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Author: Susan Salk

Strategies to increase foot traffic

Strategies to increase foot traffic

Amanda Lewis says there’s a better way for restaurants to pull in customers. And to make the patron experience so worthwhile they become devotees of the hospitality brand. She knows from which she speaks. Over the Christmas season Lewis transformed a restaurant into a North Pole wonderland so beautiful that a neighborhood Italian restaurant in Weymouth, Mass. was booked solid from Nov. 1 until the end of January. Reservations for The Venetian Restaurant became so hard to get that patrons…

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Loch Lloyd hits a hole-in-one

Loch Lloyd hits a hole-in-one

Loch Lloyd village in Missouri is a gated haven for kindred souls. Built 30 years ago for those who wish to live, recreate and dine among like-minded people — while pursuing a great golf score— the exclusive country club caters to residents and members seeking a safe, serene, outdoorsy enclave where fine dining intertwines with a breadth of recreational activity. Nestled among the hills of Blue Ridge in northwest Missouri, the gated 110-acre grounds feature an  18-hole championship golf course,…

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A star is born in the Bahamas

A star is born in the Bahamas

Plucked from his managerial role at a luxury resort in the Bahamas, Henry Rolle found himself presented with an unprecedented opportunity: to own a piece of a 14-room boutique hotel. Such chances are rare for locals, making this offer truly remarkable. “I was in the right place at the right time,” says Rolle, who with his wife Teymarae took over the helm of the famous Rock House Harbor Island in Dunmore Town, Bahamas. In a first-of-its-kind business venture to vest…

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A restaurant truly ‘worth it’

A restaurant truly ‘worth it’

Chef Kurt Janowsky’s ultimate aspiration was to craft an experience so extraordinary that every guest departed his establishment with a resounding sense of fulfillment, echoing the sentiment, “It was truly worth it.” “We aim to transform a bad day into a good one and elevate a good day into an unforgettable memory,” says Ryne Wright, General Manager of Artisan in Elkhart, IN. This vision propelled Chef Janowsky, the visionary behind Navarre Hospitality Group, and his investors, to breathe new life…

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Toasting a sweet new year

Toasting a sweet new year

“Do me a favor. Stop what you’re doing, go back to school, and do what you love.” These were the words of encouragement from Warren Haines to his daughter, Jennifer Smith, that inspired her to trade her corporate sector attire for chef-whites and start a professional journey infused with flour, sugar, and eggs. “From the time I was a little girl helping my Lebanese grandmother bake pastry for Easter and other holidays, I have always loved baking,” says Smith, owner…

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Upscale Mexican concept splashes down in Fla

Upscale Mexican concept splashes down in Fla

Two visionary businessmen, one with a successful chain of high-end barber shops, the other with an equally thriving pizzeria chain, joined forces this year to bring something completely different to Lakewood, Florida. The quest to build a high-end Mexican concept in the fastest growing Florida panhandle community was a strategic play to marry food trends seen in other parts of the country to a boutique community within 30 minutes of the coast. “The vision was to give Lakewood something they…

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New generation heads famous Pepe group

New generation heads famous Pepe group

Four generations after Gian Antonio Pepe’s great-grandparents arrived at Ellis Island, the youngest member of Pépe International, Inc. is rolling up his sleeves. And getting to work leading the Carmel, Calif. restaurant group into the future. In an ongoing quest to refine menus, manage post-pandemic staffing issues, and create a warm Italian family ambience in their restaurants and bakeries, the young entrepreneur continues traditions harkening back to his old family get-togethers in New Jersey and Italy, even while he puts…

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‘What can’t you put on a deviled egg?’

‘What can’t you put on a deviled egg?’

Raechel van Buskirk’s bustling gastronomic venture started with a $35 budget and a mission to feed Sunday regulars at a dive bar in Omaha. “I was working behind the bar at a dive in Omaha one weekend when the owner said he wanted me to come up with something we could offer people to snack on as we tried to build up our Sunday business,” van Buskirk says. “We didn’t have a kitchen, and I had a tiny budget, but…

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Tech exec helms paddleship biz

Tech exec helms paddleship biz

A Maryland software entrepreneur has aimed her tech skills at a diesel-powered, 1800s paddleboat concept to pilot ship and crew into a whole new world of shipboard dining. Michelle Wyatt sold her Mid-Atlantic software business CadmiumCD, and Maryland home, to move with her family to set a new course in the Sunshine State. And six weeks ago, Wyatt’s ship came! On Sept. 7 she reopened St. Johns Rivership Company as its new owner. And on Sept. 8, the 1800s replica…

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Vikre Distillery makes waves on Lake Superior

Vikre Distillery makes waves on Lake Superior

Before the pure, cold water of Lake Superior swirled in Vikre Distillery’s vodka, Emily and Joel Vikre scaled a high bar of entry into a highly competitive and regulated space. As Vikre Distillery rings in its 10-year anniversary as distiller and distributor of artisanal spirits, gins and vodka, the microbrand continues to build a loyal customer base to its brand and business. From a 120- year old historic building near the famous aerial-lift bridge spanning a shipping lane in Duluth,…

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