Here we are. You’re a 40-plus year veteran, you live in Miami with your wife/ partner Linda. You have a podcast called Corner Table Talk. Explain to us what that is about?
Musa, Corner Table for me is a metaphor. But I actually do love the literal Corner Table. We had a great one at Post & Beam. I would often sit there with friends. Friends would gather around. We would be six brothers deep sometimes on a Friday night. All the dialogue and the conversations. Man, I so miss that. I’m so anxious to get back to the room, see my friends and rub elbows. The Corner Table Talk podcast is representative of that spot where we can all kick it and talk intimately. I started by calling some folks who I’ve met over the years to be guests. As you can imagine, I have met a wide range of people over the years. So far, I’ve spoken with guests such as Jackie Jackson, Valerie Simpson, Norm Nixon, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michael Weinstein, the gentlemen who put B. Smith in business. Alvin Clayton of Alvin and Friends restaurant and Michael Vann who created The Shark Bar are coming on soon. I’m reaching for some people that are well known and some who are lesser known. But we all have stories. Our stories need to be documented. I love knowing that those of us who care, like you, are going to be documenting our stories. That’s really what it’s about.
What advice would you give a young Minority owned restaurant owner getting started in this new post Covid world?
It’s what I tell my son Bryce, a musician. I tell him he has to put in the work. Denzel Washington, my longtime friend says, “If it’s not on the page it’s not the stage.” You have to do the work. The first thing I would tell a young entrepreneur is to slow down. Look at the people who have done what you’re trying to do. Learn from the things they have done well. And learn from the things they haven’t done well. Talk to them, reach out. People are very happy to talk about themselves as you and I both know (laughs). You can flatter someone into a pretty informative conversation. By showing some respect for the trade. There are people who have been out there who have done this thing so there are some blueprints that you can follow. Take advantage of it.
The best thing about being a successful restaurateur?
Success for me is the love that you feel from the people you care about. The more kindness that you can spread, it comes back to you in many ways. Some days you feel it, some days you don’t feel it as much. But to me that’s really how I measure success. I know people who have a lot of money but are miserable and I know people who don’t have a lot of money and are miserable. Money is not the answer, even though we need it to live well. Having the love and the respect of the people who you have around you, that is how I define success. I am very fortunate to have a loving wife, loving son, strong circle of friends that I cherish. That to me is worth gold.
ON LOCATION: FT. LAUDERDALE
TALENT: Brad Johnson
Cover & Editorial Photographer:
Frank Louis @franklouisphoto
All Clothes courtesy of Brad Johnson
Classic Cadillac courtesy of Mike Pyatt “Born and Raised Harlemite”
Founder & Editor In Chief:
Musa Jackson @iammusajackson
Creative Director: Paul Morejon