Rising Star Restaurateur Greg Root of Defined Hospitality - Biography

Philadelphia, PA

September 2019

As a high schooler in Oreland, Pennsylvania, Greg Root took a part-time job as a caddy at a country club. After caddying for a regular who owned a restaurant franchise in the area, Root was enamored with working in the restaurant business. He graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in hotel and restaurant management and landed his first job as a manager for Stephen Starr’s restaurant Jones. He continued working his way up, eventually becoming director of operations.
Root met Nick Kennedy at a restaurant in town, a classically trained chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Kennedy had recently moved to Philadelphia with his family and found that both he and Root were ready to try their hand at owning and operating their own restaurant. 
The duo opened Root in 2016, a casual restaurant and wine bar in Fishtown. In 2018, they pivoted Root into R&D, a sultry cocktail bar, and opened Suraya, a Lebanese restaurant and cafe, which was named “Best New Restaurant of 2018” by Philadelphia Magazine. The team recently opened Pizza Beddia with Joe Beddia, and up next, they have three new concepts slated for the Pod Philly hotel in the Center City neighborhood with new Defined Hospitality partner, Al Lucas: Mexican restaurant Condesa on the ground floor, a bakery next door, and a rooftop taqueria. In 2019, the pair earned StarChefs Rising Star Restaurateur awards.