Chef / Owner
Kenny's Wood Fired Grill
A native New Englander, Kenny Bowers began his career forming a partnership in 1992 with well known chef/restaurateur Jack Chaplin (also from New England).
The two New Englanders created, owned and operated Daddy Jack’s Lobster & Chowder House on Greenville Avenue. They opened the restaurant for an initial investment of $20,000.00 by taking over a vacated restaurant space which was almost fully equipped.
The space was 1,600 square feet, had 50 seats and served dinner only accompanied by beer and wine only. Their annual sales were $1.2 million with a net income of approximately 10%. Kenny spent three years with Jack as a partner before selling his interest back in 1995.
In 1996, Kenny opened Lefty’s Lobster and Chowder House in Addison, Texas. Lefty’s was a slightly larger (2,700 square feet) yet similar version of Daddy Jack’s with a full bar and 100 seats. An initial investment of $120,000.00 was required and the restaurant generated annual sales of $2.1 million with a net income of 10%. Kenny spent two years there before selling the restaurant to his partner.
In late 1998, Kenny helped Dan Vincent, owner of the then “Natchez” restaurant, convert his concept to Big Fish Little Fish. Kenny invested $30,000.00 to convert the restaurant and become a partner. The restaurant became profitable instantly, tripling it current sales volume.
In March 1999, Kenny received an offer from Randy Dewitt, who was the original creator and owner of the 2-unit restaurant chain called Rockfish Seafood Grill. Kenny accepted the position as partner/corporate chef and played an integral role in furthering the development of the concept.
The company’s success as influenced by Kenny eventually attracted Brinker International as a partner and positioned Rockfish to be the successful $40 million, 22 (and counting!) unit chain it is today.
In November 2005, Kenny joined forces with his friend Bob Stegall, a business colleague with more than 20 year’s experience in the restaurant industry. Together, they opened "Kennys Wood Fired Grill" in Addison, Texas ( a suburb of Dallas) and the restaurant has surpassed financial forecasts two years running with more growth in sight as Kenny’s reputation continues to soar in the community.
The restaurant is elegantly casual; the ambience, while sleek, is warm and welcoming.
The menu includes a variety of New England style seafood along with Steaks, Chops, Ribs and Kenny’s soon to be famous Burgers and Mouthwatering French Fries.
Kenny’s is the only restaurant in Texas with Grey Goose Vodka “on tap” out of a frozen spigot. In the past two years, Kenny’s namesake restaurant has quickly become a popular and crowded place where half the fun for customers is to visit with Kenny when they come in for lunch or dinner.
Family: Sammy (dog), Judy Bowers (mom), Ruth Ann Bowers (step mom), Lori Leak (sister), Caryn DeMarco (sister), Heather Allsbrook (sister), Mel Sacks (uncle and business mentor)
Hometown: Boston, MA
Other places you have lived: Dallas, Texas, Boca Raton, FL
Hobbies: Barbecuing, cooking, dining out, wines, hosting small dinner parties, Starbucks, reading, working out
Past business ventures: A-Affordable Insurance, Daddy Jack’s Lobster and Chowder House, Lefty’s Lobster House, Allen Street Bar and Grill, Big Fish Little Fish, Rockfish Seafood Grill
First Job: Gracie’s Sub Shop
Role Model/Mentors: Jack Chaplin, Mel Sack, Jim Parrish, Clay McAfee, Emeril Lagasse, Kevin Rathbun, Ruth Ann Bowers
Do you collect anything: Restaurant menus
Career Highlight: Being named one of the top 50 culinarians in Nations Restaurant News, partnership with Brinker International, voted best new seafood restaurant (by Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Observer) while owner of Daddy Jacks
Business and Life Philosophies:
Business: Most businesses are not about the products or services they provide; rather, they are about people, and if you bend over backwards to accommodate and never say “no” to your customer/guest, your business will be successful.
Life: “Every day is a holiday and every meal is a feast!” and have a positive attitude-the glass is half full!
Personal accomplishments: Owned and operated six businesses by the age of 32
Charity involvement/Civic Commitments: MDA, Limbs for Life, Bryan’s House, Operation Kindness, March of Dimes
Most Influential Author/Book/Favorite Quote: Dr. Phil/Life Strategies “Don’t get saucy with me Bernaise”
Future Goals (personal and business):
Personal: Find a soul mate, write a book and be a mentor for young chefs desiring to enter the business
Business: Make a good living, bring joy to people through my food and continue seeking out new food concepts
Interesting stories or thoughts:
Story: When I was six years old, while attempting to make a grilled cheese on the quartz heater in the basement of our house in Boston, I caught the green shag carpet on fire.
Thought: We’re not in the restaurant business, we in the people business!
The restaurant is merely a vehicle where people gather that enables us to show them a good time and make them happy!