Yes, there really is a Duke
I am a passionate person who cares about his family, two kids (boy and girl) and four grand kids. I try to play as much golf as I can but it is challenging when I am so involved in our restaurants. Fortunately, my son John is my partner and it is a real thrill to have such a great guy at my side. My daughter is a writer who lives here locally and she, too, is a great person. I am very lucky.
I originally started out as a stock broker but immediately fell in love with restaurants where I took my clients. Before I knew it, I was measuring the sizes of tables, taking photos of dining rooms, borrowing menus and becoming a restaurant guy. I finally decided to take the plunge and invest in one, Ray’s Boathouse which was started in 1972. It wasn’t long after, that I was needed in the operations. I thought it was going to be easy when I first got involved. Invest some money, sit back and watch the big bucks come rolling in. Not so fast. We almost lost our investment in that first year. Only hard work and perseverance kept us alive. In the process, I learned every position from waiting tables to bartending to cooking and running the kitchen. Seeing an opportunity to open a different kind of place, I embarked on the Duke’s thing. It was then and there that my passion for food developed. It still drives me today. I want the best for our guests. It’s who I am. I regularly read 10 different medical science publications (I have secretly wanted to be a doctor/healer all my life) and keep up on nutrition and health constantly. I am the kind of guy that flies to Alaska every year and supervises the catch of our Salmon. The last two years, I have been in Cordova, home of Copper River. Incredible tasting fish. I am also the kind of guy that does research on grass fed beef for a few years before finding just the right product, recently introduced. The Omega 3s and phenomenal taste are amazing. My passion runs further, though, because we have all sustainable food, no trans fats, no farmed fish, no chemicals in our food whatsoever including our Award Winning Chowder. I am especially proud of our team with whom I am privileged to work with. I am known as someone who cares about people but I also care about their performance. I am in the restaurant business and have lasted a long time. Keeping those two things in balance is essential.
My days consist of working on menu ideas, recipes, meeting with our Executive Chef about food, helping my son on the Operations side and sipping some great tasting wine when I’m all through for the day.