David Brown, a certified sommelier, is the manager of The Townsend Hotel’s fine dining restaurant, The Rugby Grille, and the property’s in-room dining services. He also is one of the industry’s early champions of Michigan wine. In fact, Brown, who joined The Townsend in April 2013, is credited with the original development of the now quarterly Michigan Wine Guide, currently published by the state’s Grape and Wine Industry Council. He also has had more than a dozen articles published in national industry publications, including The Wine Spectator and Wine & Spirits magazine.
As manager of the award-winning Rugby Grille, Brown is responsible for overseeing the restaurant’s daily operations and guest experiences. Prior to joining The Townsend team, Brown most recently served as the marketing director for SOIF de…, a French wine distributor in Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. Since launching his career in the culinary industry in 1997, Brown has served as manager for several well-known and respected area eateries, including 220 Restaurant in Birmingham, Mich. and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Troy, Mich.
Brown, who has more than 30 years of wine and hospitality industry experience, says the best managers have working knowledge of all the various job responsibilities of a restaurant. “You need to know how to cook, serve guests, wash dishes, make a drink, prep for service…all of it,” he says. More importantly though, Brown says the secret to a long career in the culinary world is humility. “Egos kill more businesses than they build,” says Brown.