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From a struggling 12-seat diner inherited from his father-in-law in 1927, Joe Gilbert built himself a Kansas City restaurant empire. But the Dean, as they call him, was more than a restaurateur. To the thousands who worked for him, he was a mentor. To our city's thriving restaurant community, he was a leader. To each and every regular, he was a friend. In a city full of culinary icons, he was a bona fide legend. And he showed all of us just what hospitality and fine dining meant.

 

"I THINK HE HAD 100,000
CLOSE FRIENDS."

 

 

All the way into his eighties, Mr. Joe this snappily-dressed silver fox kept growing his empire, reaching 48 restaurants. And even still, he never forgot a cook's name or neglected to tend to the tiniest details. At J.Gilbert's, it is this genuine care for people and legendary love of hospitality that inspires us today. And for all of that, we fondly refer to him as "The Dean."

 

 

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WORKING FOR JOE
Anywhere there are people who have made a career out of serving up great dining experiences, people know Mr. Joe. And whether they worked in his place when they were just getting started or shook hands at the weekly Rotary Club meeting after making it big, we can guarantee their memories are fond. Because more than the restaurant business, more than the food, more than the happy hours ‐ Joe just loved people. And people always returned the favor.
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