Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

OCT 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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OCTOBER 2018 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 71 facility design p r o j e c t o f t h e m o n t h The Refuge Steakhouse & Bourbon Bar Features a Casual-Elegant Dining Experience L ocated in a cluster of restaurants and businesses that share a courtyard, The Refuge Steakhouse & Bourbon Bar offers a casual-elegant dining experi- ence and features wood-fired steaks, seafood and pastas. "We also feature the largest bourbon selection in North Houston and the friendliest service that you just can't find anywhere else in town," owner Mark Zientek says. In addition to the on-site restaurant operations, off-site catering constitutes nearly 30 percent of the restaurant's business. Ever since he enrolled in college at Texas A&M, Mark Zientek dreamed of opening his own foodservice establish- ment. Though he majored in economics and political science, he had worked in hospitality since he was young, washing dishes, cooking and tending bar. Following graduation, he worked in corporate restaurants and hotels. In 2002, he joined The Woodlands Development Company, helping plan and managing all the hospitality locations at The Woodlands, a master planned community in The Woodlands, Texas, a northern suburb of Houston. He built a reputation for giving hands-on service, paying razor-sharp attention to detail and developing meaningful relationships with customers and suppliers. Following his daughter's graduation from college, Zientek took a leap and opened The Refuge Bar & Bistro in The Woodlands in 2013. (See FE&S, "Small Space Case Study: The Refuge," January 2018.) This venture's success allowed Zientek and his partners to open The Refuge Steakhouse & Bourbon Bar in February 2017, just a 20-minute drive from the original restaurant. When guests arrive, Zientek greets them and visits with them while they dine. He applies a very hands-on approach to restaurant management, explaining, "We must set our- selves apart from other restaurants and make every person's experience here unique and special." A butchery room and wood-fired chargrill add to the unique character. By Donna Boss Photography by John Egnor

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