At Second Home Kitchen + Bar in Denver, Brandon Wilson cultivates a genuine sense of comfort that pairs perfectly with the restaurant’s menu of modern American home cooking and an approachable collection of craft beer, wine, and cocktails. Wilson encourages his staff to be proactive in anticipating guests’ needs while making everyone feel like the most important person in the room. “My philosophy when it comes to hospitality is to make all our guests feel like they are truly at home, to provide a service that is very warm and welcoming,” he explains. “I want Second Home to be on the forefront of every diner’s mind when they are making plans to go out for a meal in the Denver area, and the only way to do that in my opinion is to provide each and every guest with a memorable dining experience whenever they step foot through our doors.”
The General Manager sets the tone for his team by bringing a positive and upbeat attitude to the table himself. Ultimately, he says, the positive energy naturally leads to those positive interactions with guests. “My overall approach to management is to focus on teamwork,” he explains. “I learned very early in life from my experiences playing sports that when you have a team of individuals all pulling in the same direction, anything is possible.”
Wilson had always been drawn to the culture of hospitality, as early back as the time he first saw the movie “Cocktail” with Tom Cruise. While earning a B.A. in sociology from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, he applied for a bartender position at the hottest bar on campus. While he was not hired to tend bar, he did take a position as a bar back instead. From there, he worked his way up the ladder into management and hasn’t looked back.
Before coming to Second Home Kitchen + Bar, originally as a senior restaurant manager in summer 2015, Wilson served as a General Manager at Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s The National Bar & Dining Rooms in Manhattan. While in New York City, he also obtained his VITI1 certificate from the American Sommelier Association. Prior, the Windy City native opened a multiunit food and beverage operation in downtown Chicago for a Destination Hotel & Resorts property in 2013 and spent 5 years as a food and beverage manager at a downtown Chicago hotel within the Denihan Hospitality collection.
Wilson lives in the Cherry Creek neighborhood with wife and their newborn baby girl. In his spare time, he enjoys going to the movies, hitting up the Cherry Creek Trail for a hike or bike ride, and taking his wife out to dinner—which serves both as great downtime together, and an opportunity to scope out the competition throughout Denver.