Grill Concepts Launches First Joint Development Project With Starwood Hotels

LOS ANGELES, June 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Grill Concepts, Inc. (NASDAQ:GRIL) today announced it has entered into a joint development project with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) to open a Daily Grill restaurant in the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston, Texas. The opening is scheduled for July 2002.

The Westin Galleria restaurant represents Grill Concepts' debut into the Houston market, as well as the first project of a joint development agreement with Starwood. Under the agreement, Grill Concepts and Starwood agreed to work together to develop The Grill on the Alley and Daily Grill branded restaurants in certain Starwood hotel properties.

The Westin Galleria Hotel is part of the renowned Houston Galleria, noted as the city's most popular tourist and shopping destination. One of the most recognizable landmarks in Houston, the Galleria is home to approximately 300 retail stores, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy's, as well as two hotels, an ice skating rink, restaurants and 1.1 million square feet of high-rise office space. Already ranked as the largest such shopping complex in Texas, a $100 million, 700,000 square foot expansion, scheduled for completion by March 2003, will boost the complex's ranking to fifth largest in the country.

We have achieved a significant milestone with the signing of our agreement to jointly develop our first restaurant with Starwood, said Robert Spivak, president and chief executive officer of Grill Concepts. Our first Starwood project not only situates us in a prime luxury business hotel, but also associates the Daily Grill restaurant brand with a world-class, upscale shopping complex.

We are also thrilled to be expanding our restaurant network into the Houston market. With more than 17 million people visiting the complex each year, we are very optimistic about the new restaurant's prospects, Spivak said.

The company's newest Daily Grill will be the only full service dining establishment serving the luxury business hotel. Construction already is in progress on the 5,000 square-foot restaurant, which is connected to the hotel and the Galleria, and will accommodate 140 guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Using traditional home-cooking techniques with fresh ingredients purchased daily, the new Daily Grill restaurant will offer its classic menu of chicken pot pie, meat loaf with mashed potatoes, Cobb salad, Caesar salad and fresh fruit cobbler with uncompromising service in a casual yet upscale setting.