Air Force

October 25, 2013

From Airmen to restaurateurs

Tags:
Senior Airman GRACE LEE
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Preston and Donovan Walden, Whiskey Rose Bar and Grill co-owners, stand in front of the restaurant Oct. 11 at the Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale. The brothers are prior active-duty Airmen. They offer military personnel a 15 percent discount on food and beverages.

It was an opportunity of a lifetime for Donovan and Preston Walden, both prior active-duty Airmen and brothers, to be co-owners of a restaurant named Whiskey Rose Bar and Grill.

For Preston, who served at Luke Air Force Base as a firefighter engineer, it was all about being at the right place at the right time.

“I’ve always been interested in the food industry, and while I was serving on active-duty I tended bar part-time and met new people in the process,” Preston said. “When I got out of the military in 2011, I was planning to pursue a civilian fire department career and was working on getting my paramedics license while bartending at the same time.”

In August, Preston got a job as a bartender at Whiskey Rose Bar and Grill.

“This space had been closed for three years, and I actually helped open the business,” Preston said. “When it first opened, I brought in a few of my regulars to help raise sales.”

Soon one of the owners took notice of Preston’s ability to lead, his hard work ethic, perseverance and his adaptability, and offered him a chance to buy 50 percent of the restaurant.

Once the opportunity arose, Preston contacted Donovan about joining him in the venture.

“I was deployed in Southwest Asia at the time,” Donovan said. “After checking out the restaurant, I knew I wanted to work with my brother as co-owners.”

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for Donovan, who saved up enough money to partner with his brother while he was deployed.

“Before joining the Air National Guard, I served five years on active duty as a fuels technician,” Donovan said. “Serving on active duty actually helped me in being the business owner I am today. I learned a lot from Airman Leadership School which helped me to improve my management skills. Also the Transition Assistance Program made the move from active duty to civilian smooth since it educated me on how to write a proper resume and gave me a lot of helpful information on applying for jobs and more.”

Opening up a business is possible but requires much preparation.

“The biggest tip I have for active-duty Airmen to be successful is to plan ahead,” Donovan said. “If you’re trying to start a business, save your money, at least $40,000 as a cushion, create a business plan and build good credit.”

Although now a full-time restaurant owner, Donovan still remembers where he came from.

“The one thing I will never forget are my Air Force core values, ‘integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do,’” Donovan said. “Those are the key principles I will use in the restaurant and keep with me forever.”

Being prior military, Donovan and Preston understand the importance of giving back.

“We want to give back to our military family by offering them a 15 percent discount on food and beverages,” Donovan said. “We will also be having a military Monday night during which military members can order from a special discounted military menu. Just bring your military ID, and we will take care of you.”

Whiskey Rose Bar and Grill is located at the Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale and is open 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. The restaurant serves barbecue-style ribs, brisket, pulled pork and chicken dishes.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Grace Lee

Pilot saves six Marines earning him the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor

Grace Lee Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, pins the Air Force Combat Action Medal onto Capt. Aaron Cavazos, 61st Fighter Squadron weapons officer, Jan. 16 in Club Five Six at Luke Air Force Base. Cavazos was...
 
 

Financial responsibility — vital to readiness

In the “Band of Brothers” miniseries, there is a line in the movie where the soldiers are told to make sure they sign up for life insurance to ensure their next-of-kin gets $10,000 upon the soldier’s death. While none of us are about to make a combat jump in 1944 to fight the Nazis, Airmen...
 
 

Adapt, overcome, succeed

Change is inevitable, especially in today’s Air Force. If you’ve been serving for more than a few years, it’s likely you’ve experienced everything from new physical fitness requirements to the implementation of force management programs. Enlisted performance reports and feedback forms have been altered and changes to the promotion system are rapidly approaching. We expect...
 

 
Courtesy Photo

Chrach saves lives, earns recognition

Courtesy Photo Tech. Sgt. Steven Bruner, 56th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and Chrach, 56th SFS MWD, pose for a photo in Afghanistan during their 2012 deployment. Chrach was recently awarded the 12th A...
 
 

News Briefs January 23, 2015

VH1 concert VH1 and sponsors supporting the event are hosting a Super Bowl Blitz concert featuring Fall Out Boy and Charli XCX at 5 p.m. Jan. 30 in Hangar 999 as a “Thank you” to those who serve in the U.S. military. Members of the Luke community are invited and the concert is free. Service...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

Civilian answers AF call, gets dream job

Courtesy Photo Senior Airman Kristina Inocencio, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron engineer technician, measures the distance from the tree to the building Jan. 15 during survey training at Luke Air Force Base. One of Inocencio’s ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin