Q & A: Jack Berberian, Restaurant Management Extraordinaire

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Since Terrace Restaurant and Lounge in Encino opened its doors Fall of 2013, those in the know have flocked to this new valley night spot to enjoy flavorful Mediterranean cuisine and fine shisha under the stars in the establishment’s beautiful outdoor courtyard.

Jack Berberian, Terrace’s general manager, enjoyed a long career in the restaurant and hospitality business that included stints at some of L.A.’s favorite eateries before stepping in to head up the team at Terrace last year. Making sure all the behind-the-scenes elements of running an establishment that offers a huge traditional menu, live entertainment, outdoor dining, full bar service, and premium hookah is no small task, but he did find some time in his packed schedule to sit down for a Q & A:

Jack enjoying a glass of wine and some rare down time

What made you decide to go into restaurant management?

I practically grew up in restaurants. I started when I was a teenager at Robert’s, a French restaurant on the west side and gradually worked my way up, doing everything from helping in the kitchen to seating people, serving and helping to plan big parties. I love food, wine and the energy and vibrancy of a restaurant and all the parts that go into operating one.

What was your first job as a restaurant manager like?

My first job as a manager was at Ca Brea. At the time it was one of the hottest restaurants in Los Angeles and we were busy almost every night. I started as a server then gradually took on more responsibilities and became one of the managers. I dealt with seating A-list celebrities on packed nights, more reservations on Valentine’s Days then you can imagine and countless private parties on the restaurant’s patio I helped build. It was a whirlwind and I enjoyed every moment.

Describe your average work day at Terrace.

Every day is different, but I usually start by going over how many large parties we have for that day/night and start organizing seating arrangements. I meet with my staff for a pre-shift to make sure everyone is ready and go over the wine list I’ve been developing for the last couple months. When people start to arrive it’s just about making sure they’re happy. My actual duties will vary from day to day but it’s all about making sure your customers leave feeling satisfied and like they’ve had a wonderful experience.

Terrace’s lush courtyard dining and hookah area

What do you do for fun outside of work?

I like to try new restaurants around town and try to go to at least one wine or liquor tasting a week.

What accomplishment, change, or improvement are you most proud of making in your time at Terrace so far?

Terrace has become a destination for people looking for a special place to have all kinds of events, and I really hope I’ve been a part of turning it into that destination. Our live music, belly dancers and large outdoor patio all contribute to a fun atmosphere that’s perfect for any occasion. I’ve also created a wine list and cocktail menu that I think people have really responded well too. One of our most popular is the Lebanese Smooch made with Effen vodka, champagne and raspberry liquor.

What are you most excited about regarding your work with Terrace in the future?

I’m just excited to see the restaurant continue to grow. We’ve come a long way in just a couple months and there’s so much more we can do.

Terrace's lavish indoor dining room

Terrace’s lavish indoor dining room

With delicious food and craft cocktails, imported hookahs, and a team with Jack’s capable, enthusiastic leadership at the helm, Terrace’s gorgeous indoor/outdoor dining and lounge space is only going to grow more popular. Make your reservation today!