Meet Kerri Rose, our newest General Manager and face behind Whiskey Kitchen.
Since the young age of 13, Kerri has been drawn to the spirit and teamwork found in the restaurant scene. Her passion for the guest experience is evident, and since joining the M Street family in July, she has continually yearned to make her Whiskey Kitchen team the best they can possibly be. We are beyond excited to welcome her to M Street and to introduce her to the Nashville community.
Where are you from?
Long Island, New York.
When did you start working in the restaurant industry?
When I was 13 years old, I started my first job working at a pizza counter in New York. I would just sit back and watch the bustle of the restaurant—I loved it. From the chefs making pizza to the owner of the restaurant interacting with guests, I was in my element. I continued to work in the restaurant scene through high school, helping to open up a new Chili's in my town.
What were your next steps after high school?
I enrolled at the University of Delaware with a major in Math Education. Soon after, I realized that Math Ed. wasn't for me. I took an Intro to Hospitality course to fill some credits, and all of a sudden, I felt like I was surrounded by the kind of people that I loved—similar to the way I felt working in restaurants back at home. I changed my major to Hotel Restuarant Institutional Management. There was a group of about 20 other students with the same major, and we formed this incredible bond. Once I transitioned to that major, it all snowballed from there.
Where did you find yourself after graduating from college?
After graduating I looked into all avenues of hospitality—spas, catering groups, etc. I would always find myself coming back to the opportunities in the restaurant industry—you just don't get that family feel with other industries. I moved to New York to work for a restaurant group that I subsequently stayed with for 10 years. Within the first 2 years of working with them, I became the youngest General Manager at their flagship concept. It reminds me a lot of Whiskey Kitchen but without the whiskey focus—a lot of character, history, and a hangout hot-spot for the locals.
What brought you to Nashville?
I had been coming to Nashville as a tourist for the past 5 years and loved it. It was one of those places where every time I would leave I couldn't wait to book my next trip—I just couldn't get enough of it.
I wanted to see what else was out there besides New York. I wanted to meet different types of people and have new experiences. Boston was an option, but it was too similar to New York for me. Nashville was the perfect place that I could envision myself living.
How did you find M Street?
Before moving to Nashville, I sent my resume out to a bunch of contacts I had, and one person recommended M Street. That night, I went on M Street's social media page and I couldn't stop—I think I had already scrolled back 2 years! I was sending pictures to my friends and telling them how it seemed like such a great fit for me. I applied, got a call, came in for an interview, and received an offer. It was a surreal experience, but it just feels so right.
What is your favorite thing about M Street so far?
Definitely how welcoming everyone has been to me and how truly genuine and helpful they are. Each person from M Street I meet wants to see me succeed even though they don't know me yet—it shows just how much of a community there really is here. From asking me out for drinks to giving me suggestions on where to get my nails done, M Street gave me that instant network of friends and family.
My first 3 weeks of training were spent in Whiskey's back of house kitchen. It was such an amazing experience because I was totally out of my element, but now when I walk into the kitchen, there is no divide between the front of house and the back of house because we are friends and care about each other.
What is your favorite Whiskey Kitchen menu item?
The spinach dip with shrimp and bacon is out of control. I had that during my first week and fell in love.
What is your go-to Whiskey Kitchen drink?
Nick (the previous Whiskey Kitchen GM who has since been promoted to Associate Director of Operations) has been walking me through all of our drinks. It is so hard to pick a favorite—I would say in terms of Whiskey I love High West Yippee Ki-Yay and W.L. Weller. For cocktails, I love our Sazerac. Our signature drink, 'With Regards to Diane' is amazing.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to cook and entertain my friends. Being Italian, I make homemade sauce all the time— I personally think it makes your whole house smell amazing, even better than a candle.
I also love going to concerts. I'm a huge country fan, especially Miranda Lambert—she was the one who got me into country music. I also love Classic Rock—I'm a little bit of a hippie at heart.
What's a fun fact about you that people don't know?
Probably that I've been to 46 of the 50 states. I grew up camping with my family. We spent 2 summers on the road, getting off the grid and spending true quality time.
Who inspires you?
I really look up to females who have created empires and juggle so many different work/life aspects—women who feel like they don't have a glass ceiling. You look at Miranda Lambert, for example, she has a music career, a charity, and a clothing line; at the same time she is a great person and people want to be around her.
What are you looking forward to during your journey with M Street?
I am excited to learn the ins and outs of each concept and to really get to know all of the leaders. It is so cool being immersed in a company where our 6 restaurants are incredibly unique because there is so much to learn. Being the new girl on the block, I feel like a student again and can't wait to be challenged.
Welcome to the family, Kerri. You have already proven what it truly means to be a member of the M Street team and we cannot wait to watch you grow with us.