We had the good fortune of connecting with Brad Wise and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brad, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Restaurants are risky endeavors in the best of times, so the nature of our business involves a certain amount of risk to just make it through the day. I like to think of risk as a challenge, to some extent. Risk keeps you humble, focused, accountable. For me and my business, risk has played a pivotal role in keeping me on track, moving me forward toward achieving our company goals. But alongside these risks come the possibility of great reward, and the idea of that reward, a successful restaurant collective, one that is able to provide jobs to our employees, a place to gather for our community – that’s what motivates me and moves me forward.

What should our readers know about your business?
Everything I’ve achieved has come about through hard work and dedication. Our path is never easy, no matter how many restaurants we’ve opened. The experiences we’ve collected along the way has given us the persistence necessary to thrive in this industry, allowing us to face challenges head-on and make us stronger as a group.

Internally, I’ve struggled with self-doubt. I’ve learned to channel these feelings into working harder, doubling-down and proving to myself that I can accomplish my goals. I also firmly believe a huge key to my success has been listening to others. Leaning in when our team, our guests, anyone around me wants to speak and share their experiences. Taking the time to absorb what people say means we’ve been able to create a stronger, better restaurant collective. I got into this business to create an experience for people. It’s not profit that drives me, it’s giving people an experience unique to our ethos and credo.

One of the best lessons I can impart: people are everything. You need to enjoy coming to work, every single day. Surround yourself with people who have your same vision, that want to celebrate the same victories you do.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Stay: I always tell my friends to stay by the water. I’m a boater, so there’s nothing better than taking visitors out on the boat and showing them our city skyline from the bay.

Go: Don’t miss the uptown neighborhoods – I love sending people to North Park, Hillcrest, Mission Hills, South Park, Normal Heights. No matter where you end up, you’re going to have a good time.

Coffee: Heartwork Coffee Bar in Mission Hills

Breakfast: Honestly, I love cooking breakfast at home for my family and visiting guests. I’ll pick-up some sausages and bacon from our butcher shop, The Wise Ox, stop by the Hillcrest Farmers Market for some fresh vegetables, and make a big hash that we serve family-style in the backyard.

Lunch/Snack: I’m always telling people to go to Pop Pie – it’s the best spot for a quick lunch and refuel stop. And for tacos, Tacos el Gordo is always a go-to.

Dinner/Bar: I want to send people to a restaurant run by one of my chef friends. I know they’ll get a great experience, eat great food, and have a great time. So depending on who has a new menu, who just opened a new spot, I’ll usually recommend to friends that they head there.

For a daytime drinking spot, I love Coronado Brewing on Morena. It’s great for kids – there’s a play area and an enclosed space for them to run around. For the adults, you can enjoy some of San Diego’s best beer, handsdown.

Website: https://www.trustrestaurantsd.com

Instagram: @chefbwise

Image Credits
Food: Haley Hill Interior: Jim Sullivan Headshot: Jim Sullivan

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