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 Advisor

Steve Graul, CCIM

CEO/Principal 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 honored to have acted as 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

Memberships and Affiliations