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Aaron Mervis

Aaron Mervis


Aaron Mervis is a Partner of Wildfire and Big Bowl.

It is no surprise that Aaron Mervis ended up in the restaurant industry; his family is obsessed with food. Mervis grew up going to Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants. When he was a teenager, he started talking about what kind of restaurant he would open one day and thought of Merv's Bar & Grill. This idea gave him focus and a goal.

After high school, Mervis decided on Washington University in St. Louis and graduated with a degree in Marketing and Spanish. Still, he often thought about the restaurant industry but planned to enter it through marketing. First though, traveling to Europe and experiencing the cultures and cuisines of many different countries was a priority. He spent the next six months traveling and eating his way through Western Europe and then landed in Madrid to teach English for the rest of the year. This experience of meeting new people and sharing stories and adventures helped solidify his dream of running a restaurant.

In 1999 he returned home and met Howard Katz, Ross Buter and the Wildfire division. He started his career as a Host in Lincolnshire and knew right away that the restaurant business was a perfect fit. In 2000, he was promoted to the management training program. His first memorable project was to revamp the martini list and make exciting new cocktails, like the martini flight and his dad's Bloody Mary recipe (both still signatures on the menu today).

Katz and Buter pushed Mervis hard to learn and grow within the company. In 2002 they promoted him to a #2 manager and then encouraged him to experience the opening of the next Wildfire in Glenview in 2004. In 2006 he returned to Wildfire in Lincolnshire as the General Manager. Just one year later, Katz gave him the opportunity to open their newest location in McLean, VA. Mervis was promoted to partner in 2014 and supervised the Big Bowl in Reston along with the Wildfire in Tysons Galleria.

His current goals are to continue developing his managers' careers and to expand the company's name in the DC area. Lettuce has played an important role in his personal life as well. At a rehearsal dinner in October 2008 at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! he met his wife Lindsey. They live outside of Washington, DC with their daughters Gracie and Kate. They both love sports, theater, music and, of course - food.

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