Today we’d like to introduce you to Rich Clark.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Rich. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I worked for the Ritz-Carlton while I was in college, at GA State, and I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in the restaurant industry. I also knew that I wanted to work for the best like the Ritz-Carlton. I had worked for some chain restaurants before that and I knew that working for a chain did not interest me.
When I was in my early twenties is started working on my resume by working of the best. I waited tables at the Ritz-Carlton, La Grotta, and Resto des Amis. Resto was a bistro in Buckhead that was a collaboration between Jean-Louis Paladin and Gueter Seeger. I was soon promoted to manager.
After working a Resto for a year I decided I wanted to further my career and took a job as a manager with Brassiere Le Coze, a sister restaurant of the highly acclaimed Le Bernardin. There I was able to work directly with Maguy Le Coze, Gilbert Le Coze, and Eric Ripert. The job was very demanding but quite fulfilling. This is where I met my business partner Jon Schwenk. He was the Executive Chef.
I worked three years at Brassiere and had decided that it was time to move on. I took a job with Blue Ridge Grill as Assistant General Manager and Beverage Director. This is a restaurant owned by Liberty House which also owns Bones and OK Cafe.
Blue Ridge was short lived. After only a year I was called by Pano Karatossos to interview of the job of General Manager of The Atlanta Fish Market. I took the job and was there for over five years. I then moved on to open up Atlantic Seafood Company in Alpharetta. I hired Jon Schwenk as the Executive Chef. We got to oversee the construction of the restaurant and had complete control over the menu. Jon and I were there for over five years. We started having differences of opinions with the owner and decided it was time to start our own restaurant.
We opened C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar in Vinings, Georgia in 2007 and Hugo’s Oyster Bar in 2013. In 2016 we opened C&S Chowder House.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The restaurant business is never smooth. The recession in 2008 to 2010 was a huge hurdle for us to get over but we made it. We tweaked our menu a bit while still maintaining the integrity of our brand.
I have been managing or owning a restaurant now for 27 years and some of the challenges are cyclical. Labor market, economy, and guest preferences. You just have to be very open and be willing to change and stay the course.
I really do not look at anything as an obstacle it is just part of the business. Business will go up and down, competition will come and go. How you handle it is up to you. I can not do anything about what goes on but between our four walls. That is kind of mine and Jon’s motto.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about C&S Chowder House – what should we know?
C&S Chowder House is a seafood restaurant that focuses on seafood, both shellfish, and finfish from the Northeast. Of course, our chowder’s are off the charts good. We offer three different types, New England, Manhattan, and Rhode Island.
However, we are not only a “Chowder House”. We have an extensive menu with a number of varieties of finfish, salads, small plates, and specialty entrees. We also serve at least eight different types of oysters daily.
The variety and freshness of our product certainly sets us apart from our competition.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Jon Schwenk my business partner and Executive Chef.
- Address: 12040 Etris Road #150, Roswell, Georgia 30075
- Website: www.candschowderhouse.com
- Phone: 470-321-5077
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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