Steve Wynn invests $15 million in Pie Face meat pie chain

He’s not exactly known as a meat and potatoes guy. In fact, he's a vegan. But casino developer Steve Wynn has purchased a 43-percent stake in the American branch of an Australian meat pie bakery and café chain.

Pie Face is known for its handmade meat pot pies that contain an encrusted facial expression in each pastry. The restaurant also sells sweet pies, sausage rolls, sandwiches, wraps, soups, mashed potatoes and gravy, quiche and baked goods, as well as espresso and coffee.

The company plans to grow quickly in New York City, then expand nationally. Wynn’s investment will help fund the expansion.

Through a private stock placement, Wynn paid $15 million for his stake in Pie Face USA, a Brooklyn-based subsidiary of Pie Face Holdings Pty Ltd. of Sydney, Australia, a Wynn spokesman confirmed Tuesday. Wynn’s investment is personal and does not involve his gaming company, Wynn Resorts Ltd. of Las Vegas.

A Pie Face spokeswoman said it’s not known if or when Pie Face will expand to Las Vegas. U.S. expansion locations have not been selected, she said.

''It hasn’t been a topic of discussion,'' Wynn Resorts spokesman Michael Weaver said.

Broadway producer Kevin McCollum will consult with the company on U.S. marketing programs, according to Pie Face.

''We are thrilled to have such experienced and talented entrepreneurs supporting us in the roll-out of Pie Face USA,'' said Wayne Homschek, co-founder and CEO of Pie Face Australia and president of Pie Face USA.

With his investment, Wynn will be able to appoint two directors to the Pie Face USA board. They’ll join three existing directors.

''Having met the Pie Face USA management team recently and having visited their first store in New York, I came to the conclusion that they were bright people with a bright concept. I look forward to backing them as they expand throughout Manhattan and across the United States,'' Wynn said in statement.

Wynn recently bought a $70 million condominium in Manhattan at the Ritz-Carlton.

Pie Face opened its first store in Manhattan in January and hopes to have five Manhattan locations by the end of the year, company spokeswoman Kimberly Yorio said.

With about 75 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Australia, Pie Face anticipates sales of about $50 million this year, according to Nation's Restaurant News.

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