Food & Drink » Three-Course Spiel

3 questions with Jon Dressler, restaurateur

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When Jon Dressler moved to Charlotte in 1996, he saw the city's potential expansion as an opportunity. Dressler, owner of Dressler's Restaurant and Max's Ally (named after his two children), is opening a second Dressler's Restaurant this week. Dressler's Restaurant serves a rich mixture of steak, seafood and pasta; all of Dressler's entrées can be accompanied by a fine wine, which Dressler himself will be happy to select for you. Despite the restaurant's posh ambiance, he is a down-to-earth family man who hasn't let his entrepreneurship change his wholesome appetite for making people feel welcome.

Creative Loafing: What is your management philosophy?

Jon Dressler: My management philosophy is take care of the guests, have fun and make money -- in that order. If you do your best to take care of the first two, the third will happen automatically.

What would you consider one of your strengths as a restaurant owner?

I would like to say that I have a good ability to make people feel comfortable. My restaurant is my home, my staff is my family, and the patrons are our guests. At 4:30 p.m., the entire staff eats a family dinner. It allows us 30 minutes of peace and quiet to enjoy and learn about each other. Dressler's is not just a restaurant -- it is our home. We want everyone to feel welcome.

Where do you see yourself going in the next 10 years?

I am very Type B; I never set out with a plan or vision, but my goals are personal this time around. I want to become healthier, be a good husband and father and a good person to work with. As far as business, I don't have anything in the works, but if I did, I would love to open a Texas barbecue restaurant and use my initials J.E.D. in the name. I think Jed is a great name for a barbecue place.

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