Passing the Torch: How The Park Grill is a True Family Affair
Every Wednesday night you can find Geoffrey Wolpert enjoying a meal.
No stranger to the restaurant business, the owner of both The Park Grill and The Peddler knows the healing powers of a meal.
Wolpert joins his three children each Wednesday night for a family dinner where the Wolperts enjoy each other’s company and catch up on life.
“That’s given me some face time, some opportunity to get to know my kids as adults,” Wolpert said. “It’s great now to work with them. I’m 67 years old. I’m interested now in creating a legacy. To be able to work with them professionally, I want to teach them the kind of values that I have that are kind of subjective about business.”
The personal success has been consistent for Wolpert, who has now shifted his focus to passing along knowledge to help leave behind something that Smoky Mountain guests can truly enjoy for years to come!
“On a business endeavor, I’ve always looked at the numbers and made sure it made sense financially, but the finances don’t really motivate me like I think a lot of other business people,” Wolpert said. “I’m really motivated by the opportunity of doing something that I can be proud of.”
That means mentoring his 2 sons, Jacob and Jordan, as they continue to be involved in the restaurant business. Jacob Wolpert is the general manager of The Park Grill, while Jordan serves as the restaurant’s kitchen manager.
For Jordan Wolpert, there’s no better mentor than dad. It’s Geoffrey Wolpert who taught his sons all he knows about the restaurant business, Jordan said.
“Everything,” Jordan Wolpert said. “Every time we ever went to a restaurant, I heard the good and the bad. I’ve been hearing about it forever.”
The Wolperts weekly meal has become more than just a way to stay in touch. It’s a chance to make up for lost time.
The time and commitment required for Geoffrey Wolpert to first manage The Peddler in 1978 as the restaurant’s general manager and then later launch The Park Grill about a decade later was significant.
“He was always here (at the restaurant),” Jordan Wolpert said. “He’d take us to school in the mornings and most of the time we were in bed and asleep by the time he got home. We’d see him on Saturday mornings and Sundays.”
Geoffrey said, “I wasn’t very involved in their lives when they were very young. My wife really covered that. I missed a lot. Being a high expectation business person, I wasn’t the most reasonable person when it came to getting along with little kids. I didn’t do a great job there and in highsight I know that and I’d like to do some things over again.”
The opportunity to make things right and build better relationships with his 2 sons feels like receiving a second chance, Geoffrey Wolpert said.
“I think we made up for the trust and relationship that was not there when they were younger and even through their college years,” Geoffrey Wolpert said. “It’s great now that I think we can work together and really value our relationship. It’s an opportunity that I don’t think a lot of parents have with their kids.”
A reinvigorated relationship has provided a significant boost for father and sons who now work together to produce delicious food that leaves folks full and happy!
“I do enjoy spending time with him and being able to work with him in a professional environment,” Jordan Wolpert said.
Today, you’ll find Jordan and Jacob Wolpert down at The Park Grill where they’re putting that knowledge from dad to good use! Check out the amazing menu options at The Park Grill and consider dropping by for a meal soon!
Did You Know: Geoffrey Wolpert is also the owner of The Peddler Steakhouse in Gatlinburg?! Learn more about how The Peddler has found success by putting people first!