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.
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.
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 !!
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.
Tim Buchanan has had a part in all 5 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.
Tim lives with his two wild and crazy sons (Wylie Augustus ‘The Great’, and Porter Call), his beautiful wife (also his high school sweetheart), and dog Charlie Buckets.
KENT VOSS 'Clark Kent'
Kent, how long have you been with Dressler’s? “6 years, 9 months, 2 days. . . and counting
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.”
“Having my kids (19, 17, and 11 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 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.
Chef Brendon Murphy began his career with Rare Roots Hospitality at Dresslers Restaurant in Birkdale Village. Since joining the family, Chef Brendon has been involved with each Rare Roots Hospitality concept. Most recently, joining The Porter’s House as Executive Chef. Even though he was raised in the small suburb of Huntersville, Chef Brendon has traveled all over the world. Some of his fondest memories stem from backpacking across Europe and the opportunities it provided to experience the smells, tastes, and sounds of authentic European food culture. Shortly
after that life changing trip, Chef Brendon enrolled in the culinary arts program at Johnson & Wales University. Yet, this wasn’t his first time in a commercial kitchen. He started his career in the hospitality industry as a dishwasher at Lake Norman Brewing Company 10 years earlier at the age of 15. There Brendon discovered his love of cooking, working along side of Rare Roots Hospitality Executive Chef Scott Hollingsworth. Chef Brendon’s favorite kitchen gadget is a good quality chef’s knife. He prefers Japanese-style knives for their edge retention and durability;
however, he advises enthusiasts to “watch your fingers!” He also encourages aspiring chefs and home cooks to “not be afraid to fail, keep it simple, and cook what you love.”
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.
Was born in San Jose California and moved several times through out the country before eventually settling in Charlotte in ’95. Graduated from South Meck in ’05. Along with making friends and luring in more family to Charlotte I also started playing in the local music scene until joining the Marine Corps in ’07. Upon being discharged in 2011 I returned home with an interest in pursuing industrial design, and found restaurant work conducive to the needed flexibility of a student. Slowly becoming more attracted to the bartending component of the service industry I began pursuing cocktail oriented bartending in local restaurants until joining Dressler’s service staff in 2014. In this career path I found the creative outlet I’ve always pursued through music and other art forms. I feel the same camaraderie that was present among the Marines in a busy and fast pace work environment. Best of all is the flexibility of a non traditional work schedule to pursue music projects and the fitness regimen adopted from my time in the Marines. I feel very lucky to have found my way into the Dressler’s family and love doing what I do !
Scott is a native Charlottean, starting his restaurant career in his teens working at Zarelli’s in Pineville as a busboy/dishwasher. Here he witnessed Neal Zarelli sashay around the dining room and connect with guests on a very personal level. (notably; a trait/skill set also mastered by Jon Dressler). This experience left an indelible mark and has helped shape his approach to his restaurant career.
In lieu of high school, Scott joined the Navy and sailed around the globe, developing a taste for travel and spent a fair amount of time working in the galley (mostly as punishment). After tours in Scotland, the Mediteranean and the Middle East, his four year hitch was up. Knowing his skills as a torpedo-man and sonar tech would likely not transfer well outside the Navy, he fell back into the restaurant business. Waiting tables, bar-backing and eventually bartending in Jacksonville, FL.
Landing back in Charlotte Scott took a job with Morton’s The Steakhouse, at the not yet opened Uptown location, as a bartender. Here he worked his way through UNCC, obtaining a BA in International Studies, a year of which was spent studying in France. Also, Scott later worked for Morton’s in Hartford, CT and Boston, MA. Most applicable though, it was at the uptown Morton’s that Scott met and worked with Jon and Kim, who were still just google eyeing each other, before dating.
Many years have passed and they welcomed him back into the family were he spent couple of years each at the Metropolitan Dressler’s and the Birkdale Village location. Enthusiastic about the new opportunity, Scott jumped at the chance to help get the Dogwood concept up and running. Managing a restaurant right around the corner from his childhood home has been a true joy. But, it’s the people he works with that keep him going. “This is an exceptionally strong team at Rare Roots, and I’m proud to be a part of it. Jon and Kim have always had a unique ability to make people feel like family – right down to the step-siblings, second cousins and kooky aunts and uncles – All family, all loved, no matter.”
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.