COO & Partner
The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.Tony Robbins
Surrounded by year-round harvests and the abundance of the farms around him, Alex Taylor developed apassion for food and wine growing up in California’s Central Valley. “365 days a year, I could walk outsidemy house and pick something off a tree or vine, and it was ready to eat.”
Coming out of college, Alex was set on a career in law, but his love affair with the hospitality industry kept calling him. “While I loved the law and the experience of working in a big firm in DC, I was surrounded by people who seemed unfulfilled. I knew I wanted to live an experience-driven life, and my love of food, wine, and service was beckoning”.
Alex started his professional career at the acclaimed Eighteenth Street Lounge in Washington, DC, and quickly opened the company’s first foray into food with Dragonfly Sushi Lounge in 1998. Knowing that he needed to learn more about scale and systems for growth, Alex joined Starbucks in 2000 to help grow and develop the southwest market in Phoenix, Arizona.
In between his first and second year of business school, Alex was introduced to Tom Collichio, who was opening his first restaurant outside of New York, Craftsteak, at the MGM Grand. The opportunity to open a restaurant with Colicchio and experience the booming food and beverage scene in Las Vegas significantly altered his career path for the next two decades. Upon graduation, Taylor returned to Las Vegas to partner with Chef Michael White and BR GuestRestaurants Stephen Hansen to open Fiamma. His success as GM at Fiamma allowed him the opportunity to springboard into running the Food and Beverage division at Mandalay Bay in 2006. “Partnering with Chef Alain Ducasse, Michael Miina, Hubert Keller, Rick Moonen, Wolfgang Puck, and Charlie Palmer was surreal. I was earning a lifetime of experience in a concise window”.
2007 provided Taylor’s next big break when he was tapped by Steve Wynn to design, build, and open the entire Food and Beverage program at Wynn’s $2.4 Billion Encore Resort and Casino.
After the successful opening of Encore, Alex struck out on his own with his own multi-unit restaurant, Due Forni, as well as his boutique consulting firm that included clients in Las Vegas and throughout the US. One of his most prominent clients, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, provided the next significant opportunity. “Kimpton had been purchased by Intercontinental Hotel Group and was tasked with expanding globally. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a beloved restaurant group and scale it internationally”.
In 2018 Alex took the next step when he assumed the role of Upward Projects Chief Operating Officer and tier growth brand Postino. In four years, Alex more than doubled their unit count to 25 units while expanding into Texas, Georgia, and California.
Alex brings a unique breadth of experience and an expansive network to 34th Floor’s projects and clients.
Alex is an expert skier and will often be found near the top of the mountain in Telluride skiing with his family. His wife, Carla, is an Artist and a professional Samba dancer. He makes the annual trip to Rio every year to watch her as Musa in Carnaval.