Nick Wilson, Managing Director/Proprietor
How can you call something work when it excites you every morning? Nick Wilson does work at 1618 — he’s the Proprietor after all — but spending time at his Greensboro locations is more fun than anything else. OK, fun would be checking in via FaceTime from a cabin in the mountains, but you get the point. His favorite part of the job? Walking the line of trendy and traditional while assisting with the creation of a high-end beverage program with the latest and greatest beers, wines, bubbles and high-quality cocktails.
Nick landed in Greensboro for college and loved it so much he never left, finding a permanent home here with his tenured, erudite husband Holt, who deserves endless praise — and probably presents — for allowing Nick to ply his trade during the odd hours of a restauranteur. His belief in community change through philanthropy has earned him the Triad Business Journal 40 Under 40 award, an Action Greensboro Made in Greensboro honoree and the Greensboro Chamber Small Business Person of the Year award.
George Neal, Corporate Chef/Proprietor
A Greensboro native, Proprietor George Neal literally grew up in the city’s restaurant community, getting his start washing dishes while finishing up at Page High School. He worked his way up the chain (dishes begot pantry which begot grille which begot executive chef) before starting off on his own with the original 1618 location in 2004. He experienced two schools of culinary education: he’s industry taught but also classically trained through his work at one of Greensboro’s premier French restaurants, Madison Park. And he gained kudos as the winner of the inaugural Fire in the Triad competition. In his free time, he can be found on the golf course or taking his son “Little George” to as many sporting events as he can.
Jake Skinner, Director of Leadership
Jake (not-from-State-Farm) Skinner understands the nuances of the modern restaurant industry, having worked with locally raised produce since he was a teenager (literally: Jake was farming blueberries on the high plains of Michigan before anyone bothered to call beef grass-fed).
When he’s not handling leadership duties Downtown, you can occasionally still find this former mixologist behind the bar, concocting something delicious for his legion of fans or tweaking his “Other Stache”, a not-so-secret but off-the-menu beer selection.
While Jake loves his work and family at 1618, if he was to go missing, we’d probably find him manning a watering hole at some sandy South American beach. Ola.
Emma Smith, Bar Manager
Bar Manager Emma Smith whips up a lot of liquid cures at 1618 Downtown. An Asheville native, Emma came to Greensboro for nursing school and spent her spare hours as a hostess at the Seafood Grille. After graduation, it didn’t take long to realize that she’d rather chat about wine and spirits than care for fevered brows. So she returned to 1618 and eventually made her way to Downtown.
Emma finds Greensboro exciting because she’s seeing the city emerge as a destination. Belly up to her bar and she’ll try to push you out of your comfort zone, finding new flavors for you to love. It takes a little gumption, but it might just resuscitate your palate.
Stacey Land, VP of Cultural Leadership + Education
Stacey comes by the restaurant business honestly. Her father was educated at the Culinary Institute of America and she found her passion for the business while working in his restaurants. Her culinary pedigree and experience in restaurant ownership make Stacey a perfect fit for the role of General Manager at 1618 Midtown, where her discerning menu selections won the restaurant a 2018 Wine Spectator award.
Stacey gained the prestigious Certified Sommelier designation in 2017 from the Court of Master Sommeliers, and is one of only two Certified Somms in the city of Greensboro. She is also a Certified Sake Advisor (CSA). In 2016, as one of seven hand-selected guests at Domaine Serene’s Somm Select event in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Stacey wowed the judges, and came home with a medal for the winning cuvée.