While his is definitely a familiar face to most Fireside guests it’s safe to say he’s more like family to our most frequent attendees. Chris Ott, Director of Operations, began his Fireside career as a bartender in 2002, a job he held post-college while he was also working at Beloit College as an assistant women’s basketball coach. A year later he was offered a full-time position here as an Assistant Restaurant Manager and decided to stay. In 2009 Chris was promoted again, this time to Co-Restaurant Manager with Wendy Janecek, and at the beginning of 2015 he became Director of Operations. He oversees the restaurant, bar, and facility management which has included many hours of project management for our ongoing renovation.
Chris is thriving in this role. “There are a lot of different challenges and it’s fun to learn new things. I’ve always enjoyed challenge and competition so I’m finding it very invigorating,” he said. Chris is no stranger to a good challenge. While a student at Fort Atkinson High School he participated in volleyball, basketball and baseball while maintaining good grades and working part time in the kitchen at a small supper club. He learned to wait tables one night when the servers both walked out. His ability to remain calm in a stressful situation served him well then and it continues to serve him well today.
Chris spends a fair amount of time in the restaurant and even covers a shift or two at the bar as needed. He’s there to troubleshoot any issues that arise as well as mentoring the assistant managers and checking with guests to make sure everything is just as it should be.
While not working, Chris is a family man with a better-half and a teen-age daughter. A big baseball fan, he supports the Brewers (of course!) and has a very impressive bobble-head collection. He’s also recognized on a plaque in the Bowling Hall of Fame in St. Louis for one very successful night at Rock River Lanes when he bowled a 300 game in an 817 series!
“What I like most about working at The Fireside,” said Chris, “is the family atmosphere that Dick, Rick, and Ryan Klopcic have created. The people we work with are like family, the whole operation feels connected and we have a lot of mutual respect for each other.” Chris has a great love for The Fireside and understands what it takes to make our guests’ experience a memory they will truly cherish. Be sure to say hello next time you’re here!