Shaking Cocktails To Shaping Empires: The Rise of A Former Bartender In The Restaurant Industry


In the world of hospitality, where success is often measured by the quality of service and the relationships built with customers, Brian Parenteau has emerged as a true luminary. As the owner of Tulio’s Tacos and Tequila Bar, Patio Bar and Pizza, Drynk Bar and Lounge, and the soon-to-be-opened Bar Tulio’s in 2024, Brian’s journey from a humble start as a barback to a thriving restaurant entrepreneur is nothing short of inspiring.

Brian’s story is one of hard work, sacrifice, and an unwavering commitment to providing unforgettable experiences for his customers. He started his career 20 years ago as a barback in a South Beach nightclub, never envisioning a long-term future in the industry. However, it didn’t take long for Brian to realize his passion for the high-energy world of hospitality, and he quickly climbed the ranks, eventually becoming a bartender.

But Brian’s journey took an unexpected turn when he ventured into the white-collar world as a mortgage broker. While it provided stability, he found himself missing the excitement and relationships he had formed in his bartending years. In a bold move, he made the decision to return to his roots in the hospitality industry.

Big City Tavern on Las Olas became his home for over nine years, allowing him to fine-tune the skills he had acquired in Miami. However, it was at Grille 401, where Brian served as the bar manager, that he truly mastered his craft. The location, ambiance, and the overwhelming support from the community propelled him forward. Brian also met his business partner Douglas Herbst while working at Big City Tavern and his other business partner Tulio Alas while working at Grille 401.

Over the years, Brian formed lasting friendships that would later evolve into successful business partnerships. His approach to the industry is defined by being hands-on, engaging with customers on a daily basis, and building genuine rapport – principles he insists on implementing at all his establishments.

But what sets Brian apart is not just his dedication to the hospitality industry but his willingness to take risks. Transitioning from a consistent role as a bartender to an ownership position with considerable financial exposure was a pivotal risk he undertook. It also came with the challenge of convincing his peers to take him seriously as a business entrepreneur.

In addition to his relentless pursuit of success, Brian Parenteau also honors the memory of a dear friend and mentor, Chris Guerra, by bringing his concept to life at Patio Bar and Pizza. Chris, a young pizza entrepreneur, was the main inspiration behind this venture. Brian’s commitment to preserving the legacy of his friend and mentor is a testament to his character.

Looking ahead, Brian aspires to follow in the footsteps of industry leaders like Dave Grutman of Groot Hospitality. His definition of success is clear: to create long-lasting concepts that people will love and return to for many years, thereby cementing his legacy in the world of hospitality.

Brian’s favorite spirits include Tequila, and his go-to classic cocktail is the Tom Collins. He enjoys putting his own twist on classics, with the Mexican Mule being a personal favorite. When it comes to crafting these delicious concoctions, shakers are his trusted bar tools.

But what might surprise many about Brian is that in his high school and college years, he never saw himself working in hospitality. Weekends and holidays were not on his career radar. Yet, today, he stands as a testament to the fact that life often has a way of leading us down unanticipated, remarkable paths.

Through his unique journey, Brian Parenteau has become an inspiration in the hospitality industry. From a barback with no intentions of long-term work in the field to a restaurant entrepreneur with multiple successful ventures, his story reflects the essence of determination and perseverance. Brian’s accomplishments are not only a testament to his unwavering work ethic and commitment to customers but also to his resilience in the face of adversity.

In a world where dreams and determination shape destinies, Brian Parenteau’s story is a compelling example of what can be achieved through hard work, sacrifice, and a passion for creating memorable experiences for customers. As he expands his brand to new markets, the future looks incredibly promising for this remarkable restaurant entrepreneur.

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