George Neal, Corporate Chef/Proprietor
A native of Greensboro, George Neal literally grew up in city’s restaurant community, getting his start washing dishes while finishing at Page High School. He worked his way up the chain (dishes begot pantry which begot grille which begot executive chef) before starting off on his own with the original 1618 location in 2004.
George experienced two schools of culinary education: he’s self-taught but also classically trained through his work at one of Greensboro’s premiere French restaurants, Madison Park. George was the winner of the inaugural Fire in the Triad competition and is opening his third restaurant. In his free time, he can be found playing tennis, snowboarding and trying to avoid bogeys at Starmount.
Nick Wilson, Managing Director/Proprietor
How can you call something work when it excites you every morning? Nick Wilson does work at 1618 — he’s the proprietor after all — but spending time at his Greensboro locations is more fun than anything else. OK, fun would be checking in via FaceTime from a cottage on the Neuse River, but you get the point. His favorite part of the job? Walking the line of trendy and traditional, creating a high-end beverage program with the latest and greatest beers, wines, bubbles and high-quality cocktails.
Nick landed in Greensboro for college and loved it so much he never left, finding a permanent home here with his tenured, erudite husband Holt, who deserves endless praise — and probably presents — for allowing Nick to ply his trade during the odd hours of a restauranteur. His hobbies include renovating houses and helping usher positive community change through philanthropy. He believes leading is more about doing than it is saying, prides himself on reciprocal loyalty with his patrons, and is genuinely thrilled when you leave his restaurants wanting to come back again.
Stacey Land, General Manager
Stacey Land comes by the restaurant business honestly. Her father was educated at the Culinary Institute of America and she found her passion for the business while working in his restaurants. Her culinary pedigree and experience in restaurant ownership make Stacey a perfect fit for the role of General Manager at 1618 Midtown. Her love for a good bottle of chilled rosé doesn’t hurt, either.
With five years managing this location under her belt, Stacey is a currently the unofficial sommelier, with a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) designation under her belt and sommelier training coming soon! After work, Stacey enjoys (what else?) a glass of chilled rosé and a little knitting to wind down from a busy day. Lucky friends and family receive her finished handiwork as Christmas gifts.
Max Barwick, Libations Engineer
As 1618 Midtown’s Libations Engineer, Max Barwick’s job is to ensure that you, dear customer, are properly lubricated for every social setting. He’s been with 1618 for more than a year and genuinely thinks it’s the best job he’s ever had, primarily because he can push the envelope when it comes to creating custom craft cocktails.
Max loves whiskey like you love your family, takes pride in making sure every drink is the best you’ve ever had, and will crush you in NBA Jam. Or any classic arcade game. Really. He has 900 at his house.
Steven Gingher, Executive Chef
Chef Du Cuisine Steven Gingher is all about community. He moved back to his hometown of Greensboro because he craved the city’s close-knit vibe, and dedicates himself daily to creating a positive environment in the 1618 Midtown kitchen. So it’s no wonder his favorite facet of 1618 Concepts is their commitment to community involvement.
Steven got his start in the restaurant business as a pizza maker at the Loop Pizza Grill and graduated from culinary school at Johnson and Wales University in 2009. Food is a family affair for him and his wife, Jan, who’s part of the 1618 team.