Licensee Spotlight: Eureka! Restaurant Group

Eureka! Restaurant Group co-founders Paul Frederick and Justin Nedelman.
Paul Frederick and Justin Nedelman, co-founders of Eureka! Restaurant Group

Names: Paul Frederick and Justin Nedelman
Business: Eureka! Restaurant Group
Location: 25 different locations in California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Texas and Washington

Inspired by their passion with hospitality, former real estate developers Paul Frederick and Justin Nedelman decided to start their own restaurant business in 2009 with the goal of making a fun, approachable space where everyone, regardless of income level, would feel right at home. With an emphasis on energy and the guest experience, they opened their first location in Redlands, CA. Eureka! soon made a name for themselves with their craft beer and small batch whiskey selection, long before these became the norm. The co-founders also centered their scratch kitchen on fresh, local ingredients. Above all though, they emphasized creating the perfect, custom vibe for each of their restaurants. They understood that to create a truly unique vibe, it must be expressed throughout every piece of the restaurant - from the lighting to the artwork, from the menu to the music. Especially the music!

A live band performance at Eureka! Restaurant Group's Austin, TX location during SXSW.
A live band performance at Eureka!'s Austin, TX location during SXSW.

While its first location was too small to feature live music, Eureka! has fashioned many of their newer venues into live music destinations, with a consistent focus on local bands and artists. In their Austin, TX location, they featured a four-band lineup in the restaurant during South by Southwest, and they've put on reggae festivals at their San Diego State location. "We feel that live music really allows us to resonate locally, develop strong connections with our guests and perhaps help launch a cool new artist," says co-founder Paul Frederick. In addition to live music, Eureka! works with New York-based agency El Media | Octave Group to create custom music streaming playlists for each location. According to Frederick, "Music really sets the tempo for the vibe of our restaurants, which delivers a fun and exciting energy into our spaces."

Diners enjoy the vibe inside Eureka! Restaurant Group's Berkeley, CA location.
Guests enjoy the vibe at Eureka!'s Berkeley, CA restaurant.

With the strong focus on music in their restaurants, Frederick understands the importance of music licensing. "I'll be honest, it can feel like people are just coming after you for everything when you're a restaurant owner," he admits. "But once we started talking to our ASCAP representative and reading their testimonials, we realized that the majority of most artists aren't making Taylor Swift-level money. The small artists really need programs and licensing to support what they do...And just as music fans in general, we want to do anything that helps support artists."

For more information on Eureka! Restaurant Group, including the full list of their 25 locations, visit eurekarestaurantgroup.com.