Name: Jennifer Rossi
Title: Owner and Partner
What do you do and how did you get here?
I’m one of the partners of Kitchen Table Group. I was born and raised in the restaurant industry and started out washing dishes when I was 11. Today we own two restaurants in Gastown – Pourhouse (turning 8 this September!) and Joe Pizza, which we just opened this year. How I got here was with our initial concept for a cocktail bar and restaurant. We stumbled upon a space here on Water and we very much liked Gastown and wanted to establish ourselves here. The location was perfect and we knew we wanted it. That’s how Pourhouse started. For Joe Pizza – we wanted to do pizza by the slice, served quick and fresh. My husband is Italian and had gone back to Italy with two of the other partners last year. They all fell in love with Roman style pizza, which is made using a completely different technique. The result is a pie that looks and tastes different, being rectangular rather than rounded and is moister, thicker and heartier which helps support all the different toppings that get loaded onto it.
If you had 15 minutes only, in Gastown, how would you spend it?
Probably at L’abattoir – one of my favourite places in the neighbourhood. I’d get a quick drink then I’d also grab a coffee at Revolver. If I could fit in both those places in 15 minutes that would be perfect!
What do you love about the neighbourhood?
I love all the new restaurants that have opened in Gastown since Pourhouse There are now some amazing options for places to dine out and with them, all these great new people who work in this industry and in the neighbourhood. The diversity is great here. Gastown is an interesting place to be and there’s always something innovative happening.
What’s your most memorable happy moment or experience in Gastown?
It was our first year anniversary of Pourhouse. It was like: “Oh my goodness, we made it to a year!”. Hitting the one-year mark means a lot. Even when your kids turn one it’s a big deal. Getting to that milestone was challenging but good. My partners and myself were there every day, open to close, serving lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends. It was a ton of hours but a fantastic learning experience and we’ve been able to open other restaurants since then. I am very fortunate.
What’s your philosophy for a good life?
I love to have a healthy work/life balance. Family is super important to me and is my number one. It’s challenging, as we are adding more restaurants to our group but having that balance of life, work, family, friends, with some good hearty eating and drinking thrown into the mix!