General Manager Mark Kawada is a veteran of the hospitality industry with more than 20 years of experience. A restaurateur, musician, community activist and craft beer aficionado, Kawada practices a simple management philosophy in the day-to-day operations of the restaurant: Guests are the focal point. “We treat our guests as I would treat a guest in my own home,” says Kawada. His approach is felt throughout the restaurant by everyone from cooks and servers, to bartenders and administrative staff.
Born and raised in Chicago, Kawada has honed his food service skills in a variety of management roles, as a restaurant consultant and he even worked as a financial director after graduating with a degree in finance from Michigan State University.
Kawada has a strong history of working with top seafood restaurants in both Michigan and Florida at Charley’s Crab Restaurants, Leo’s in Grand Rapids and Big Fish Seafood Bistro in Dearborn and Madison Heights, Mich. among others. With his experience, Kawada brings a vast and impressive knowledge of sustainable seafood sourcing practices to Pier W.
His favorite thing about Pier W? Working with Chef Regan Reik and the rest of Pier W’s long-term staff and terrific employees. Kawada’s commitment to being an active part of Cleveland’s budding food scene keeps Pier W at the receiving end of many local accolades and as the City’s premier seafood and lakeside dining destination.
A veteran of world-class cuisine, Chef Reik works daily to present Pier W customers with contemporary and creative American dishes derived from sustainable – and often local – sources.
Before joining Pier W, Chef Reik interned at the esteemed Alain Ducasse at the Essex House in New York under Chef Didder Elaina, Chef de Cuisine. He has held top positions at several Ritz-Carlton locations, including Executive Sous-Chef in Cleveland and Dearborn, Michigan. He also served as Chef de Cuisine in Battery Park, New York, where he was a member of a team that developed a steakhouse concept which was later blueprinted for other Ritz locations.
Since joining Pier W, Chef Reik has made a personal commitment to “going to the source” for the freshest, most original culinary inspirations to enhance the restaurant. His search for the finest ingredients has led him to Alaska for fresh, wild salmon, to Wisconsin for artisanal cheeses and to Boston for a once-in-a-lifetime trip on a scallop boat. He has also spent time at Foley’s Fish, the 104 -year old east coast fish monger where Pier W gets much of its ultra fresh seafood.
In 2010, Chef Reik rose above the area’s most esteemed culinary talent to capture the title at the annual St. John’s Top Chef competition, a local fundraiser that drew a sold-out crowd in its second year.
Chef Reik’s innovative approach to new and classic dishes has helped Pier W retain its 45-year reputation as Cleveland’s legendary seafood destination.
Contact Maribeth to plan an event at Pier W.