Food & Drink International - Winter 2017, Volume 2 - 78
Bottleneck Management aims to exceed its customers' expectations with
high-quality service, food and beverages. By Bianca Herron
Specialty: Casual dining restaurants
Paul Katz, corporate executive chef:
"Our menu is attractive to the masses."
event venue located at the top of the
He adds that the Chicago-based
company just opened another City
Works location in Frisco, Texas. "It's
part of the brand-new The Star development of Frisco," O'Hare says. "It's
opposite the practice facility of the
Dallas Cowboys and the Ford Center
>> City Works is Bottleneck Management's upscale casual concept. The company has many other concepts and operates15
restaurants across the country.
ottleneck Management start-
ed when two Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU)
friends, Jason Akemann
and Nathan Hilding, decided to pursue their passion to become self-employed entrepreneurs. In 2001, the
duo opened Trace - a two-story storefront tavern in Chicago's Wrigleyville.
Six years later, fellow IWU peer
Chris Bisaillon joined the team as
partner in 2007. That fall, Bottleneck
Management opened The Boundary in
Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood.
Ten years later, Bottleneck Management has seen significant growth
operating 15 vibrant restaurants
across the United States in Texas,
Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, Minnesota and Maryland. Its restaurant
concepts include Trace, The Boundary, Sweetwater, South Branch, Old
Town Pour House, Howells & Hood,
The Crown - a special event venue -
and City Works.
Although each concept is distinctive, they share the same unparalleled
customer service and high-quality
food and beverages. "We have several restaurants under our umbrella located in Chicago," Vice President of
Operations Kevin O'Hare says. "This
includes our upscale casual concept
City Works. We also have Howls &
Hood, Sweetwater, South Branch and
The Crown, which is an iconic special
food & drink international * winter 2017 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com
Keys to Success
Bottleneck Management attributes
its success to its unique restaurant
culture. "Everyone is like-minded and likes to hang out together,"
O'Hare says. "It's a non-corporate
environment, and we have great food
and serve 90 beers on tap. It doesn't
get any better than that."
Twenty-five to 45 percent of its craft
beers are local, and the company's executive chefs offer weekly specials,
which typically are location specific.
"If the item sells well, it can become
a permanent menu item," Corporate
Executive Chef Paul Katz says.
"We have a daily menu and
throughout the year we look at things
we may want to change," he explains.
"When we're not opening up restau-