Over elegant platters of crab cake sliders, prosciutto and bleu cheese on crisp flatbread crackers, fois on toast and one of the best cheese balls I’ve ever tasted, Chef Beverly Gannon held a champagne toast at Gannon’s yesterday and updated a group of media on the upcoming changes at her restaurant empire.
“I am not retiring anytime soon,” she said, quashing speculation that she’s leaving the food and beverage industry on the heels of Monday’s announcement of her new managing partners, Roger Stettler and Greg Shepherd.
“I am pleased and privileged to welcome two people who I think can take Bev Gannon Restaurants to the next level, Roger Stettler and Greg Shepherd,” Gannon said. “They have both proven to me that they are more than capable of helping me with my monster. We have been looking at both of the restaurants here in Wailea and up in Haliimaile. Over the years, Bev Gannon Restaurants has grown a lot. Basically I have been doing it all myself with the help of different people at each of the restaurants. Now I am looking for help to really take us into the the next generation of these restaurants and business. Raising some young ideas, some innovating ideas. Hopefully in five years they will be calling me in France and telling me everything is going fine.”
She said her injection of fresh blood into her company will affect Joe’s Bar and Grill first.
“This is going to be an evolution,” said Gannon. “I am not retiring. I am getting help. To bring in new young exciting people. new menu items. its going to be a progression. The first place we are starting is at Joe’s. It has been a great restaurant for 19 years, but it is time for a change.”
The restaurant will close for renovation at the end of February.
“We will be renovating Joe’s,” said Gannon. “Then opening up as Joe’s Nuevo Latino. South American, Latin, Mexican, refined Latin food. Refined flavors. Next will be Gannon’s. We will look at what changes we need to make to get people here, and not just at happy hour. I have only worked at my restaurants. Those are the only restaurants I have ever worked at. But by bringing these two in, I now have collectively 30 or 40 restaurants of experience. There is so much knowledge that will help me build a better company.”
Shepherd then explained some of their ideas for Joe’s. They are looking at the Latin trends coming across the country, Miami to LA, he said. The team felt there was an abundance of Italian in Wailea and knew they wanted to take a different direction. Gannon says all the favorite menu items from Joe’s will move onto the menu at Gannon’s.
“When we first sat down and said, ‘What do you think about Joe’s?’ we were very quiet,” said Shepherd. “We didn’t want to say that we wanted to do Latin. And Bev says, ‘I think we need to do Latin.’ So right away we knew conceptually we had the same thoughts for what needed to happen. We knew it wouldn’t be any Italian whatsoever. We see a lot of things on the Mainland and we know what works and what doesn’t work. We will take advantage of that. The flavors of Latin work well with what we grow here so we know we will have plenty to source locally. Create something with a lot of energy. We will use a lot of South American wines. Agentina, Peru, Mexico City–there will be a lot of influences.”
Shepherd said he expects Joe’s Nuevo Latino to open by mid-April.
“We have a lot of staff at Joe’s,” he said. “We don’t want to keep them without employment. We are mindful of that.”