Our roots are firmly established in the Carolinas. We are family-owned and family-run, and we strive to work with those who can say the same. Our restaurants are inspired by the seasons and by the ever-evolving traditions that make up Southern cuisine.
Most of all, they are inspired by our guests.
Jon is the cultural guru of RRH. He makes a stranger family and family feel strange. His philosophy is based on some very basic tenets that remain true to this day:
Take care of the guest, have fun and make money. It is simply, Family first. Do business with strangers as if they were brothers. After loyalty come ability, skill and competence. Promote only able people and find them by testing them.
Jon is a proud Penn State undergraduate and earned an MBA-Finance from University of Texas-Dallas. Jon started in the restaurant business washing dishes at the age of 16 and has never forgotten his roots. Busing tables, serving, managing and now owning a string of successful ventures. Jon is very proud of the long term relationships he enjoys with team members.
Jon is an avid golfer and loves all sport Philadelphia. When he is not working on his handicap or rooting for his favorite teams, he is busy idolizing his wife or dealing with his brash and sassy teenage children
KIM DRESSLER 'The Boss'
Kim Dressler is the driving design force behind all of the RRH concepts. Her vision, tastes, color pallets and style are on display in all of the restaurants. So much so, that she is known as The Decorator.
Schooled at University of Maryland, she has an extensive hotel background, prior to working at Morton’s. At Morton’s, she met the love of her life (well, her current love and husband). In 2003, they embarked on their signature Dressler’s Restaurant in Birkdale Village.
Kim is the proud mother of two teens and her third child, her doting husband of 18 years. Kim and Jon were married in Pinehurst on a magically hot weekend. She claims it was the best day of her life.
Kim has not been directly involved in the restaurant operations for some time, devoting her time to being one of the caring and most giving people known to mankind. She will be joining TPH as coordinator of private events.
JOHN GLENN 'The Senator'
Largest head in the organization, minus facial hair, with a huge social media following. He is a gentle southern gentleman, by way of Detroit, and a Charlotte resident for over eighteen years. He is an incredible, yet modest, athlete that enjoys long walks on the beach with his beautiful wife Laura. She shares his love of wine and tolerates his love of bacon, bourbon, old Ford trucks, the Allman Brothers, the bill of rights, and Alabama football. Roll Tide!
BRIAN LORUSSO 'The Hammer'
Brian was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. He is the only member of his family born in the south. His whole family is from New York. He loves his city and still gets geeked out every time he sees our skyline. It has been amazing to watch Charlotte grow in his lifetime. He’s notorious for riding in the car with his wife and nudging her when they drive by the skyline and say “look at our city!”. He has worked in restaurants since he was 15. He now has 19 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He graduated from UNCC in 2006 with a BA in criminal justice.
He was a server all through his college career and when he graduated school he graduated to bartending. His ability to grow to the next level would not be possible without the constant support of his wife and the RRH family. They keep him grounded and humble. Jon Dressler hired Brian as a server assistant at Mortons in 2002. He left Mortons in 2003 to open his first restaurant in Huntersville and Brian followed. He has since opened all 5 of his concepts. They have been working together for 13 years now. Brian and his wife are avid home cooks and love collecting cookbooks, kitchen knives, liquor and pretty much anything industry related. He is obsessed with flavors and trying new combinations and mash ups. He is not fond of the term Mixologist and will always prefer to be called a bartender. He prides himself in giving people an experience and hospitality unparalled to the rest of our city.
With a major in Spirits and a minor in Ice Cream, Jeff is always ready to talk cocktails…and crush dessert. A true love of people and developing relationships defines this hair-receding gent. He combines artistry and skill with a smile fit for radio, resulting in an atmosphere full of life and fun. Jeff is married to his beautiful wife Jennifer. She serves as a traveling nurse in various Emergency Departments within CHS. While we hope you visit Jeff at his workplace, we hope you avoid Jennifer at hers. Their son of 19 months, Sullivan, shares his dad’s affinity for smiling and laughing through life. So bring your fun, comedic, adventurous self when you visit Jeff …and Redskins apparel for a complimentary cocktail.
Jonny 'Wildman' Cox
Charlotte native Jonathan Cox loves adventuring and it shows. From a stint in a Michelin 2 star restaurant in Vico,
Italy to backpacking through Europe to the dishes he constructs at Dogwood Jonny knows how to grab attention
on the plate and keep it.
His commitment to creating a positive kitchen culture featuring fantastic dishes that are both simple and honest is his
focus- as well as putting aside pride and continuing to learn.
From his beginnings with Rare Roots at Dressler’s Metro to his time in Italy to his current position as Executive Chef at
Dogwood, Chef Cox is always looking for the next adventure.
Our most eligible bachelorette, Ally, was born and raised in Ohio. As soon as she got her wits about her, she left her snow boots and mittens up North and headed South in search of blue skies and warmer weather.
After a few years in Charlotte, she was lucky enough to be welcomed into the Rare Roots family—all thanks to her friend BK (perhaps you’ve heard of her).
When she’s not at work you can find her still working, napping but most likely eating. She also enjoys short walks on the beach, an ever-full glass of Cooper and Thief and all you can eat tacos. She’s recently taken an interest in stand-up comedy, despite the constant feedback that she’s just not that funny.
She has been with the company for 4 years, but boy, does it seem like much longer. What she enjoys most about her job is working one on one with guests and helping to make sure their event is uniquely special. What she loves most about the job is family meal, but her coworkers come in a very close second.
If you ever need to throw a party—this is your go-to girl.
Team member from day one!
Proud father of the most caring and loving 9 year old daughter Maeve. He is also devoted to his wife Liz. Kevin came to Charlotte via Buffalo N.Y., Home of the Universe Champion Buffalo Bills and Greatest Hockey team the Buffalo Sabres. He has been behind the timbers for nearly 35 years, so as he sees it:
He has never worked a day in his life.
Born and raised in the Queen City Ellis has been a part of the Charlotte food scene for some time. She received most of her formative training at the Village Tavern in her early years. After a stint selling wine and she started with Rare Roots at Dressler’s Metro. She became a vital part of The Porter’s House opening team in 2016. She now is at the helm of The Porter’s House as general manager along with Chris Alderman, Jeff Keiser, and Chef Rob Clement.
App State Alum – Go Mountaineers !
Best Friend to Shiloh
Lover of Coors & Converse
Derrick is a native Charlottean. He has been married to his wife Judy for 28 years. They have two kids; a son Alexandre 22 years old who is a senior at Wingate University, and a daughter Darah who is a 19 year old sophomore at Montreat College.
He has been in the restaurant industry for over thirty years. His duties have ranged from dishwasher to GM/Maitre’D. Excellent guest service is his forte. His management philosophy is ” Management with Integrity ” which stresses Professionalism, Execution, Teamwork and Work Ethic, and Positive Mental Attitude.
Derrick loves people and loves serving people. He loves Dressler’s because we emphasize all of those strengths !!
Michele 'Clap' Clapsaddle
Growing up in small town PA Michele never thought about the strange lands below the Mason-Dixon line, but as fate would have it she was accepted to UNC-Charlotte and this northern influenced southern city became her home.
Learning the volume game at The Olive Garden, the small, chef-driven style of boutique dining at Ann Breeze’s Palatable Pleasures and completing a long stint at 300 East Michele became completely immersed in hospitality. But, by far the most fortuitous move of all was being hired to be on the opening team at Dogwood where all the lessons of the past coalesced into a fun, challenging, love-filled present and future adventures.
Michele helps run the show at Dogwood now and is curating one of the most thoughtful wine lists in South Park.
Erik has been with Dressler’s Restaurant for four-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 Debbie and son Sean.
Christopher, aka “Country Chris” made his move to the big city 6 years ago. Originally from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, he currently resides in Charlotte with his husband Kennith, his pre-teen son Jackson and their pups Luka Behr and Lily. While attending Surry Community College for Accounting and Business Administration, he worked in the hospitality industry to pay the bills. He gained his hospitality experience and unknowingly found his “passion” at The Wolf’s Lair Restaurant located at Black Wolf Vineyards in the Yadkin Valley Wine Region of NC. Unfortunately, after a 5-year run the vineyard and restaurant fell victim of the crash of 2008.
After graduating and working as a paralegal for The Jackson Law Group in Hillsville, VA., Chris was starting to realize that his true passion was not sitting behind a desk crunching numbers and couldn’t stop thinking he had to get back in the restaurant industry. In January 2012, He turned in his 2-week notice without any backup or leads and he drove to Charlotte on a whim one cold Saturday morning and applied at 3 restaurants. His last stop was Dresslers at the Metropolitan. “I remember Chef Scott (the bear) greeting me when I walked in and telling me to have a seat, he would get a manager. After speaking with the GM at the time, I knew this was where I wanted to be. The place was gorgeous, and the views of the skyline from the restaurant were stunning. I wanted in! Unfortunately, there were no openings.”
Bummed and seemingly out of luck, he drove home but woke up the next day to a voicemail from a 704-area code that just happened to be Dresslers offering him a position. Exactly one week and 5 days later he made the move to Charlotte and has worked for Jon ever since.
Chris worked at Dressler’s Metropolitan, opened Dogwood Southern Table, and now is part of the family at The Porter’s House.
Tim Buchanan has had a part in all 6 of the Rare Roots restaurants over the years. Raised in the mountains of NC, Tim started his hospitality industry life in the Berkshires of MA. Tim became general manager of Pearl’s Restaurant in Great Barrington, MA when he was 20yrs old. Pearl’s garnered regional attention from the Boston Globe as well as national attention from Travel & Leisure, Architecture Digest, and others. One of the highlights of his six years at Pearl’s for Tim was being invited to bring his team to prepare a meal at the James Beard House in NYC.
Tim and his wife, Ericka Faye, moved back to the south at her request and they built a home in Charlotte. His father-in-law and he built the house themselves while Tim worked for Dresslers Birkdale and Max’s Allly. After finishing the home, Tim spent 4 years as wine director/floor manager at Capital Grille in uptown Charlotte before returning to the fold and becoming the general manager at Dressler’s Metropolitan. He along with the rest of the creative team conceived and developed the idea of what is now Dogwood, The Porter’s House, and Fin & Fino.
Tim lives with his two wild and crazy sons (Wylie Augustus ‘The Great’, and Porter Call), his beautiful wife Ericka Faye (also his high school sweetheart), and dog Charlie Buckets.
Currently you can find Tim at the helm of Fin & Fino in Uptown.
SCOTT HOLLINGSWORTH 'The Bear'
Executive Chef Scott Hollingsworth was raised in Cornelius, NC. He inherited a passion for food from his mother at a very early age. Scott has been working in Lake Norman and Charlotte area restaurants for more than 25 years. His commitment to quality, freshness, and creative presentation drew him to Dressler’s Restaurant in October of 2005. Scott has been married to Rhonda since 2001. His interests include his beloved Washington Redskins, fishing, and his dog.
Sarah French 'Frenchy'
Sarah French is a native of North Carolina and very proud to be from Union County. She now lives in Tega Cay, SC with her husband Justin and teenage daughter Auri. She attended culinary school at CPCC and has worked in restaurants for many years. Sarah started her career as a pastry chef and now still enjoys making cakes and treats for her friends and coworkers. Her true passion is service, helping to make sure every guest has a wonderful experience. In her free time, she enjoys watching her daughter play lacrosse and traveling with her husband.
Sarah as been a vital part of the opening of Dogwood, The Porter’s House, and Fin & Fino where you will find her most days.
Jonathan 'Willie' Williford
Beginning his life as a back of the house jack of all trades Jonathan worked his way up the ranks and soon found himself in the front of the house and then managing alongside Jon Dressler’s at Mortons.
Working at all the Rare Roots concepts Jonathan proved himself adept at managing people, guests, and numbers (his second true love). His first love, though is his lovely daughter Claire who can tell a great joke, be silly, and play a mean guitar.
Spending time at all the concepts has afforded Jonathan with a unique appreciation of the diverse staffs and all the details that make success possible. Jonathan will be off to new Rare Roots adventures because as he says…”I do what I’m told…”
Natalie 'Stewie' Stewart
Natalie is the Wine Director for Fin & Fino in uptown Charlotte. She has been with Rare Roots Hospitality since 2012 and has worked at Dressler’s Metro, The Porter’s House, and helped to open Fin & Fino in April 2018. Fin & Fino has given her the chance to develop a unique wine program, with each wine on the list being under 10,000 cases in total winery production. This type of list allows guests to step outside of their comfort zones, not finding some of the big names they are familiar with and getting to know smaller rock stars of the wine world. “There is something happening in Charlotte, there are some amazing players making changes and shaking things up. I am incredibly honored to be a part of the evolving wine scene here,” she says.
Natalie, aka Stewie, aka Snacks on Snacks, loves her dog, boom-chicka-pop, and most things tiny.
Rob Clement, a native of Tampa, Florida, > started cooking at 15, working into his mid-twenties at multiple restaurants in New York, Florida, and Boston. After living in Charlotte for a few years, Rob worked as a line cook at Heritage Food & Drink in Waxhaw, under James Beard nominated chef, Paul Verica. In 2017, Rob moved to New Orleans where he served as Executive Chef at Spotted Cat Food & Spirits and then cooking at Coquette, under more Beard nominees in Co-chef/owners Michael Stoltzfus and Kristen Essig.
After the birth of his first daughter, Calliope, Rob and his wife Franki decided to move back to Indian Trail, NC. Upon return he cooked for Rare Roots for 8 months at both Fin & Fino and The Porter’s House. After leaving the group for a short time, Rob has made his return as the new Executive Chef of The Porter’s House.
Each Rare Roots endeavor may vary in concept and design, but they are all deeply rooted in the desire to treat our guests like they are part of our family. Our attention to detail, our ability to remember a name, and our carefully crafted menus are all expressions of a genuine hospitality that is increasingly harder to find. It requires talent, but it also requires a mindset of service. Our people have both. They come together every day—in some cases for almost 20 years—to practice the type of hospitality you will typically only find at home.
Our Private Dining
At Rare Roots Hospitality, communal gatherings and festive events are our forte. Our family of restaurants span the Charlotte area from Huntersville all the way down to Waverly, allowing us to cater to your needs no matter your location or destination.
Rare Roots Hospitality Group is a family, and we consider our entire Charlotte community to be a part of that. Community Roots is our initiative to allow and encourage our employees to work with local organizations.