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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."

 

 
MEET OUR CREW

manager

Managing Partner

TRIPP ANWAY

A native Californian who has lived coast to coast, Tripp and his wife Debra are honored to call St. Louis his home – raising three children in the area. Tripp joined the J. Gilbert’s family of restaurants in 1977, quickly climbing the ranks as an Executive Chef. He is now the Managing Partner, with a passion for business that reflects the same sentiments as founder Joe Gilbert’s: “Treat every customer as a guest,” and “Be kind to everyone you meet every day.” Tripp has opened and managed 12 different restaurants across five different concepts with the company. He’s proud to be at the helm of J. Gilbert’s, which has been awarded “Best Steakhouse” in the St. Louis area, among other awards noting quality and service. On his off days, Tripp enjoys growing and harvesting fresh vegetable garden.

Executive Chef

VERN AVANZADO

Vern has dedicated more than 20 years to J. Gilbert’s and its sister concepts. His career started as a busboy at Fedora Café in the St. Louis Union Station. From there, he worked in the kitchens of Bristol Creve Coeur and Braxton Oakbrook, and also worked on the corporate training team opening new seafood restaurants around the Midwest. In 2011 he made the move to J. Gilbert’s in Des Peres as a Sous Chef, where he was quickly promoted to Executive Chef. Vern has helped grow the kitchen and shows his creativity in specialty menus for wine and beer dinners. In his free time, Vern can be found in the water – boating, wakeboarding and fishing. He also volunteers his time at the local nonprofit organization KIDSMART, which makes sure that under-privileged children have the school supplies they need in order to succeed.

JOIN OUR FAMILY

Career opportunities

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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