At first glance you might think Jeremy Phillips got his job as General Manager at The Beach House in Pacific Grove because of his connections.
His dad, after all, is restaurateur Kevin Phillips, managing partner of the restaurant as well as three other local eateries. But you would be wrong.
“This is the 10th restaurant I've worked at, always working two at a time,” says Jeremy. “I have bussed tables, hosted, served, bartended, banquet served and managed floors for over 12 years before becoming the GM here at the Beach House.”
He started working as a busboy at the Whaling Station at 17, and at age 19 he was hired as a server at Blue Moon on Cannery Row, splitting his time between the two restaurants. That was just the beginning.
“I attended Cal Poly studying business, all the while working at many different restaurants and wine bars,” says Jeremy, who has been GM since it opened two years ago. “Although I didn't study hospitality, I most definitely got an education in the field for 10 years doing every job in the business.”
But it's not as if his dad didn't have any influence on his direction in the restaurant business.
“I've always been attracted to this business, probably because my dad has been bringing me around his places since before I could walk,” he says. “I've been learning about food, wine, and beer ever since I could read. I love to taste wine, beer and spirits and match them with various types of food, which has been going on since I was way too young to do so.”
Born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula, Jeremy graduated from Carmel High School in 2002. He was doing double duty at Abalonetti Bar & Grill and Cannery Row Brewing Company when he got the call to take on the “daunting task” of becoming GM at The Beach House.
“It was a challenge to basically create an idea into a real working parts,” he says about starting from the ground up at the new restaurant. “Since we had a delay in the grand opening, I was able to assemble a stellar crew, who make my life much easier.”
But he says The Beach House team isn't about to rest on its laurels. The restaurant has been showered with accolades since the first day it opened, but there's more to come.
“The Beach House has a bright future,” he says. “In just months to come we will be opening a cafe of sorts downstairs from the existing restaurant. We will then be open from 9 a.m., giving us much more time to evolve the brand.”
Jeremy says they are also considering creating a catering company to accommodate all the weddings and special events that occur on Lovers Point, perhaps even doing their own events.
As for his own plans, he says he'll continue at The Beach House until he's ready to take the next step up the ladder.
“I plan to continue here until I make the jump to be food and beverage director of all four restaurants, however long that takes,” he says. “I'm along for the ride, learning new things literally every day. Maybe when I retire I can buy my own little restaurant to play with!”
With his track record, that's not hard to imagine