George McKerrow, CEO of Ted's Montana Grill

George is a 40-year veteran of the restaurant business in both fine dining and casual concepts. Nation’s Restaurant News has called him a “dinner-house legend” and credits him with giving “birth to an entire casual-dining segment” when he founded LongHorn Steakhouse Inc.

After graduating from Ohio State University with a B.S. in political science, he bought the Log Cabin Supper Club in West Virginia. He joined the Victoria’s Station restaurant chain in 1974 and was a Southeast regional manager when he left the company in 1980.

He opened the first LongHorn Steakhouse in 1981, when Atlanta had few choices in casual dining. He successfully evolved that single location into RARE Hospitality International, which owns LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille and was sold to Darden Restaurants in October 2007. McKerrow retired from RARE Hospitality in 2000. He co-founded We’re Cookin’ Inc. in 1996 with Atlanta chef Gerry Klaskala and Ron San Martin, the former CFO of LongHorn. The group now has two award-winning, fine dining restaurants in Atlanta: Aria and Canoe. George served on the board of directors for the National Restaurant Association (1997-2003) and the Culinary Institute of America (1996-2002) George received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Restaurant Association in 2007 for his years of service to Georgia’s restaurant industry. In October 2008, he was inducted into The Atlanta Hospitality Hall of Fame by the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Along with his partner, media entrepreneur, philanthropist and environmentalist Ted Turner, McKerrow founded Ted’s Montana Grill (www.tedsmontanagrill.com) in January 2002, and serves as president and CEO of the restaurant company. Based in Atlanta, Ted’s Montana Grill is a classic American grill serving made-from-scratch dishes in an eco-friendly environment. The company currently has 44 locations in 18 states.

 

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