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75 Main Street Undergoes Management Change

Originally Posted: April 02, 2009

Colin M. Graham

75 Main has undergone a management change recently according to owner June Spiere. The popular eatery welcomes new staff and chef. Photos by Colin M. Graham

Southampton - Rumors of change in management at 75 Main in Southampton this week were confirmed by owner June Spirer today. Tim Burke, manager of the restaurant since 2007 has left the restaurant, along with Executive Chef Randy Reese, in order to put more effort into his catering business as well as spend more time with his family.

"Tim did a really fine job managing the restaurant but he decided that he really wanted was to get back into catering as well as be able to spend more time with his family," Spirer said in a recent interview.

Chef David Gerard has assumed the role as Executive Chef at 75 Main.

"Last summer he was working incredibly hard running both the restaurant and our catering business and it was taking away from time spent with his family. I'm a family person myself and I respect Tim's decision to focus on his children, I know it was a really difficult decision for him to make."

According to Burke, the choice to leave was a difficult but necessary one due to a difference in opinion "in style and management practices" at 75 Main. "Over the past two years, Randy and I turned 75 Main into a great meeting place in Southampton where people loved to gather and enjoy themselves," Burke said. "We had a great staff and great customers who all helped make 75 Main the place that it was. I feel bad about having to make the decision to leave because of the staff and people I'm leaving behind, but sometimes it's just time to go."

Declining to go into specifics about the nature of the aforementioned "differences," Burke sounded optimistic about the future and mentioned he is already in talks with various restaurant owners about the possibility of starting and managing an on and off premise catering business for them, while also keeping an eye open for vacant restaurant spaces where he and Reese might manage their own.

"Even with the economy the way it is I'm thinking this is going to be a great summer, so right now I'm focusing on my catering business. Randy and I are talking to a lot of people at the moment. I can't mention any names yet, but ideally I would like to keep my business in Southampton because I live here and have a real love for the village. We built such a following at 75 Main over the two years I was there, I think people would be happy if I started something else - I'm not trying to blow my own horn here, it's just how I see the reality of the situation."

Taking over for Burke and Reese are two gentlemen bound to be familiar to long-time patrons. Stepping into the role of manager is Robert Pollifrone, who was manager of the restaurant prior to Burke. David Gerard has returned as Executive Chef.

75 Main owner June Spiere reviews the menu with staff in the restaurant she has owned since 1991.

"It's pretty exciting for me to be able to bring people from our past back to the Main," explained Spirer. "We're like a big family here and I think people who have been coming here over the years will be happy to know that with Pollifrone and Gerard's help we are going to bring 75 Main back to 75 Main. I felt that the catering side of things was starting to take over the restaurant side. We're still going to be doing our on and off premise catering, but the focus will be on making the restaurant what it used to be."

With the staff change taking place so close to the beginning of the season, Spirer has been spending the week making sure that everything is in order before Memorial Day, but Spirer feels that her restaurant is in very capable hands. "My rule is that if you don't have everything working right before Memorial Day, it's not going to work right for the rest of the season, so right now we're working on updating the wine list and refreshing the menu; I don't feel that I have to do too much work though, once we get everything settled our staff basically runs itself."

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