Since 1989, Chuck Rolecek has been committed to creating innovative and incredibly popular dining experiences throughout the Granite State. Best known for his highly successful restaurants in and around Manchester, NH—C.R. Sparks and The Hanover Street Chophouse—he also staked an impressive claim as the host of the area’s most prominent and prestigious function facility, The Event Center, hosting high-end social events for businesses, nonprofits, wedding receptions and numerous political receptions, for more than 15 years.
In 2014, after a brief stint as a “retired restaurateur,” Chuck decided it was time to get back into the “biz” and thought the NH Seacoast might be just the right place to make his “comeback!” Knowing the once famous and popular Bonta restaurant might be available—Chuck was a frequent guest over the years, since the restaurant was designed by good friend and internationally acclaimed restaurant architect, Peter Niemitz of Niemitz Design Group—he secured the opportunity to purchase Bonta and with the help of NDG and quickly transformed the Old World Italian decor into a comfortable, warm and inviting replica of a North Country ski lodge complete with a center of the room fieldstone fireplace, large horseshoe bar and an overall ambiance that says “welcome!” And, when Chuck added a farm-to-table creative menu, an award-winning wine list and a Front of the House staff trained to a level of service not yet found in the area, it was just the right formula to boldly say to the Seacoast restaurant aficionado’s “I’m baaack!”
You won’t miss Chuck on your next visit to CR’s. Quite likely he will be chatting and smiling with his friends, guests and first timers, making everyone feel as if they have known him for years!
A 2006 graduate of renowned hospitality school, Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island, Jerry Bourassa joined the team the team at CR’s in 2015 and has never looked back! Jerry came to the Seacoast after a successful stint working in Boston for such prestigious properties as The Boston Renaissance Waterfront Hotel and the W Hotel, learning the “tools of the trade” from such renowned Chefs and Hospitality legends as Jean Georges Vongerichten and two James Beard Award Winners, Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier.
While working with and for these larger-than-life chefs, Jerry focused his efforts on the Front of the House Operations, perfecting the fine art of Server Steps of Service and expanding his already strong knowledge of fine wines, spirits, and even dining room etiquette. These skills along with Jerry’s penchant for staff training, have in a few short years, propelled CR’s The Restaurant to a “big city, fine dining establishment” comparison when it comes to service levels, evidenced by the numerous comments received on social media sites and guest comments cards.
Next time you are visiting CR’s, don’t hesitate to say hello to Jerry. It’s likely you will find him chatting with a guest on a perplexing wine question or bustling about the dining room accommodating a special table or server request. His friendly smile and engaging personality will leave you with the sincere feeling he’s “glad you’re here!”
Since 2006, Executive Chef Rob Martin has been cooking, “chef-ing”, and making his mark as a true socially conscious culinary professional on the Maine/New Hampshire Seacoast. Prior to his professional arrival in New England, Rob honed his skills and enhanced his knowledge of food and beverage in common places like Columbus, OH, Philadelphia, PA and Boston, MA, as well as uncommon destinations such as Milan Italy, and Antarctica, where he cooked for science research camps.
A 1999 graduate of famed Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI, with a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management, Rob’s concern for quality oriented, sustainable, and regionally sourced foods, as well as his community at large, has been evident throughout his career. He takes great pride in his past and current affiliations with organizations such as Slow Food, Chef’s Collaborative, Seacoast Eat Local, and Share our Strength.
As a Chef, Rob strives to utilize the seasons (even though in New England one could say, four seasons come around only once in a while!) to provide modern food, rooted in tradition and using techniques he has acquired in what is now a 20+ year career.
Rob’s experience under tutelage of several master chefs combined with his talent and passion is evident in all of his creations – which are proven winners with his guests.
Emily Grindstaff, a 2014 graduate from Penn State University where she majored in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management, joined the CR’s team in October of 2019 as Restaurant Manager. Shortly after, she stepped into her current position of Assistant General Manager.
From State College, PA to the open seas, Emily’s first job out of school was with Norwegian Cruise Line, specifically the Pride of America, based out of Hawaii where she assumed the Assistant Director of Food Service Operations position, while also assuming role of the Assistant to the Executive Chef. (With those types of jobs, not much time for tanning or riding the ship’s water slide!)
Two years and a lot of experience overseeing all of the restaurants onboard, she grew tired of a cruise ship’s lifestyle and inner workings—not to mention her “extra long” twin bed—so she moved back east, southeast to be exact, and hunkered down in Charleston, SC. (Her husband Josh, but only her fiancée back then and fellow shipmate, accompanied Emily back to the Low Country.) There she worked as a Restaurant Manager at the “world renowned” Amen Street Fish and Raw Bar, while Josh continued to refine his culinary skills at the award-winning Dewberry Hotel. When Emily and Josh were ready to tie the knot, they decided Emily’s home state of NH would be the best place for them to settle down and advance their careers.
When not working at CR’s, Emily spends time with Josh and their dogs Kona and Piper, or making their new home in Dover “comfy and cozy!”