In 1996, after 10 years of working in and running New York City restaurants, Steven Hall started Hall PR with the late Sam Firer. Working out of an office above Mad Fish restaurant on Broadway—a space donated by the restaurant’s owner Simon Oren (and the company’s first and ongoing client)—the pair quickly developed a reputation as industry insiders who could not only shepherd a restaurant through the treacherous opening process, but keep it soaring for years to come.
Twenty years later, Steven is not only sought after for his ability to harness media attention; he’s called upon as a restaurant therapist and career coach who has helped nurture pioneering chefs such Doug Rodriguez, Marco Moreira, Katy Sparks, Alex Urena, Anita Lo, Galen Zamarra, Pichet Ong, and Zak Pelaccio, and critically-acclaimed icons such as David Bouley. Steven’s newest niche is Japanese cuisine; he been a key player in importing and representing a number of Tokyo’s top restaurants in America, including Harbs, Tempura Matsui, Ootoya, and Robata-ya.
Andrea Strong sat down for lunch with Steven and talked about the real reason to hire a publicist, the worst trends in the industry, and what to do when your food tastes sleepy.