My mother is a gourmet cook and she taught me how to cook when I was 7 years old. Food and cooking have been a passion throughout my entire life.
I’ve been talking about owning a restaurant since I was 10. The goal when we started designing my first restaurant in South Bend, Uptown Kitchen, was to create something that has the funky, urban atmosphere found in a bigger city restaurants like those in Chicago, where I am from, or San Francisco (which is one of my favorite eating cities in the world).
So we wanted to create something that was bright and happy with a fun energy. When people walk in, we want them to say “Wow, we’ve never seen anything like this around here!” I think we’ve achieved that.
My long-term plan is to have somewhere between seven and ten restaurants in the South Bend area, all connected by the Uptown Dining Group. Uptown Kitchen is the first restaurant I created because we have three young children at home. We try to live a healthy, active lifestyle and when we go out for dinner with our kids, unless it’s pasta, it’s very difficult in this town to get them to eat food that’s not deep fried.
I’m proud to introduce the second restaurant we’ve opened: The Mark Dine and Tap. The Mark is a gastro pub with a gourmet twist. Like Uptown Kitchen, the only way we cook is with lots of fresh, all-natural, high quality foods made from scratch. The Mark features an incredible full-service bar, featuring craft beers, specialty cocktails and an extensive wine list from all over the world. I hope that our loyal patrons of Uptown Kitchen will venture to The Mark and enjoy another unique dining experience.
From my family to yours,
Eat Well. Drink Well. Be Happy.