Innovative Concept Associates, Inc. is licensed to provide commercial real estate brokerage services in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Outside of these jurisdictions real estate brokerage functions are performed under the supervision of ICA, on behalf of our Clients, by strategic partners who are licensed in the applicable jurisdiction(s).  Our restaurant advisory services credentials include more than 50 combined years in restaurant operations and more than 50 combined years in development, leasing and project management.

Restaurant Real Estate Advisors

Steve Graul, CCIM

CEO/Principal Broker

Jack Trenta

Associates Broker

Steven K. Graul, CCIM

CEO / Principal Broker

Steve Graul founded Innovative Concept Associates, Inc. in 1997 with the vision of offering strategic real estate services to high profile, restaurant growth companies, and to developers seeking to attract them. As an investment real estate trained professional with a restaurant operations background, he services a prestigious portfolio of clients, from James Beard Foundation credentialed chefs and publicly traded national companies to high profile, mixed use institutional REITS and development firms. Many of his clients have been with the firm since its inception.


Mr. Graul is retained as strategic advisor and outsourced real estate director, responsible for planning and coordinating real estate initiatives for brand expansion. He is empowered by a collaborative network of restaurant and retail real estate specialists in markets across the United States, who support him in fulfilling his clients’ goals. Mr. Graul has been instrumental in the site selection and negotiations for transactions valued at more than $300 million in 16 states. He has actively consummated or explored transactions in 22 of the top 25 major market cities in the USA.


Under his direction, ICA currently directs the outsourced real estate program for full service, casual brands Burtons Grill, Zea Rotisserie & Bar and Baker’s Crust. Mr. Graul is the trusted real estate advisor to several James Beard credentialed chef/owners including José Andrés THINK Food Group, Jeffrey Buben and Eric Ziebold. From concept inception through 2008, Mr. Graul managed the 16 unit roll out of the fine dining restaurant, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, and has also worked with national brands Stoney River Legendary Steaks and Buca di Beppo.


Mr. Graul supported Vornado Real Estate Investment Trust in the development planning, and leasing execution, for a 60,000 square foot restaurant anchor component, as part of a $450 million redevelopment of Springfield Town Center in Virginia. He was also instrumental in creating the original retail merchandising mix and directed retail leasing for Harbor East in Baltimore, MD, (500,000 square feet of retail, theater, 10 restaurants).


Mr. Graul earned a Bachelors of Business Administration from the College of William & Mary and obtained his designation as a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) in 1989. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). He is licensed as a real estate broker in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He can be reached at

  •  Negotiated or consulted for transactions valued at $300M+ in 16 states
  •  Instrumental in the expansion of The Oceanaire Seafood Room from 1 site to 16 sites, crafting roll out strategy, managing market selection and asset identification to conform with requirements
  •  Crafted merchandising mix and directed retail leasing for Harbor East; 500,000 square feet retail, theater, 10 restaurants, 4 hotels, 650 residential units, and 1 million square feet office space
  •  Outsourced Real Estate Director and strategist for Burtons Grill, LLC and Taste Buds Management dba Zea Rotisserie & Bar
  •  Restaurant Advisor to Vornado Real Estate Investment Trust for the $450M redevelopment of Springfield Town Center, including 50,000 square feet of upscale dining

John S. “Jack” Trenta

Associate Broker / Restaurant Advisor

Jack Trenta has over 40 years of experience in the restaurant, finance, mortgage and real estate industries in the greater metropolitan Washington area and New Jersey, including 25 years in upper level management with Clyde’s Restaurant Group, a $100 million plus high-profile restaurant company with 11 locations in the highly competitive DC market. Over the span of his career with Clyde’s, Jack was instrumental in the pre-opening and opening phases of 3 restaurants and served as general manager of 4 locations including Old Ebbitt Grill, the highest grossing restaurant in the market, situated a block from the White House. In the mid-80’s, Jack was the owner/operator of “The Quay” in Sea Bright, NJ, a fine-dining restaurant and boat marina, and a Wine Spectator award-winner for “Top 100 Best Restaurant Wine Lists” 3 years running.

After transitioning into mortgage finance and real estate in the late 90’s, Mr. Trenta worked as a retail mortgage consultant with First Horizon Home Loans and later with Homefirst Mortgage in Old Town Alexandria. Soon thereafter, he hung his real estate sales license with Jobin Realty in Tyson’s Corner, VA, then transferred it to e-Realty Network, Inc. before establishing Trenta Realty Group, Inc. in Reston, VA as principal broker and owner.

Mr. Trenta’s was a member of the restaurant advisory team for Vornado Real Estate Investment Trust’s $450M redevelopment of Springfield Town Center, including 50,000 square feet of upscale dining. He currently represents restaurants expansion initiatives in the Washington Metro area for Burton’s Grill and Baker’s Crust.

A graduate of Georgetown University with degrees in literature and government, Mr. Trenta also studied film and photography at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC. His years of “hands-on” restaurant management experience is complemented by formal culinary training at L’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, MD as well as formal wine training under the tutelage of Kevin Szraly, Wine Director of “Windows on the World” at the World Trade Center in Manhattan.

  •  Licensed Real Estate Broker in Virginia and the District of Columbia
  •  A Member ICSC, NAR, NVAR
  •  Twenty-five years as a senior manager with Clyde’s Restaurant Group

Memberships and Affiliations