Jamie Durrence, managing partner of Daniel Reed Hospitality, the driving force behind The Public Kitchen and Bar, Local 11ten and Soho South Café, was honored by the Georgia Restaurant Association on Sunday during the annual GRACE Awards Gala.
Durrence, who has more than 15 years of experience in the restaurant industry, was named Small/Independent Restaurateur of the Year during the event, which was held in Atlanta at the Delta Flight Museum.
It was the first time the restaurateur award has been presented to a non-Atlanta based honoree, and Durrence said he was very excited to bring the award home to Savannah.
“Receiving this award is proof that you can achieve great success within the restaurant industry if you have a strong work ethic and a willingness to learn,” he said.
“With over 17,000 food service and drinking places in the state of Georgia, Daniel Reed Hospitality is honored to represent the city of Savannah bringing home two awards this year.”
Durrence recently helped complete the group’s newest concept, The Artillery Bar at 307 Bull St. The bar plays homage to Georgia Hussars’ armory and features an extensive cocktail, wine and beer menu. The group is also making its first venture outside of the Hostess City next year with the opening of a second Public Kitchen and Bar at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta next fall.
Yvette Pearson, manager of the the The Public Kitchen and Bar, which is a Daniel Reed concept, was also honored by the GRA, taking home the award for Manager of the Year. Pearson has more than three decades of experience in the hospitality industry, which began as a teenager.
“Yvette has been in the industry for 30 years and is the perfect example of someone who got into the industry as a teenager who needed an entry level position and has been able to create a career through hard work and dedication,” Durrence said.
“She takes pride in cultivating a stable work environment for her staff and making guests feeling welcome and important. This ultimately leaves guests with positive feelings not only about the Public Kitchen & bar, but Savannah and Georgia as well.”
Established in 2007, the peer-nominated GRACE Awards recognizes hospitality and foodservice professionals for excellence and achievement in the restaurant industry.