Category Archives: Our Team

Dressler’s Spotlight: Kent Voss

Kent_vossMeet Kent Voss, server (as well as captain/key/sage of service/trainer/sensei) at Dressler’s Metropolitan.

Kent, how long have you been with Dressler’s? “5 years, 4 months, 2 days.”

Please describe your responsibilities at the restaurant. “Ambassador to the kitchen, culinary guide, reading our guests’ auras, and, most of all, anticipating needs and providing service that appears seamless and graceful,” explains Kent. “To win friends and influence people.”

What is a typical day/evening like for you? “Clean nails and bright eyes to start, clean and polish the arena, take in new information and review old information, and mess with my fellow coworkers, and then off to shake hands and kiss babies.”

What do you like most about working at Dressler’s? “That list is long for sure,” says Kent. “I can’t speak for the other two locations but I can say for sure at the Metropolitan that I feel lucky and excited to be able to spend 6 nights a week around some of the most interesting, eclectic, and dynamic people that I have ever seen in one place. I feel so lucky to be exposed to the massive variety and flavors of people (guests and staff included) that I rub shoulders with in a typical work week,” says Kent. “And Jon Dressler is pretty nice as well,” jokes Kent.

What’s your secret to success? “Nothing slick here, just the inner child looking for approval. The more difficult it is to gain, the more interested I become.”

Any funny stories or people that you encounter in your position?  ”There are so many,” begins Kent. “I close my eyes and review the last five years, and the two that pop into my head first are bearing witness to Tim Buchanan running a half marathon and then working almost right after and conducting the restaurant meticulously–brilliant. Then, I think the same year, observing Erik Draheim apply the Heimlich maneuver on one of our guests, possibly saving their life, then going on to expertly perform his superior table visits like nothing had just happened.”

What are some of your favorite foods to eat at Dressler’s? “The Brasstown sirloin is awesome as well as local. The salmon is stunning. The Gnocchi with blue cheese sauce, green apple, and prosciutto is life changing. It’s disturbing how many wines you can pair with it. Of course, Joan Dressler’s cheesecake is remarkable, each bite begs for another–good God!”

 What are some of the customers’ favorites? Halibut, heart of ribeye, rack of lamb, and our signature calamari presentation,” says Kent. “Our signature cocktails that Jeff Keiser, Bar Manager at Metro, have put together are the best I have seen. Our guests have really taken to them. You can tell it was cultivated by someone who genuinely wanted something there for everybody–from a rum pineapple basil cocktail to a hearty premium bourbon old fashioned,” explains Kent. ”He still manages to be creative and charming (all the while he has a newborn baby that cries 12 hours a day). God bless you Jeffery Keiser!”

What do you do when you’re not working? “I go to a local studio and practice Tai Chi. A little-known fact about our Executive Chef Scott Hollingsworth is that he has trained Krav Maga and combat sports for a spell. We have trained, drilled, and sparred with each other.  I (he) ruined my meniscus. So I thank him for that. I feel so satisfied to be spending 6 to 7 1/2 hours a week in a sport appropriate for my rapidly-aging 44-year-old frame.

“Having my kids (17, 16, and 10 years old) invite me into their worlds and letting their guard down for whatever time I can grab is the highlight of my life,” adds Kent. “I’m also very excited to see my daughter (with Kent in photo) go off to Appalachian State in the Fall.”

What is special about Dressler’s that keeps people coming back? “There are no right words, catchy phrases, and/or eloquent mission statements to answer that. To be honest, I really feel like it is all that intangible stuff–the vibe. Come in and feel it for yourself!”

Dressler’s Spotlight: Mary Rogers

Mary Rogers, Dressler's RestaurantMeet Mary Rogers, Hospitality Expert at Dressler’s Restaurant in Birkdale Village.

What are your responsibilities at Dressler’s? ”Making our guest experience memorable,” says Mary. “Also making my Dressler’s family (staff and guests) feel happy to be at Dressler’s Birkdale. And to uphold our standard of excellence.”

How long have you been with Dressler’s? ”Twelve years this September.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? ”Meeting such interesting people from all around the world.”

What challenges come with your job? “I have to remind myself sometimes that this is a job, not a social event.”

What are some of your favorite things to eat and drink at Dressler’s? “Most of the menu,” laughs Mary. “But to name a few–the crab cakes, Caesar salad, halibut, Mom’s cheesecakes (including the pumpkin cheesecake in the Fall).”

What seem to be the customers’ favorites? “Calamari, Hear-of-Ribeye, Mom’s carrot cake.”

Describe a typical day/evening at work. “Every day is a surprise at Dressler’s,” explains Mary. “I always arrive dressed and ready for anything! It makes for interesting evenings.”

What have you learned from working at Dressler’s? “Ultimately, you have to be happy with what you do in life. I love what I do and I’m happy to be a member of the Dressler’s family.”

Describe the people you work with at Dressler’s. “A diverse group of individuals! Professional, but also having fun working together towards the same goal.”

Any hobbies or sports? “I have a collection of Pez Dispensers. I also collect foils off of wine bottles.”

What about family life? “John is my husband of 41 years. We have three sons and one daughter-in-law. We are expecting out first grandchildren–TWIN GIRLS!!”

Dressler’s Spotlight: Gabino Velasquez

Gabino VelasquezMeet Gabino Velasquez, Kitchen Manager at Dressler’s Restaurant in Birkdale Village (as well as Dressler’s Recreational Soccer Team Coach).

What are your responsibilities at Dressler’s?

“Checking on all food that comes through our kitchen,” Says Gabino, “and making sure the dishes that we produce come out consistently delicious.”

How long have you been with Dressler’s? 

“I have been with Dressler’s for 13 years, but with Jon Dressler for 18 years,” explains Gabino. “I am the third person Jon D. ever hired in Charlotte.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? 

“I love to cook, especially with a crew like the one we have.”

What are some of the challenges that come with your job? 

“Keeping Jon out of the French fries and Kevin Mac out of the crème brûlées,” jokes Gabino. “The rest of it is easy.”

Describe a typical day on the job. 

“I start my day after the prep guys have come and gone and when I still have a nice and quiet kitchen. One hour of peace and then the fun starts!”

What are your favorite foods to prepare at Dressler’s? 

“I love all of our steaks, as well as the lamb.”

What are some of your favorite things to eat at Dressler’s? 

“Lamb, Ribeye, and our employee meal,” says Gabino. “Chicken and Rice…oh so nice.”

What are some of the customers’ favorites? 

“Halibut and Calamari have been the best sellers for a long time.”

Who does the cooking at home? 

“Mostly my wife,” says Gabino, “but we share.”

Who taught you how to cook?

“All the different guys that I have worked with for the last 15-20 years.”

Describe your coworkers. 

“Everyone is always so friendly,” says Gabino. “There is also always a level of responsibility and commitment to making sure we are operating at a high level.”

What about life outside the restaurant? 

“We just purchased a great home in Huntersville, and are living the “American Dream” with my beautiful wife, daughter Estrella, and son Ray. I watch a lot of soccer and my son plays every week. He is really good and I love watching the matches. I also have an unhealthy love for my beautiful GMC truck.”

Dressler’s Spotlight: Derrick DeWalt

Meet Derrick DeWalt, Assistant General Manager at Dressler’s Restaurant in Birkdale Village.

Please tell us a little about yourself, Derrick.

derrickdewalt“I have more than thirty years of restaurant experience,” says Derrick, “ranging from dishwasher to Maitre’d/General Manager.”

“I played basketball in high school and college,” says Derrick, “and I still have game! I also enjoy NFL football, dining out, and church on Sundays.”

“My favorite is spending time with my family–my wife, Judy of 26 years, my son Alexandre and daughter Darah, and, lastly, a pet Russian Box Turtle-Rex that we’ve had for 13 years!”

What is your primary responsibility at Birkdale?

“My main responsibility at Birkdale is customer service, making sure that both the service staff and our guests have a wonderful dining experience.”

How long have you been with Dressler’s?

“I began with Dressler’s in October 2014. However, I feel totally at home here, having previously worked with several of the other managers, staff, and Jon and Kim.”

What do you enjoy most about this job?

“I love serving people,” says Derrick. “Dining out is in my top three joys in life, and ensuring a positive guest dining experience warms my heart.”

What are some of your favorite items to eat from the menu?

“Some of my favorites include French Onion SoupBlackened Ribeye, Seared Scallops, and Mom’s Apple Cake. I also enjoy our big, bold, and juicy Cabernet Sauvignon.”

How is Dressler’s different from other restaurants?

“What makes Dressler’s unique is the warmth and family atomsphere Jon has created and maintained in his restaurants,” explains Derrick. “No one’s a stranger for long.”

“Dining at Dressler’s is like going to your best friend’s house for dinner,” continues Derrick. “Great food, good drinks, and congenial fellowship and hospitality.”

What can you say about your coworkers?

“I work with my family away from home, a diverse group of people united and committed to the goal of providing a great dining adventure.”


Dressler’s Spotlight: Jeff Keiser

Jeff KeiserMeet Jeff Keiser, Bar Manager at Dressler’s Metro.

Jeff has been with Dressler’s for about 3 months, and has worked for more than 15 years in the hospitality industry. He refers to himself as a “huge sports junkie!” Jeff and his wife Jennifer are expecting their first child in April.

Jeff, what is your primary responsibility at Dressler’s?

“To create and maintain an exceptional experience for our thirsty guests!”

What do you enjoy most about your job?

“That I have yet to feel like I’m working,” says Jeff. “Dressler’s is a first-class organization that embodies positivity, creativity, and continuity. In 3 months, I haven’t ‘worked’ a day!”

Jeff also enjoys spending time with the Dressler’s team and describes them as “knowledgeable professionals.”

What are some of the challenges of running a bar?

“Staying privy to trends in the industry which can change at alarming rates.”

Describe the atmosphere at your Metro bar.

“It’s classy and clean, but not pretentious and stuffy,” explains Jeff. “Perfect for some delicious bourbons!”

What are your three favorite drinks to make?

And the customers’ favorites?

  • Old Fashioned
  • Manhattan
  • Cosmopolitan

Why do guests like coming to your bar?

“It’s the consistent product and customer service–staples of all Dressler’s,” says Jeff.

Dressler’s Spotlight: Barry Wolfman

Barry WolfmanMeet Barry Wolfman, Manager at Dressler’s Metro.

Barry, please tell us about yourself.

“I’m a lifetime restaurateur. I cut my teeth in fine dining, where I spent my first sixteen years in the business. In 1991, my wife and I opened Wolfman Pizza in Charlotte, and I spent 12 years in that aspect of the industry, then on to some craft beer adventures. I’m excited to return to the white tablecloth world, and thrilled to be working with Kim & Jon Dressler.”

“I spent 12 years in Charlotte 12 years ago,” adds Barry. “Being back has been a heartwarming homecoming of sorts nearly every day.  I’m grateful to rekindle so many friendships. It’s amazing to see the wonderful city that Charlotte has become, which just makes it all that much better.”

What are your duties/responsibilities at Dressler’s?

“Like everyone in the building, I’m here to please our guests,” says Barry.

How long have you been with Dressler’s?

“Three weeks.”

What are some of the challenges of managing a restaurant like Dressler’s?

“Though the restaurant feels intimate, it’s rather large. With 27 patio tables and two private dining rooms, there’s a lot of ground to cover!”

How is the food/menu different from other restaurants?

Chef does a great job of buying top quality ingredients, and letting them speak for themselves.  Certainly his expertise is apparent in the cuisine, but the product itself has the loudest voice and the last word.”

What are some of your favorite things to eat and drink at Dressler’s?

Blackened Heart of Ribeye. Halibut. Crispy Duck. Rack of Lamb. Our red wines. Any of Jon’s Mom’s housemade desserts (but especially the cheesecake…it’s money!)”

What makes Dressler’s so successful?

“No doubt it’s Kim & Jon Dressler’s hearts. By being so warm, wonderful, caring, and sincere, they have created a family,” says Barry, “and our guests feel the love.”

What do think people like most about dining at Dressler’s?

“Being more than satisfied at all levels of their dining experience.”

Describe the atmosphere inside Dressler’s.

“Upscale, yet comfortable and relaxed. Casual elegance.”

And the staff?

“Caring. Professional, yet laid-back. Sincere. Intelligent.”

What do you like best about your job?

“What I’ve always loved about being in this industry…working in a beautiful and positive environment with wonderful people and delicious food. The camaraderie of engaging in a shared mission of making people happy. And I get to be my self, and be true to my self.”

Dressler’s Spotlight: Scott Platt

ScottPlattMeet Scott Platt, Assistant Manager of Dressler’s Restaurant in Birkdale Village.

Scott is a Veteran of the United States Navy. He is fluent in French and has more than 25 years in the restaurant industry. He has been with Dressler’s for 2 years, and considers himself its ”Director of Happiness.”

What are your responsibilities at the restaurant?

“Generating smiles,” says Scott.

Name three things you love about your job.

“The people, the vibe, and hugs from the Chef.”

What are some of the challenges you face in your job?

“Keeping a level head.”

What are some of your favorite foods to eat at Dressler’s?

BBQ Shrimp, Just for the Halibut (lump crab, roasted red peppers, spinach, chive potato cake, sun dried tomato beurre blanc), and Mom’s Desserts

What qualities make Dressler’s an exceptional restaurant?

“The experience that the team has collectively,” says Scott, “and that everyone cares.”

Why do people enjoy coming to Dressler’s?

“They come for the food and stay because of our hospitality.”

Do you see a lot of regular customers?

“Yes. EVERYONE knows Jon Dressler. Wait, maybe…Jon Dressler knows EVERYONE.”

How do first-time guests react when they come to Dressler’s?

“They are almost always surprised by the level of service and how delicious the food is!”

What is the best part about your job?

“Making people happy,” says Scott.

Any interesting hobbies or sports?

“Aside from being serious about naps, I dabble in snowboarding, surfing, hiking, paddle boarding, marathons, and long walks on the beach…”

Anything else you want to tell us?

“I have the best family ever!”

Dressler’s Spotlight: Erik Draheim


Erik DraheimMeet Erik Draheim, Assistant Manager of Dressler’s Metropolitan.

Erik has been with Dressler’s Restaurant for two-and-a-half years. During that time, he has enjoyed developing a special relationship with the staff and guests. Much like the rest of the team at Dressler’s, Erik has a keen sense of humor and a strong devotion to his job and the people he encounters every day. When Erik isn’t at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and son.

What are your responsibilities at Dressler’s?

“Keeping Tim’s ego in check,” jokes Erik.

Name 3 things that you like about your job.

“The energy of the restaurant, the people, and the people.”

What are some of the challenges of your job?

“Any kind of math or spelling.”

What are some of your favorite foods and beverages at Dressler’s?

Blackened Heart of Ribeye (served with fingerling potatoes, asparagus, and herb blue cheese butter) and all of our local tap beers,” says Erik. “My two favorites are Mother Earth’s Endless River and Railhouse Brewery’s Mastiff Oatmeal Stout.”

What qualities make Dressler’s an exceptional restaurant?

“The team has a great work ethic, but we also have fun at our jobs.”

Why do you think people like coming to Dressler’s?

“It’s like walking into a friend’s home.”

How do first-time guests respond after enjoying a meal at Dressler’s?

“What I hear most are compliments about the delicious food and exceptional service,” says Erik.

What do you like best about your job?

“It sounds cliché, but it’s the people I get to work with and visiting with all our guests.”

Any interesting hobbies?

I repair airplane engines and it’s all ball bearings these days. Unless of course it’s the bypass line.”


Dressler’s Spotlight: Tim Buchanan

Meet Tim Buchanan, General Manager of Dressler’s Metropolitan.

Tim’s Life in Charlotte. ”I am married to my high school sweetheart, Ericka Faye, and have an amazing three-year-old named Wylie,” says Tim. “We live in the house that I built in the University area with our 80-pound dog, Charlie. We are expecting the newest addition to our family in July. I am also attempting to run my first marathon this year and love just about anything physically challenging. My current favorite is the Spartan Race series. I have run the Beast twice (once with Brett Dressler) and the Sprint once with a team from Dressler’s. It’s incredibly challenging, but a blast to do.”

Tim has been involved in the restaurant business since he was 14 years old, and has always “loved the excitement of the industry.”

What is your favorite thing about the hospitality industry? ”Easily the fellowship of the staff,” says Tim. “It is impossible to beat the variety of personalities and interests that you meet in this industry.”

What are your duties/responsibilities at Dressler’s?  “Our guests’ enjoyment is my first and foremost responsibility,” Tim explains. “I’m also responsible for our wine list creation and maintenance, as well as recruiting and maintaining a staff that helps us express the culture of the Dressler family to our guests. I’m the catchall for everything from repairs and maintenance to party planning and marketing.”

What are some of the challenges you face in your job?  “My biggest challenge is to ensure that our restaurants have as much growth as possible, while maintaining our core culture and guest experience.”

What are some of your favorite things to eat at Dressler’s?  “I love our new Flat Iron appetizer, Crispy Calamari, and Lamb entrée,” exclaims Tim. “The Sunburst Farms Trout entrée on our new menu is also quickly moving up my favorite’s chart.”

What makes a restaurant like Dressler’s so successful?  “It starts at the top with the Dressler family and the culture they have established throughout the organization,” says Tim. “That being said, the boots on the ground at both locations are the people that strive to deliver a great experience every day. We have an incredibly hardworking staff: line cooks, prep cooks, servers, bussers, dishwashers, bartenders, hosts, and managers. We also have an incredible breadth of diversity in our employees,” continues Tim.  ”We have professors, woodworkers, professional ‘lifers’, painters, students, musicians, and journeymen. The group really enjoys working together and I think that is key.”

What do think people love most about dining at Dressler’s?  “They keep coming back for the terrible Jon Dressler jokes that they’ve heard several hundred times, consistency, and warmth of service.”

Describe the atmosphere inside Dressler’s. “Dressler’s Metro has a very open feel to the guest space, with floor to ceiling views of the Charlotte Skyline. The dining room and patio are spacious and comfortable.”

What do you like best about your job? I love working for a successful organization that puts family, enjoyment, and quality first.”

Dressler’s Spotlight: John Glenn

Meet John Glenn, General Manager at Dressler’s Restaurant in Birkdale.

John’s previous professional experience includes Morton’s and Capital Grille.

“I apparently have a serious obsession with cows,” jokes John.

John or “Senator,” as he likes to be called, is a certified sommelier (wine steward).  He is one of eight in the city of Charlotte.

What are your responsibilities as General Manager?  “It is my pleasure to make sure our guests have everything they need to have a wonderful experience while they are in my care. I also put out whatever happens to be on fire–as quickly as possible–and juggle chainsaws without dropping them.”

What are some of the challenges you face in your job?  “Jon Dressler and Kevin McNamara.”

What were some of your favorite dishes growing up?  ”Brussel sprouts,” jokes John.  ”Some of my best memories growing up involve sitting around a table enjoying bowl after bowl.”

Who does the cooking in your home?  “Whoever is holding the cork screw,” he says.  ”We have five course dinners that never involve a plate, just stemware.”

What do you enjoy more, cooking or eating?  “Eating, as long as my wife is not cooking. I have a passion for bacon. It doesn’t matter whether I’m cooking, smelling, or eating it–bacon makes the world a better place.”

What are some of your favorite dishes to eat at Dressler’s?  “I’m partial to the pork chops and the tuna. I have also been told that I’m invited to parties solely for the fact that I bring our crab dip.”

Why do people love dining at Dressler’s? “We know our guests. My family lives in this community, as do the Dresslers.  Our friends, neighbors, and coworkers dine here with us. We value our relationships with those who make Dressler’s their home and seek to foster a sense of family. We pride ourselves in knowing  the details that make your visit special–your favorite tables, dishes, and special occasions. We enjoy being a part of our guests’ lives and making sure that they always have a seat at our table.”

What do you like best about your job? The first and most important part of my job is getting to work with friends on both sides of the table (guests and staff). Coming to work feels like coming home. The second best thing about my job is the chance to meet someone experiencing Dressler’s for the first time. It’s great watching their excitement and pleasure as they try something new and adding another friend to my Dressler’s family.”