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karl dornemann

FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS OF SERVING ICE CREAM TO SCREAMING KIDS, KARL HAS BEEN IN THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS FOR 25 YEARS. ENDOWED WITH HIS FATHER’S ABILITY (SEE EPISCOPAL PRIEST) TO GIVE SERMONS IN FRONT OF A CROWDED ROOM, KARL HAS BEEN ENTERTAINING / ANNOYING PATRONS FOR A LONG TIME. KARL MOVED TO HAMPTON ROADS TO OPEN THE TAP HOUSE IN GHENT AND LATER WENT ON, WITH HELP FROM FRIENDS, TO OPEN CRACKERS AND EMPIRE IN NORFOLK. IN 2003, AFTER A STINT OPERATING BACKSTAGE CAFE WITH ERIC STEVENS, KARL AND ERIC OPENED BARDO AND BROUGHT PACIFIC RIM TAPAS TO NORFOLK.

KARL THINKS HE KNOWS IT ALL, AND WHEN IT COMES TO WINE, SPIRITS, AND BEER, HE MAY ACTUALLY BE RIGHT. MANY A BAR CUSTOMER OR SERVER HAS ASKED AN INNOCENT QUESTION ABOUT SCOTCH OR BOURBON ONLY TO FIND THEMSELVES SO DEEP INTO MINUTIA THAT THEY FINISH THEIR DRINK JUST TO END THE CONVERSATION.

KARL HAS CREATED A NUMBER OF POPULAR DRINKS THAT HELPED BARDO’S MERE 50 SEAT RESTAURANT BECOME THE LARGEST VIRGINIA SELLER OF WOODFORD RESERVE BOURBON AND FINLANDIA CRANBERRY VODKA. BARDO IS ALSO NEAR THE TOP OF THE LIST FOR FINLANDIA VODKA AND TULLAMORE DEW IRISH WHISKEY. KARL OFTEN HOSTS WINE, WHISKEY AND BEER TASTING DINNERS AT STILL AND BARD. KARL WAS EVEN ASKED TO TASTE-TEST FOUR DIFFERENT GLENMORANGIE SCOTCH’S IN ORDER TO DETERMINE WHICH NEW GLENMORANGIE WOULD BE IMPORTED TO VIRGINIA. IF YOU HAVE EVER HAD THE CASK PROOF 15 YEAR GLENMORANGIE, BE SURE TO SAY THANK YOU

KARL AND ERIC ALSO OPERATE A CONSULTING FIRM, DORNEMANN STEVENS & ASSOCIATE THAT SPECIALIZES IN RESTAURANT MANAGEMENT AND DESIGN, AS WELL AS HOTEL FOOD AND BEVERAGE CONSULTING. THEY HAVE WORKED FOR THE DOUBLETREE, NORFOLK AIRPORT NORFOLK RADISSON, AND, IN JULY 2011, OPENED THE THE PUBLIC HOUSE IN GHENT IN 2011.

At some point in your life, you've probably thought about opening a restaurant. These guys actually did it. Check out their bios to confirm their insanity.
Chef Mike Farrell
Eric Stevens
Karl Dornemann
Dave Nye
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