Finding a seafood restaurant along the beautiful coast of Central California is not entirely difficult. This being said, The Quarterdeck, a casual dining local favorite nestled in the heart of Arroyo Grande, stands out by offering a fun tropical atmosphere, high quality food, creative cocktails, and excellent service without breaking the bank. In fact, The Quarterdeck is so popular that even though it closed its doors for a few years, it made a triumphant return back thanks to local support!
A change brings new beginnings
The Quarterdeck was originally opened in the early 1980’s by two brothers, Larry and Ray Peterman. The original location located on the corner of Grand Avenue and Oak Park in Arroyo Grande was a small building known for having a long line of customers eager to try their tasty seafood fare. Soon after they opened, Cyndy Jones came to The Quarterdeck to work evenings during the busy summer months. Then, after many years of business, Ray and Larry opened up a candy shop, as well as another restaurant and made the difficult decision to close The Quarterdeck.
After the popular restaurant closed, Cyndy went on to become the general manager of a well-known breakfast establishment, and, it was the time she spent here that she really developed her sense of how to run a successful restaurant. After five years, Cyndy reconnected with Ray and was offered the position of bar manager at his restaurant in Pismo Beach. There Cyndy met another former Quarterdeck employee and (unbeknownst to her at the time) future business partner, Ann Griffith.
It was this chance encounter that brought The Quarterdeck back. “Although The Quarterdeck closed its doors, the positive memories always remained,” said Cyndy. “And it wasn’t just with us – we realized our entire community missed it as well.”
Resurrecting The Quarterdeck
After many years of being closed, The Quarterdeck was resurrected in 1995 in Grover Beach under the ownership of Cyndy and Ann, and with the help of Ray. After about a year, although business was booming, space was so tight that they made the decision to relocate back to Arroyo Grande.
“Thankfully, with a lot of determination and hard work, the new location gained steam, sailing into a new horizon,” said Cyndy. “One of the hardest challenges we faced in reopening was whether to keep the décor and menu concepts that worked so well at the original location. But, after much thought, we decided to keep the original nautical theme while incorporating a tropical vibe throughout the building. We wanted to give our patrons the feeling of being in a cozy Cabo bar and, although some of the menu items remained the same, we also incorporated some fun new dishes and expanded our bar selections – we’ve actually won awards for many of our bar drinks, so we’re very proud!”
A family affair
After eight years of partnership, Ann decided to leave Arroyo Grande and move to Colorado to be near her family. Cyndy bought out Ann’s portion of the business and became full owner of the restaurant. However, Cyndy did not find herself alone. Her husband, Tim Jones, a retiree from Cal Poly, came on board to handle the maintenance on the building they now owned. Cyndy’s daughter, Trisha Raetz, also joined the team as General Manager. A seasoned veteran, Trisha has 23 years of restaurant experience under her belt – of which she spent many of those years working alongside her mom. “Working with family is a wonderful thing, but a challenge too,” Cyndy said. “Thankfully, Trisha has a very good business sense and is always forward-thinking in her approach. When working with family you always have a few differences of opinion, but for the most part it’s been a very harmonious working relationship, and there is no one I trust more than my daughter.”
Attesting to their family-style approach, Cyndy considers her employees family. “For the most part, all of the staff has been with us a long time, so everyone feels like family. We are always happy to take new ideas and suggestions that our staff gives us, and we love to give our chefs the ability to create new dishes and ideas. They love to make a different soup every day and see who can come up with the best ideas – we all push each other to do better, and it’s truly magnetic."
The Quarterdeck also considers their customers family, and to enhance their dining experience, customers can join their rewards program earning them points for travel and more. They also use sporting events to drive traffic, like free appetizer offers during Monday night football and prize giveaways during the Super Bowl.
Trust in Jordano’s
To keep pace with such a busy establishment, Cyndy leans heavily on the experience, timeliness and knowledge of Jordano’s Account Executive, Chantell St. Claire. “My relationship with Chantell is amazing,” said Cyndy. “Honesty is one of the most important things to me when it comes to someone I work with, and Chantell goes above and beyond to keep me in the know. She offers great new menu ideas and never lets me miss out on a good deal including rebates which she handles for me. If something I am ordering goes way up in price she brings it to my attention right away and tries to find me a better deal.”
She continues, “Jordano’s is a very reputable company that works with me anytime I have an issue. They go out of their way to take care of the customer whether it’s with product issues, billing issues or a replacement of items. I have partnered with them for years, and they are my number one distributor.”
For more information about The Quarterdeck, visit www.quarterdeckseafood.com or find them on Facebook.
By Lynn Ammerman, Marketing Administrator, Jordano’s Foodservice