Chasing a Hispanic clientele
But he's not happy to be leading off with a discussion of the name. "Whenever you have a place with a name that can be pronounced in more than one way, it seems like half the article is spent talking about it."
Point taken. Moving on: other than feeling like he may have made a misstep with the name, thirty-six-year-old Branham seems unusually at ease for a first-time restaurant owner--especially one tasked with resuscitating a site that was once Herc's steakhouse, then the moderately successful Smokehouse Blues, and most recently the disastrously short-lived Brahma Steakhouse.
Though he's never owned his own place before, Branham has an experienced silent partner and a lot of potentially useful experience: "I have an econ degree from Albion--macro, micro, and accounting. I've worked in restaurants full-time and part-time." And for the last six years, he's held an important-sounding job with a long title involving commercial food equipment at NSF International (the enormous fortress on Dixboro Road is the world's largest independent certifier of food and water safety programs), which gave him a leg up in setting up his own clean restaurant kitchen. (For more on restaurant kitchens--clean and not--see p. 30.) On the side, he's done some restaurant consulting.