2013 San Francisco Bay Area Rising Star Matt Semmelhack of AQ Restaurant & Bar
AQ Restaurant & Bar
1085 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Matt Semmelhack’s initial encouragement toward a career in food & hospitality came during his studies at Princeton University. Inspired by his anthropology professor, Alan Mann, Semmelhack focused on food culture with a senior thesis titled, “The Anthropology of Food Choices in Modern America.”
Semmelhack’s culinary studies were put aside after college when he began working as a real estate consultant in Manhattan. After relocating to San Francisco in 2006, Semmelhack joined boutique real estate development consultancy, The Concord Group, where he honed many professional skills including business development, personnel management and financial analysis. Re-evaluating his career priorities, Semmelhack realized his passion of combining a love of food with his experience in construction and design. In October 2008, Semmelhack founded Mercer Restaurant Group.
In 2011, Semmelhack opened his first restaurant, AQ Restaurant & Bar. The modern fine-dining restaurant and bar features innovative California cuisine under the direction of fellow Rising Star Chef Mark Liberman, and dynamic, seasonally-changing decor. Semmelhack’s dedication to providing a standout wine list at AQ led him to complete the first level of Master Sommelier certification. Building on the success of AQ, Semmelhack is expanding his restaurant empire in San Francisco with three new restaurants, slated to open between September 2013 and December 2014.