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Whiskey bar owner Kevin Barrett shares his story
Explicit
July 03, 2019 01:12 PM PDT
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Kevin owns Dram & Draught in Raleigh and Greensboro, NC with business partner Drew Schenck. This place is like heaven if you like whiskey! Kevin and I spent half of this episode talking about the amazing nectar of the gods, and the other half talking about hospitality. We did this while sipping on Nikka Taketsura, Booker's 30th Anniversary Special Edition, and a bottle of Old Grand-Dad bottled in the early 80's. We had a great time, obviously. Enjoy!
The story of The Grey in Savannah, GA
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June 20, 2019 11:19 AM PDT
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When Johno Morisano bought the former Greyhound bus terminal building that had been built in 1938, he intended to hold it as a real estate investment. But upon closing on the property, he immediately decided he wanted to open a restaurant in it. Nearly five years into the business, The Grey has won Eater's Restaurant of the Year, been named as one of Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Places on Earth, and partner and Chef Mashama Bailey was recently named Best Chef in the Southeast by the James Beard Foundation after being nominated each of the last two years. We had a very fun, wide-ranging conversation and I came away so thoroughly impressed with Johno's work ethic, passion for his business, respect and care for his team, amazing relationship with business partner Mashama, and devotion to making The Grey a institution for the people in Savannah to enjoy for many years to come. Tons to learn from a guy who came into the hospitality business with no former experience, and quickly helped make his restaurant a nationally-recognized restaurant. Enjoy...
The story of Bond Brothers Beer Company
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June 13, 2019 08:58 AM PDT
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Bond Brothers was named the best new brewery in the nation by USA Today in 2016. Here's the story of how brothers Jay & Jeremy Bond and their two business partners had so much success so quickly they threw out their 5-year plan after just 6 months, since they were growing exponentially faster than they had anticipated. With no significant hospitality experience between the four of them, the guys were able to approach the business organically and with a fresh perspective, and have had no turnover after three years in business. We talked about why they don't micromanage, collaboration within the beer community, the three pillars of their business, why quality is becoming more important these days since customers are more educated on craft beers, the trend of craft breweries being acquired by large multinational companies and the impact that is having on the industry, and more. Jay and Jeremy are extremely nice, genuine, soft-spoken, humble guys who have built an absolutely phenomenal business. Enjoy...
Brandon Sharp tells his story
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June 06, 2019 12:27 PM PDT
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Brandon has been in the business over twenty years, and earned seven consecutive Michelin stars as Executive Chef of Solbar in Napa Valley from the years 2010-2016. He returned to Chapel Hill, NC in 2016 and opened Hawthorne & Wood on April 6 of this year. Brandon and I covered a wide range of topics, from his education over the years about flavor combinations from around the world, the decision tree process of opening his first restaurant, learning through experience that chefs that yelled at staff didn't get their best work, giving his staff immediate feedback, both positive and constructive, striving for perfection but accepting excellence, investors, the four guideposts of his restaurant, and more. Brandon has been very successful but is very humble and curious, constantly trying to learn from others. He's a cool dude, and was very fun to chat with. Enjoy...
Trey Wilder shares his story
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June 05, 2019 11:56 AM PDT
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Trey owns Treylor Park (Savannah, GA and Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) and Hitch (Savannah). We discussed a wide range of topics, from attention to detail, to, what he learned not to do, keeping things simple, quality over quantity, branding, being a leader vs. a boss, and much more. Tons and tons of respect for Trey, a genuinely great dude who works his tail and off and loves what he does. Enjoy...
Chris Dickerson shares his story
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April 16, 2019 11:28 AM PDT
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Chris owns the very popular, award-winning Corner Taco in Jacksonville, FL and Burrito Royale in Savannah, GA. He's opening Squirrel's Pizza in Savannah soon. And he's a BADASS! In this episode we cover his back story, why having investors would have forced him to make/do things he wasn't proud of, the importance of great systems, the "dance" you have to do with customers, nudging vs. shoving, the difference in a brand vs. a label, never apologizing for who you are, respect over money, how he defines success, and much more. This dude is on his game! Enjoy...
Veteran owner Fran Scibelli shares her story
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March 28, 2019 10:53 AM PDT
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Fran has owned iconic Fran's Filling Station in Charlotte, NC for ten years, but she's been an owner off and on since 1994. Fran and her team's mission is to fill up her guests bodies and spirits, hence the restaurant name. We talked about a wide range of topics, from why she only wants one location, to managing people being an ongoing work-in-progress, to learning from her brother about coaching, to why a guest comment helped her realize she needed to remodel, to nailing the basics every day, to trying to touch every table, to paying close attention to OpenTable feedback, to her constant search for "delicious", to her very personal focus on finding a kidney due to her kidney disease, which she chose to make public recently. Fran is an absolutely amazing lady, personally and professionally. I have so much respect for her. This is a must-listen episode. Enjoy...
Vince Giancarlo of Zeppelin shares his story
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March 27, 2019 11:41 AM PDT
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Vince is the executive chef of Zeppelin in Charlotte, NC. This place has quickly developed a great reputation and when you listen to Vince you'll understand why. Driven, creative, thoughtful, sharp, and focused, Vince shares the ethos of Zeppelin, the hurdles of the first year of a restaurant, chefs thriving under pressure of having other great chefs around, why he focuses on collaboration vs. competition and why chefs should rally around each other, and more. This is a quick, awesome 15-minute conversation. Enjoy...
Sean O'Neill from Chronic Tacos shares his story
Explicit
March 25, 2019 10:55 AM PDT
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Sean owns three Chronic Tacos locations in N.C. and is planning more. He had a short run in hospitality before diving into this opportunity, but he went after it full speed ahead and is having lots of success. There's a 100% chance you'll learn something meaningful from Sean and be inspired. And you'll laugh a few times as well! He is high energy, sharp, confident, fun to hang out with, and a master of Instagram with over 14,000 followers (he shares his secret sauce during the interview). I really enjoyed learning from a guy who invested into somebody else's idea but has taking ownership of making sure it's very successful in his territory. Sean's awesome, enjoy...
Wooden Robot GM Zena Irving shares her story
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March 20, 2019 04:50 AM PDT
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Zena is awesome. She has been in hospitality for 16 years, and grew up with a family background at Disney. She's been at the very popular Wooden Robot Brewery in Charlotte, NC since day one, four years ago. Owners Dan and Josh needed somebody with hospitality experience when they started, an Zena stepped up and has clearly done a tremendous job. We talked about the team's core values, how they stay on their game with such high volume (they've already brewed over 600 batches), the importance of effective and constant communication, their philosophy of working with a shared fate, working out of humility and teachability, making things look easy when they aren't, why Wooden Robot doesn't have high turnover, the collaborative nature of the beer community, and getting ready for their second location that's opening this May. Zena is sharp, focused, authentic, humble, and definitely one her game. Enjoy...

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