004 in Las Vegas at The Forum Shops at Caesars. A third Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab opened on January 31, 2014 in The White House neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
The second ICON partnership was established with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Vernon Rudolph opened the first store in Winston-Salem on July 13, 1937 making America’s best-loved doughnuts. In 2000, ICON and KKD formed KremeWorks LLC to develop the brand in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii and British Columbia.
The first ICONcept, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts & Coffee, opened in Issaquah, Washington on October 30, 2001. KremeWorks developed and operated a dozen Krispy Kreme Doughnuts & Coffee shops in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.
PICK-QUICK Development Company LLC
The third ICON partnership was established with PICK-QUICK Drive In, Inc. of Fife, Washington. This classic drive in was opened by Jay Adolph and Henrietta Olsen in 1949. PICK-QUICK is owned today by Joe and Betty Burgi. In 2007 ICON founder Gerard Centioli and Joe Burgi formed PICK-QUICK Development Company LLC to develop the concept beyond Fife.
The first ICONcept, the PICK-QUICK Drive In Flagship, broke ground in Auburn, Washington on September 27, 2010. On October 1, 2010 USA Today named PICK-QUICK Drive In the “Best Burger Joint in the State of Washington” in its list of “51 Great Burger Joints in America.” On March 8, 2011, the 12th Anniversary of ICON LLC, the PICK-QUICK Drive In Flagship opened. On October 18, 2016 the first PICK-QUICK Walk Up and Drive Thru opened in Seattle, Washington.
Tadich Grill Development Company LLC
The fourth ICON partnership was established with Tadich Grill, Inc. of San Francisco, CA. Three Croatian immigrants began this legendary business in 1849 during the California Gold Rush. Tadich Grill is owned today by Michael Buich. In 2009, ICON founder Gerard Centioli and Michael Buich formed Tadich Grill Development Company LLC to develop the brand beyond San Francisco. Forbes named Tadich Grill “One of the World’s 10 Great Classic Restaurants Well Worth Visiting” on July 9, 2012.
The first ICONcept opened on October 7, 2015 at 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., between The White House and Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C. On October 24, 2015, seventeen (17) days after the restaurant opened to critical acclaim, a scandalous story appeared in The Washington Post regarding the Buich family. The impact on the restaurant was immediate and fatal, resulting in closure of the restaurant and dissolution of the partnership.
Additionally, ICON consults for, serves on the board of directors of and manages food and beverage concepts that it does not own.