South Charlotte

Restaurant exec relishes job, area

Rick Cheesman knows the restaurant business.

He grew up in Gastonia and graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in management and administration. In college, he worked at the well-known Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa. Upon graduation, he took the job of general manager and held it for 10 years. Sullivan's hired Cheesman in 1995 to help start its chain of upscale steakhouses. He started the first five, living in different cities for six months to a year. His wife, Lori, and son, Justin (now 13) moved right along with him.

Moving to Charlotte

At the urging of Charlotte business leaders Johnny Harris and Felix Sabates, the very elegant Del Frisco's restaurant wanted to open a location here. They asked Cheesman, who by now had a lot of experience starting upscale dining, if he would open up this one. He said yes on the condition that he and his family could make Charlotte their home.

Living in Ballantyne

Cheesman and Del Frisco's came to an agreement, and he is general manager for its highly successful SouthPark location. Cheesman said Del Frisco's has a great local client base and they like being “part of the fabric of the community. Many people come for their special occasions.”

Cheesman and his family live in the Ballantyne area. “We love the four seasons and the wonderful people here,” he said.

The family plans to stay. They are hold Bobcat tickets, play tennis at Blakeney Racquet Club and are involved with their son's school, Community House Middle.

Cheesman blends all parts of his life with style and grace, which helps make him be such a great general manager!