Thaddeus R. Mattingly (we call him Thad) just took on the General Manager position at our Louisville location. But he’s no newcomer to the Louisville dining scene. A native of Louisville, he’s worked in Louisville’s competitive restaurant industry for two decades, learning the business from the ground floor up.
Thad started in the business at Kunz’s, which was one of the city’s oldest restaurants. It was one of the city’s longest-operating family-owned businesses when it closed in 2007, and a name everyone who has lived in Louisville knows. Thad started there as a lunchtime server and nighttime table busser, moving up eventually to a general manager position. He studied at the University of Louisville while working there, and eventually decided to leave the restaurant business. He became a mortgage broker, and while he loved the business of helping people find a great home, he missed the hospitality industry, returning after just two years away.
So he went to another great family-owned business, The Galt House Hotel & Suites, where he worked for six years, four of those as General Manager of Rivue, the revamped flagship restaurant.
We love Thad’s lengthy experience in the downtown Louisville scene, and his experiences with food and beverage. We consider ourselves a family business, too, as many of the folks in our upper management have been with Eddie Merlot’s since the beginning. Thad understands the importance of getting details right, he knows great food, and he wants to make sure everyone who dines with us has a first-rate experience.
“I love taking care of people,” Thad says. “I love meeting people and extending hospitality. I like making sure everyone has a fabulous time. I like being part of creating an experience that is a memory that will last a lifetime for a guest, and initiates what is hopefully a long-term relationship between me and the guest and our restaurant and the guest.”
Thad recognizes that Louisville is a competitive restaurant city, as are many of the markets we serve. He understands that to get a diner’s business, the meal has to be beyond good. “You can have good food at a lot places in town,” Thad says. “This is one of the most competitive restaurant towns anywhere. The whole team being at 100 percent and doing a fantastic job is an unbeatable experience we offer. It’s about WOW-ing the guest.”
His favorite dish on the menu, so far, is the New York Strip steak. “It has a lot of flavor,” Thad says. “It’s perfect with the gorgazola bacon crust on it.”
Welcome aboard, Thad!