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Everyone knows the old adage, “Nice guys finish last,” and unfortunately that is too frequently the case. Often, kindness is taken for weakness, and people tend to take advantage of the weak. Sure, I’ve been burned for being a “nice guy” but my upbringing and morals could never allow me to be anything but a decent, caring, human being.

At the age of twenty-six, I was shocked to hear that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Being a man—a very young man—I never thought that breast cancer was even a possibility. Needless to say, a life-threatening event like that has the power to change you.

After beating breast cancer I made two new promises to myself. My first promise was that I would follow my dreams and make every effort to achieve my goals, and the second was that I would always do my best to help people that are in need.

At the time of my diagnosis, I was a thriving mortgage banker. I was financially stable and poised to build a life of financial freedom. The problem was, mortgages were hardly my passion. Since I was a young boy, I always loved food, cooking, and in particular, experimenting with different flavors. Since I could remember, I wanted to own my own restaurant. Luckily, I had squirreled away some money, and with the help of loans, family, and friends, I was able to buy a fairytale restaurant. The grounds are set in the center of Clove Lakes Park in a historic stone building. I named it “The Stone House at Clove Lakes,” and about one year later I opened a restaurant within my restaurant, “Chefs Loft at The Stone House.” I was happily fulfilling the first promise to myself.

My second promise led me to get involved with local charitable organizations and make an impact however small it may be. Being that I had a great venue to host events, I decided to use the venue to raise money for some great organizations. We would throw themed events and donate the net proceeds. The organizations also had the opportunity to sell raffle tickets, fifty-fifty, and to further raise funds at the events. Although it wasn’t the reason I started hosting these events that I noticed that there was a tremendous amount of goodwill generated for the restaurant.

Each event would garner plenty of media attention, and the charities would market the events to thousands of supporters through their email lists and social media channels. The events are always held mid-week so it never takes away from our busy days, and the staff gets to work more and put a few more bucks in their pockets. The events are a huge benefit across the board. First, they generate funds for organizations that help the community, second, they bring new guests and great exposure to the restaurant while warranting significant media coverage, and lastly, they are a great way to keep employees working and happy.

Restaurant owners and chefs can flex their creative juices in planning festivals, special dinners, or theme nights to benefit a local charity.  When creating these events, they should reach out to all local media outlets and community leaders to maximize awareness and ultimately, the success of the event.  Creating a memorable experience for the guests, generating money for a local charity, and spotlighting your venue as a force for good, are all positive outcomes you can expect.

I'm incredibly lucky and thankful to be able to do what I love and be successful at it. Being a “nice guy” certainly played a big role in that. If you have the opportunity to use your space for good, the goodwill comes back to you tenfold.

Peter Botros is a chef and entrepreneur who owns and operates The Stone House at Clove Lakes as well as Chef's Loft at The Stone House. Peter has spent his entire life working in the foodservice industry, from pizzerias to high-end restaurants and event spaces. Food and hospitality are his passion.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Embattled Troy restaurant closed several months ago. And in its place rises a new, New Dorp restaurant -- Violette's Cellar, located in the subterranean space once home to long-running La Botte restaurant and its successor, House of Crabs.

Partners in this venture are threefold with Peter Botros, tender of the Parks Department food contract at Stone House at Clove Lakes Park and its restaurant-within-a-restaurant, Chef's Loft. Marc Zurlo joins him along with Philip Farinacci, part-owner of former restaurants Tosca of Grasmere and Aqua Night Club, which eventually became Grotto Steakhouse in Dongan Hills.

The maze of rooms at new-and-coming Violette's has been picked fairly clean as the prior restaurateur's furniture, kitchen equipment, small wares, and bar were stripped and sold for auction. Everything will need to be replaced and while the kitchen area won't be seen by the public, it will probably be the most costly part for the new owners as they will need to get industrial Nella Food Equipment, redesign the preparation area, and fix the refrigerators that got damaged in the clear out. This could be a good thing though as they will know the equipment will be reliable and won't have to worry about any breaks or repairs. Although the restaurant still has to be prepared in case some kitchen equipment does need repairing or replacing. Luckily, companies like NBS sell kitchen equipment such as Hobart mixer bowl guard replacement parts, so the restaurant could contact them if replacement parts were needed.

Peter, Phil, and Marc gave a tour of the space at 2271 Hylan Boulevard that's been vacant for about three months.

Step downstairs and to the left Phil points to an alcove that will be an intimate dining spot in a wine room for up to four guests.

"It's going to be fully glassed-in to show the wine storage," explains Peter.

Go straight past the wine room, behind a heavy door leftover from LaBotte, and find the dining room proper primed for 75 seats. The bar in this area will be an L-shape and have room for 12. Its granite top will be purple and have "violet veins," says Phil. To the opposite end of the room where three arches have form-fitted mirrors, Peter says there will be salt blocks stacked into the archways all back-lit in purple.

It was a night fit for a king!

Hundreds gathered at Staten Island’s elegant Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 South Avenue, as over 20 men were honored at Star Network’s annual “Kings of Staten Island” event.

The event held on Wednesday, May 10, gave attendees opportunities to network, fundraise, and acknowledge and celebrate each other’s work and accolades.

“I love to bring recognition to people who make a difference in their communities and every one of you tonight has made a difference,” Victoria Schneps, Schneps Communications/Star Network co-owner, told the honorees. “It is our honor and our pleasure to honor you and let you and the community know how much you are appreciated.”

This year’s Kings of Staten Island were Joseph Maffeo (Posthumous Community Valor Award recipient); Robert DeFalco (Owner, Robert DeFalco Realty/S.I. Mortgage Group, Inc. and Excellence in Real Estate Award recipient); Lawrence Ambrosino (Owner, Residential Home Funding); Steve Argentine (Owner, All Boro Maintenance); Anthony “AJ” Basile (Financial Specialist, National Financial Network); Peter Botros (Chef/Owner, Stone House Restaurant); Barry Crupi (Co-Owner/Barry’s Auto); Theodore Ericson (Executive Director and Founder, Crossroads Unlimited, Inc.); Robert Fanuzzi, Ph.D. (Associate Provost & Director of Civic Engagement, St. John’s University); Howard Farber (Second Vice President/Branch Manager, Richmond County Savings Bank); Bobby Giurintano (Key Account Manager, TGI Office Automation); Gurdev Singh Kang (Cultural Society, Richmond Hill); Steven J. Korkowski (President/CEO, Sweetbrook Nursery & Garden Center); Matthew Langella (AVP/Branch Manager, Investors Bank); Frank P. Lettera (Managing Director, Hanley Funeral Home); Brian Licata (Deputy Director of Workforce Development, United Activities Unlimited); Dominick Mancino (Actor, Screen Actors Guild); Brian McGowan (Director of Marketing, Casandra Properties); Frank Morano (Radio Host, AM 970 The Answer); George Joseph Passariello (Co-owner/Chief Technology Officer/The VON Agency); Nicholas Pesce (Owner, La Bella Market Place); Anthony Rapacciuolo (Partner, PRcision LLC); Michael Scarimbolo (Branch Manager, Advisors Mortgage Group LLC ); and Will Smith (President/Operating Partner, Staten Island Yankees).

Along with a VIP reception, cocktail hour, and ceremony, the event debuted a special award, the Joseph Maffeo Community Valor Award, sponsored by Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell Health, which was accepted by Linda and Keith Manfredi, founders of the Joseph Maffeo Foundation. Maffeo was a firefighter for Ladder 101, who lost his life on September 11, 2001.

Manfredi and her husband Keith started the foundation to improve the community and commemorate him. “My brother was a very unique and giving man,” she said. “Because of his work during his short years of life, my husband and I try to take a proactive approach in life felt it was important to keep his legacy alive.”

Linda and Keith were presented with the First Annual Joseph Maffeo Award as singer Danny Rodriguez dedicated a performance of “Proud to be an American” to them. “I’d like to thank Vicki for being such a great role model for all of us in this community,” Linda added, as she acknowledged all the other recipients for their contribution to the community. “It’s really the community at large that affords us the opportunity to build a foundation and its mission of truly making a difference and making the world a better place. I’d like to congratulate all of you. Whether you do it for children, adults, or community at large, it’s people like you who truly make a difference and allow our youth to see who they need to be and who they need to emulate in future generations.”

One hundred percent of the raffle proceeds went to the foundation.

The Kings who attended were thrilled to be a part of the evening.

“When you look around the room and see some of the past honorees, it’s definitely a humbling experience and honor to be here with these gentlemen,” said Langella. “I was born and raised here. When you live on Staten Island, you see a lot of grassroots organizations like Michael’s Cause  and Emergency Children’s Help Organization, and to be able to give back and help those organizations be successful means a lot to me and the island.”

“It’s an honor to be nominated with this group of fellows who have been in business for years and people that are at the peak of their profession,” added Licata. “For me, this is kind of a new experience. I’ve only been doing this for the last few years. Overall, it’s great that someone actually thought enough to put me in this class.”

“It’s a great honor to be a part of Star Network and receive this award,” Scarimbolo said. “You work very hard to get where you have to go in life within a business and the community. Networking is part of that, and to receive this award and be recognized for all the hard work you put in is a great honor.”

Exhibitors were also delighted.

“It’s a great event that’s honoring great people on the island,” said George Chicolo III, director of business development and partnerships for the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud to be here and be a sponsor. We are really happy for all of the honorees. They’ve all done great work for the community. Staten Island is such a small, tight-knit community and everybody treats each other like family.  A lot of these people have done great things for the community.”

“We are here to honor all the Kings and it’s a great place to get our name out as a bank,” added First Vice President of Empire State Bank Jeanne Sarno. “It’s always a great turn-out and we love to support it. We’ve been a part of these events from the beginning.”

During the award ceremony, each honoree got to walk down the red carpet to receive his trophy. NY1 News anchor Natalie Duddridge served as the event’s emcee.

This year’s sponsors were Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell Health, Investors Bank, Empire State Bank, Richmond County Savings Bank, JetBlue, Broadway Stages, Staten Island Economic Development Corporation, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, and Med cast Plus.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- On Staten Island, Country music is on the surge, says Peter Botros of the Stone House at Clove Lakes Park. That factoid served as the impetus for the barbecue theme in a second annual fundraising event, this year held on Thursday, Aug. 10.

Merging smoked ribs, creamy cabbage slaw and the twang of live country music with Micheal's Cause to match, the evening's aim was to raise awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The genetic disorder affects one in 3,500 boys worldwide, says the Staten Island-based organization.

"We have a themed charity-driven festival every other month," explained Botros.

"Last year we held the festival on Columbus Day in October and we had a wonderful turnout and raised thousands of dollars for the Carl V. Bini Memorial Fund. This year we decided to move the festival to August and take advantage of the warmer weather that is fitting for the Country theme," said Botros.

Raising such a large amount of money for a memorial fund like the Carl V. Bini Memorial Fund is a fantastic thing to do and will make such a difference to those who need it most. Follow the link to learn more about setting up a memorial fund.

Nine-year-old Michael Capolongo, for whom the organization was established, was on hand with his parents, Robert and Theresa Capolongo, as well as about 300 other supporters.

And there were a few other partnerships at the event as well.

Anthony Valois of The Smoke Exchange, for instance, donated his time to the charity by personally smoking and basting over 300 pounds of succulent ribs, pork butt, and brisket.

As Stone House staff sliced the brisket on the bias, revelers piled the meat high on plates alongside a Southwestern-style macaroni and cheese, smoky sauteed spinach and collard greens, pulled pork, a rich potato salad plus other distinct and fresh side dishes.

"We have a unique opportunity to use our beautiful venue to help raise awareness and money for local Staten Island charitable organizations, creating themed events that help us get a much better turnout than the usual boring fundraiser where it seems more like a chore or an obligation to attend," said Botros.

"We want these events to be spectacular so that people look forward to attending and we can raise more money. We like to support as many local charities as possible and are currently looking to link up with more organizations for future events like this one," said Botros.

Interested not-for-profits can contact the proprietor at info@thomasd112.sg-host.com.

In the meantime, as announced at the prior fundraising fete, Violette's Cellar in Grant City is underway at 2271 Hylan Blvd., a restaurant with profits eventually slated toward cancer research.  

"Violette's Cellar renovations are progressing at an amazing pace and we have had tremendous support...Since word spread that we were doing this, we have had an outpouring of support. We even have a flooring contractor, John Defrancesco of Superior Decorative Concrete, donating his time and [at cost] putting in the coolest floors I have ever seen," said Botros.

The Stone House at Clove Lakes
1150 Clove Road
Staten Island, NY 10301
(718) 442-3600
www.thestonehousesi.com

The Stone House at Clove Lakes offers it all: elegant dining, exceptional service, and a relaxing setting to escape from the busyness of everyday life.

The spacious restaurant nestled along the water at Clove Lakes Park provides a tranquil dining atmosphere with creative dishes designed by Chef/Owner Peter Botros. The menu changes with the seasons and this summer Peter invites you to try The Stone House’s lighter foods, like a Watermelon Salad or Chilled Corn Soup with Lobster and Chipotle Oil.

“Summer is a time to focus on fresh herbs and bright citrus flavors,” Peter says. “We have plenty of outdoor seating to let our customers enjoy a meal in the warm weather.”

The Stone House can accommodate more than 250 patrons in its restored dining spaces, complete with warmly-colored, resurfaced wooden beams, a fireplace, and outside gazebos next to the lake.

Inside, patrons can experience a different culinary adventure with a reservation at The Chef’s Loft, a separate upstairs dining area with a specialty menu. Every Saturday evening, guests will be served a five-course wine-paired dinner in an intimate seating area with a backlit Himalayan sea salt wall and candle-lit tables. The Chef’s Loft will also be open on the third Wednesday and Thursday of every month, with a different take on Saturday’s menu. July’s offerings will focus on Asian foods, and August will feature avocado dishes.

Sunday Brunch is offered from 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., with live entertainment accompanying the prix fixe menu.

An acoustic guitarist and singer perform during dinner every other night of the week, adding an extra element to The Stone House’s inviting ambiance.

In the couple of years that Peter has had The Stone House, he has enjoyed hosting fundraisers for various charities in the community. On August 10, The Stone House will host a benefit for Michael’s Cause, which raises money for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. A $59 ticket includes all-you-can-eat barbeque food, and live country music will be performed.

“It’s gratifying and humbling to see that people appreciate the work that we’ve done,” Peter says. “We enjoy giving back to our community.”

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- When it comes to The Stone House's various components -- dinner, the nightly specials, lunch, and especially Sunday brunch -- owner Peter Botros takes everything personally -- very personally.

So, if any aspect of his handsome, Clove Lakes Park venue doesn't draw raves, he takes it apart and starts all over again.

Such a quick volte-face happened to the popular brunch buffet back in the fall. In early November, Botros ditched the sprawling feast served fireside in the Stone House's lofty front room.

Botros felt compelled to explain back in November: "We made the change because we felt a public buffet is not the best representation of the Stone House...buffets limit our creativity and generate a lot of waste. And, we want to be more conscious of food waste."

So, he went all-in on ala carte -- a prix fixe format that now costs $24.95.

And, brunch became an even bigger success.

Now served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests can linger over lox, omelets, and various options from the three-course menu. A complimentary cocktail is included, as are twists on classics and the basket of signature cheddar-corn muffins with chipotle-honey butter.

Take the bacon-egg-n-cheese. Peter's version starts with a butter dollop melted in a stainless steel pan and miniature croissants split open for the crisping in the butter. On top of that comes unctuous Applewood bacon slices, then a pair of poached eggs topped with smoked Gouda bechamel. The ribbon of yolk oozing its way down the side is just a plus that we get to witness.

Peter is a native Staten Islander who has, at times, taken on massive workloads and overcome a few challenges in life. A Port Richmond High School graduate, Peter earned Bachelors's Degree in Entrepreneurial Studies from Fairleigh Dickinson University, then a Double Major MBA in Marketing and Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

He started out at Dominoes Pizza at 13, moved over to Miggy's Deli at 14, Bario's Pizza in New Springville at 15, South Fin Grill in South Beach at 19, Angelina's in Annadale at 23 and The Pepperjack Grill, Castleton Corner, at 25. All the while, from age 24 onward, he's been a mortgage broker.

With friends made along the way and with a following of former colleagues, The Stone House began in 2014.

Book-ending the bulk of his career thus far, Peter's Mom passed away from breast cancer when in his mid-teens. And, he, too, is a breast cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with the disease at 24.

As a further illustration of his tenacity and passion for the restaurant business, Peter started up The Chef's Loft, a concept of a restaurant-within-a-restaurant wine-and-food pairing for an arranged price of $125. Botros personally prepares the meals tableside in the upper portion of Stone House formerly used as a storeroom and office.

At a year into a concept to a dubious restaurant critic, the venture took off. Reservations now must be made months in advance for what is now dubbed as "The Flavor Series."

Says Joe Toth of Southern Wines and Spirits, "I'm impressed with Peter at the Stone House...he took the chance. This kid continues to raise the bar and be a success at everything he does -- God bless him."

So, here's how you voted in the "Best Brunch" category of 2017 Best of Staten Island Awards.

STONE HOUSE

1150 Clove Rd., Sunnyside; 1150 Clove Rd., Clove Lakes Park; 718-442-3600, TheStoneHouseSI.com

The Stone House is located in the heart of Clove Lakes Park in a historic building that sits right on its own little island with beautiful views. Inside the venue is the Chef's Loft, a restaurant that boasts an intimate setting for between 16 to 20 people.

The Chef's Loft at the Stone House is like a restaurant within a restaurant. It offers those interested in expanding their palette a unique five-course meal and wine paired with the dinner menu.

"We get far more creative and far more innovative with the food we serve up here," Chef Peter Botros said.

With dishes like a marshmallow lobster and chilled shrimp chipotle cotton candy, diners can quickly see why the Chef's Loft is getting a lot of attention.

"We've done an all-chocolate menu where there was a chocolate steak. We did a lobster ravioli with a white chocolate vanilla brown butter," Botros said.

The Stone House is located in the heart of Clove Lakes Park in a historic building that sits right on its own little island and offers beautiful views.

Just below the Chef's Loft is the main dining room, which features contemporary American food with a twist.

One of the signature dishes includes lamb meatballs served with herb yogurt, toasted almonds, and a tomato jam. Another fan favorite is the crispy wings, which are dipped in a garlic soy caramel sauce and tossed with sesame seeds.

A pan-seared salmon that is crusted with poppy seed served with roasted root vegetables and a pomegranate molasses glaze is another popular dish.

The Chef's Loft is one of the toughest places to get reservations on the Island and can be booked up two months in advance.

The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday and has live music six nights a week.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- I'm no food critic by any stretch but I do know when I'm having a nice night out after a long, hard week. And Saturday was unforgettable.

On April 1, my husband and I dined at the Chef's Loft at the Stone House, a picturesque restaurant nestled in a mirage-like sanctuary over a footbridge with sweeping views of Clove Lakes Park. It was an early birthday celebration for me.

I've been to Stone House for dinner many times with family and for innumerable work lunches or with girlfriends, but the Chef's Loft is in a league of its own. The crowd is intimate -- only up to 16 people per evening -- and the out-of-this-world food is prepared right in front of you by chef and owner, Peter Botros.

In short, it's an amazing and unique dining experience. I felt like a movie star with a private chef.

At $125 a head, will this S.I. restaurant concept work?

An open letter to the Stone House introduces an ambitious new dining experience to the borough.

What did we have for dinner? When we were seated -- at a cozy table with a bird's eye view of the sold-out main dining room (admittedly, I often looked down to see if I knew anyone in the crowd) -- there was already cheddar and chose biscuits with horseradish butter waiting for us.

It was followed by an asparagus salad with bocconcini and crispy prosciutto. I'd never had the Italian ham not on a melon before and not for brunch before. Delicious!

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Peter Botros, proprietor of the Stone House at Clove Lakes Park

The cocktail portion of the Cookbook contest, only two years in effect, is open to professionals. With that, kudos to former Cookbook winner Jennifer Lamonica, who competed against her son Frank Lamonica: Both put on a great demonstration at the Taste-Off.

It is Peter Botros who won the category, the self-made chef who competes against himself each week with his Chef's Loft concept at the Stone House. Here he runs off the rails from the restaurant's usual offerings and personally cooks for guests in a more intimate setting.

For this cocktail, says Peter, "The inspiration was the first 70-degree day we had in early 2017. It made me think of cocktails perfect for drinking on the outdoor patio." And a Negroni of herbaceousness and fruity refreshment was born.

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Peter explains the elixir's title: "'Cousins' was derived from the brand of Amaro I used for the cocktail, Montenegro Amaro. Although the brand is from Italy, it reminded me of all the people who I met in the restaurant industry who hails from Serbia and Montenegro. They were all hard workers and were very close to one another, often referring to each other as 'cousin.'" Cheers, Peter.

RECIPE: COUSIN'S NEGRONI

(Makes 1 drink)

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2-ounce Montenegro Amaro

1-ounce Brooklyn Gin

1-ounce peach nectar

4-ounce club soda

Ice

DIRECTIONS:

Shake together all the ingredients with ice. Pour into a highball glass and served with dried apricot.

-- Peter Botros, Sunnyside, Staten Island

Opening a Restaurant ... Inside a Restaurant?

WHY ONE RESTAURATEUR OPENED A SECOND RESTAURANT WITHIN HIS FIRST.
By Peter BotrosApril 2017Vendor Bylines

Anyone who has ever dreamt of opening a restaurant has also fantasized about growing into a mini restaurant empire. Unfortunately for the overwhelming majority of those who try their hand at the restaurant business, a fantasy is exactly how it remains.

It takes hard work, dedication, talent, and a sprinkle of luck to make it. But for those who are lucky enough and have worked hard enough to succeed, what's next?

For many of us, getting through the first year is a badge of honor, and if you're as crazy as I am, you start to think about opening your second location.

You convince yourself that you can duplicate the principles that made you successful in your flagship restaurant. Perhaps one of the most important lessons you learn is that the money going out is far more important than the money coming in.

Efficiency, Efficiency, Efficiency

To be a successful restaurant in New York City, it's a must that you maximize employee productivity, minimize waste, and generate as much revenue as possible with the space you have. Investing in Restaurant POS Systems will really help excel your restaurant to the next level.

After doing a pretty good job of all that I began looking for space for my second baby. While narrowing down my search, I had a moment of deep reflection. Who was I going to hire for this next project? Would I be as lucky as I had already been with staffing? Would I be able to manage both locations effectively?

One day, I walked out of my office to speak to my event coordinator. Her desk was in a second-floor storage area above our main dining room. That's when it hit me I was going to open my second location inside my first. I would turn the office space into an exclusive restaurant inside my existing restaurant.

Chef's Loft at The Stone House was born. Chef's Loft is a boutique restaurant that is incredibly intimate and boasts a five-course wine-paired tasting menu that is prepared in the room while guests look on. The menu changes each month and features uniquely innovative dishes, expertly paired with wines that complement the dish's flavors. We adorned the walls with a mosaic compilation of wine corks and broken-down wooden wine boxes. It also houses a show-stopping, two-ton illuminated Himalayan salt wall. The list of reasons why this was a good idea just kept growing. Much of the fear and uncertainty vanished. I could eliminate the need to sign my life away to rent another location. I could eliminate the need to undertake an extremely pricey and time-consuming build-out. That's hundreds of thousands of dollars saved. I wouldn't need to go out and hire an entire staff, and I could avoid all the growing pains that go along with that process. It is also a great idea to do some price comparisons for your business's energy bills. A friend told me they used websites such as Usave to find some wonderful quotes to keep outgoings down.

Who says you can't be in two places at once? With the opening of the new restaurant, now I can be.

On top of all the benefits I already mentioned, maybe the most important aspect is the all-important buzz. New restaurants can have amazing food that is kept fresh by fridges from websites similar to https://www.altarefrigeration.com/expert/, impeccable service, and great ambiance, but if there is no buzz created, no one will be there for the experience. New restaurants can have amazing food, impeccable service, and great ambiance, but if there is no buzz created, no one will be there for the experience.

Being bold in the restaurant biz always garners attention and publicity. The key is to go all in. Own the concept whole-heartedly. There needs to be a concrete differentiation between your existing restaurant and the newly minted entity. A new name, a new concept, and a new menu. Your menu has to be unique to your restaurant and what you want to showcase to your customers. Something similar to this restaurant guide should help you to create a memorable and everlasting menu. The social media and web presence need to mirror that sentiment.

In my case, the buzz generated by opening Chef's Loft far exceeds our capacity. We are currently 8 to 10 weeks out for reservations all while building a book of permanent reservations that will result in the "Rao's" effect by the end of 2017 if we continue at our current pace.

The question now is what will I do for my third location?