About Us

Nick Liberato

Co-Founder & Executive Chef

Absorbing culture and passing it on through food is part of Nick Liberato’s heritage. Raised believing that every day is a holiday which should be celebrated with food, wine, great conversation, and loved ones, Nick has been cooking professionally for 18 years. Nick is a personal chef to the stars, a revered cocktail mixologist, world traveler, husband, father & surfer.

He began his career path at the age of 7 working at his grandparent’s produce stand at The Italian Market, located in the heart of South Philadelphia. Using his family’s fresh produce, Northern and Southern Italian recipes were taught to him daily as he assisted his father and grandmother for traditional family gatherings. By age 11, Nick began working at local food stands in South Philadelphia and discovered his second love – surfing and snowboarding. Combining the two passions, Nick followed his love and while working at a local surf shop on the West Coast, started his own catering company – Calidelphia – that led him to preparing meals for top celebrities including Will Smith,

Tom Hanks, The Beastie Boys, Barbra Streisand, Anthony Kiedis, Cher, Hank Azaria, and more. It was through a connection with Michelin-starred chef and restauranteur David Myers, that Nick learned he needed to truly dive into every aspect of the business in front and in back-of-house to become a true restauranteur himself, and that’s just what Nick did.
In just a few years, Nick’s catering business began to thrive and he acquired the long-time Venice fixture, the Venice Whaler. Struggling to move forward prior to Nick stepping in, he took the business at the Venice Whaler from a mere $3 Million in yearly sales to a whopping $10 Million in sales. Leading the charge as Executive Chef, Nick made a similar move with The Pier House and continues to acquire, consult, and invigorate other businesses throughout Los Angeles and internationally with his expertise.
Nick and wife Jennifer committed in 2020 to make the move back home to Bucks County, PA to reunite his three daughters Sofia, Alessandra and Bella with their grandparents while launching 618 Hospitality Group with partner Michael Dalewitz.

Mike Dalewitz

Co-Founder & Chairman

Lawyer and serial entrepreneur Mike Dalewitz has built, restructured and sold for high multiple profits, several multi-million dollar businesses in various industries ranging from legal, technology, fashion and hospitality. With his familial foundation and early professional experience in the hospitality industry, Dalewitz is also the co-founder and Chairman of 618 Hospitality which was started with Celebrity Chef, Nick Liberato. Most recently, he launched and serves as CEO of a leading-edge software company called cueLESS (cueless.io), with a focus on “always on time” arrival and pick up for POS systems across food & beverage, retail, pharmacy and other areas. Additionally, Dalewitz is a well-known philanthropist and serves as a Board Member for BUILD NYC and The Bucks County Playhouse. He shares his expertise as a professional coach to motivate and guide young entrepreneurs across the country with his Mindful Mentor programs at https://themindfulmentor.com
Steve Lau

Steve Lau

Co-Founder & Partner

Steve began his career in the music industry as a 20-year-old artist on Warner Brothers Records. After releasing three records with the band he started in high school, Steve founded Kinetic Records, a 15 year joint venture with Warner Brothers, that was ultimately acquired by Sony/BMG.

After selling his first company, Steve turned to the wine industry, attended The Culinary Institute in Napa California, and launched his first wine brand to critical praise. Volta Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley landed on many year- end best lists including Wine Spectator (93 pts), Wine Advocate and The Wine Library (94 pts). As a consultant in both the music and hospitality industries, he has worked closely with Lincoln Center, The Chateau Marmount, The Standard Hotels, Billboard and The Sundance Film Festival. Steve currently resides in beautiful Bucks County where he owns and operates The Salt House, The Centre Bridge Inn, The Salty Dog, The Old Point Pleasant Firehouse, The Stockton Farmers Market. Steve met Mike and Nick in 2019 and began working together to bring their dream of The Borscht Belt alive.
Steve Lau

Advisory Board

David Howitt

Founder & CEO, Meriwether Group

David Howitt is an entrepreneur, operator, and innovator with over 20 years of experience providing business strategy, financial and legal counsel to global Fortune 100 companies and early stage start-ups.

His experience working with iconic consumer brands started in 1996 when he assumed the role of Corporate Counsel for adidas, a role he had for 4 years, during which time the company experienced explosive growth. He then moved into the Vice President position of licensing and business development where he oversaw a 250 million dollar licensing portfolio and supported several corporate acquisitions, including TaylorMade and Salomon.

 

David Howitt
Prior to his career at adidas, David and his wife launched Oregon Chai – an iconic and explosive growing brand that they sold successfully in 2004. Post adidas and the sale of Oregon Chai, David founded the Meriwether Group. As the company Founder and CEO, he has created a powerful private equity, business accelerator and advisory firm that is committed to change how human values are expressed in business by helping disruptive consumer brands and entrepreneurs “Fulfill their Journey.”
His career accomplishments include investing in, securing funding for, and helping to develop a business vision for successful brands like Oregon Chai, Stumptown Coffee, Pendleton, adidas, Voodoo Doughnut, Salomon, yogitoes, Klim, Bloch, Dave’s Killer Bread, ABC Carpet & Home, Living Harvest, and many others. David is also the author of Heed Your Call. A modern-day manifesto that weaves together myth, science, spirituality and business, and applies these ideologies to real-world lessons, showing readers how to integrate soul and purpose with their professions. He earned his B.A. from Denison University and his J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School and resides in Portland, OR.
Peter-shelsky

Peter Shelsky

Executive Chef & Proprietor, Shelsky’s

Born and raised in Manhattan, Peter grew up looking forward to eating appetizing almost every weekend. Smoked salmon, sable, pickled herring, and chubs round out his childhood food memories. Fast forward to young adulthood, following culinary school, Peter began a career cooking in New York’s fine dining scene. Moving into catering, he decided it was time to go back to his roots. In 2011, Peter opened the first location of Shelsky’s Smoked Fish, applying the attention to detail and creativity he learned in fine dining, to the food of his childhood. He outgrew that first storefront on Smith St. within the first 3 years. That’s when he reached out to his friend Lewis to be his partner in moving Shelsky’s Smoked Fish to a larger storefront and growing it into Shelsky’s Of Brooklyn: Appetizing and Delicatessen.

Lewis Spada

Operations & Proprietor, Shelsky’s

Lewis grew up in Carroll Gardens. Half Italian, half Irish, Lewis is 100% New York, which means, while he was enjoying the lard bread, cannoli, and corned beef and cabbage of his mixed heritage, he also was well versed in bagels with lox and cream cheese. A retail guy, to his bones, Lewis learned the trade working in bagel shops, pizzerias, and delis. He became a Cobble Hill retail fixture as the manager of Fish Tales, the local fresh fish store. Following his time at Fish Tales, he sharpened his chops running the fish department at the Upper East Side’s Agata and Valentina. It was after that, that Lewis joined Peter to grow Shelsky’s into what it is today.
Lewis-Spada