James Brennan – Stingaree

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Human beings are thought to be inbuilt risk takers–we survive and flourish on risks. This couldn’t be more true in the case of James Brennan, who revolutionized the San Diego clubbing scene with the opening of the modern, exclusive nightclub Stingaree in 2005.

‘We were told that we were funny when we spent $7 million on Stingaree,’ he revealed. ‘But we paid it off in a year and a half.’

Brennan, a university of San Diego graduate, is the Chief Executive Officer and partner of EnDev enterprises LLC. As well as Stingaree, he and his team at EnDev have operated a string of dives and eateries in the San Diego area, which include Universal, a posh nightclub in Hillcrest; Dish, a cafe in Hillcrest that offers’organic’ dishes; and Top of the Cove, an upscale restaurant in La Jolla.

Brennan claimed that one of the reasons his business ventures are successful is really because he and his team treat each other like family. When he hires employees, Brennan looks for one vital quality in an individual: integrity. ‘A willingness to work a tough and to put in the hours,’ the thirty-six-year-old announced. So far he’s been successful. ‘We’ve lost less than 5 percent of our staff, and in this business that is remarkable,’ he claimed.

Nobody knows when the economy will pick up, but one thing is sure, it does not moisten this man’s risk-taking spirit. He and his new partner, Brian Malarkey, former Oceanaire chef and Top chef participator, are ganging up to open a cafe in the Gaslamp Quarter. It’s not your common restaurant, however. In addition to the food and drinks, one added attraction is Malarkey himself, who will showcase his talent in cooking through an open kitchen.

‘We’re going to show off the venue but make Brian the important point of what we are selling, which is the entire dining experience, where people sit down, have dinner, hang about at the table and drink sangria and specialty cocktails,’ Brennan said.

Brennan, is utilizing old methods to ensure the restaurant success. ‘I’m going back to the way I did things when I did Stingaree and Side Bar, which has multiple stockholders who will all pitch the eatery and spend their own money and join the process of building it up,’ he claimed. ‘I got away from that in current projects.’

Based totally on the successfulness of his other business endeavors, especially with Stingaree, he could be right in making use of old systems. Besides, isn’t everything about taking risks? Brennan aptly said it: if you want to make money and enjoy life, you need to take risks. Take it from the man who owns San Diego’s largest and most exclusive nightclub.

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