- Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the restaurant business?
I am the Co-Founder of J.E.Y Hospitality Group. J.E.Y, meaning, Just Enjoy Yourself, started just shortly after my business partner Charles Hazlett and I opened the first OK:BRGR Burger Bar & Gastro Pub in the historic Himmarshee Village located in Downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Just Enjoy Yourself, is the parent company of multiple restaurant concepts including Rok:BRGR, Himmarshee Public House, TacoCraft, Pizza Craft, The Apothecary 330 and underground mezcaleria, Mercado Negro.
My hospitality roots started at the University of Central Florida. In 2000, I approached the popular hangout, Devaney’s Too, to run their promotions and nightly events. Between 2000 and 2006, me and my team of promoters hosted over 1,000 parties, concerts, and block parties at college hot spots like Roxy, Makos, Bar Orlando, Dragon Room, Knight Library, Church Street, The Pub, and countless others. They offered all-you-can-drink nights, cover charges for free beer and the first promotional group to offer free rides from the UCF campus to downtown Orlando.
- We understand you have a slew of restaurants in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. What made you decide to open your first Palm Beach County location in Delray?
We have always looked to expand in to Delray since the locals and visitors that come to Atlantic Ave are in line with our brand. The vibe of Delray and the growth and success it has had in the past few years really drew our attention. When the space opened up, it was a perfect sign to go forward with it.
- Out of all your different brands why did you decide to expand the ROK:BRGR concept to Delray?
ROK:BRGR is really on track for expansion in many cities since the vibe that we create can easily fit in with any city. It has been highly successful in different locations (South Miami, Hallandale and Fort Lauderdale too).
- Can we expect to see any of your other restaurants in Delray or Palm Beach County?
We would love to see our brands expand to Delray. It is all about timing, and when locations become available though. Timing and location is everything.
- How many burgers are on the menu and how did you come up with so many versions of a hamburger?What is your favorite menu item?
We have 18 signature gourmet burgers on our menu that are hand crafted with the highest quality ingredients. My team and I came up with the creation of many of the burgers through many years of experimenting what flavors we liked and what our customers like. Building and exploring different flavor profiles of burgers are always fun and seeing how people respond to the craziest toppings on a burger. We get creative, like trying peanut butter and jelly on a burger is actually pretty amazing. We created scratch made peanut butter and a local strawberry jam and added smoked pepper bacon for the Fat Elvis!! Just try it and you will see what I mean. My favorite is the ROK:BRGR – a classic burger with smoked pepper bacon and Vermont cheddar cheese topped with house made Bourbon BBQ Sauce (we actually bottle the sauce and sell it too because everyone loves this stuff). A meal can’t get better then that for me!