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When Joclyn McDonald moved to Colorado more than six years ago from Syracuse, N.Y., it was pretty much a no-brainer that she would wind up working in restaurants.

“I practically waited tables in my mom’s belly!” says the catering and banquet manager for Hodsons Denver and Hodsons SouthGlenn, who has been with Hodsons’ parent company Roadhouse Hospitality Group for six years, and celebrates three years with Hodsons in April.

McDonald grew up in Ogdensburg, N.Y., on the Canadian and U.S. border, along the St. Lawrence River. She graduated from business school and went to work in employee relations for a local government agency in Syracuse, N.Y., but the call of the Colorado lifestyle was too strong.

“When I left to move to Colorado, all of my friends said, ‘What are you going to do if you can’t find a job?’” says McDonald. “I said, ‘I can always wait tables!’”

And that’s exactly what she did, starting at Spanky’s Urban Roadhouse, where she quickly worked her way up to managing shifts, followed by stints at other Roadhouse restaurants.

Luckily for the guests who book their weddings, wedding rehearsals, baby showers, office parties and other big group gatherings and special events at Hodsons’ two locations – including in the comfortable and intimate wine cellar-style private room at Hodsons SouthGlenn – she soon took over the responsibilities of helping people plan their important life celebrations.

Here’s a Q&A that offers a glimpse into her world.

What’s the best thing about being a catering and banquet manager?

Getting to meet and talk to new people everyday. I love to talk! I also enjoy being involved with all the different restaurants. I’m lucky to work with so many amazing and helpful people.

What’s your favorite dish at Hodsons and why?

My favorite dish at Hodsons right now is the dueling tuna. It’s a beautiful dish, with so many different flavors and three of my favorite things: avocado, tuna, and wasabi.

What’s the coolest event that you’ve done at Hodsons?

Weddings are always great events! I’d have to say the best was one of our managers had his wedding at our downtown location. So many of the guests were family and friends of the different restaurants. It was like being at family wedding, and sharing in their special day was an awesome experience!

What’s a skill you have that has really been called into play in this career?

This past year has been all about improvement. Some things I’ve really been working on are adapting to change and keeping a positive attitude. There is never a dull day in this industry, and keeping a positive attitude allows you to find a solution in an ever-changing environment.

People would be surprised to know that I . . .

I don’t think people would be surprised by much! I’m an open book. I think my coworkers know more about me than they would like to. Like I said, I LOVE to talk. Oh, I might have one they probably wouldn’t believe: I’ve swum to Canada multiple times! Remember the St. Lawrence River? It’s only about a mile swim across. My dad’s family owns camps along the river, and every summer my family does the swim across. That tradition got me into competitive swimming in high school.

To book your next great event at Hodsons Denver or Hodsons SouthGlenn with Joclyn, contact her here or at 720-355-6265.

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Hodsons just received a glowing review from About.com with 4.5 stars out of 5!

Below is a little snippet from the recent review on About Travel


Hodsons Bar and Grill Revamps Menu
by Laura Davidson

The Bottom Line

Hodsons Bar and Grill, a trendy restaurant with a location downtown and one in Centennial, has recently revamped its menu. Previously serving upscale American bar food, Hodsons’ new menu features appetizing American and Asian cuisine. . .

Click here to read the entire review

Wazee Lounge & Supper Club

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Roadhouse Hospitality adds historic Wazee Supper Club to expansive restaurant group

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2015

Denver, Colo. – Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 – Roadhouse Hospitality Group has acquired the historic, 40-year-old Wazee Supper Club at 1600 15th St. in lower downtown, making it the 17th restaurant for the family-operated, Colorado-based company.

Roadhouse Hospitality Group has been one of the state’s best-established restaurant family dynasties for nearly three decades. Owned by the Shipp brothers – Dan, John and Mike – the group comprises such diverse eateries as the popular Washington Park bar and grill Reiver’s, the cozy diner Spanky’s Roadhouse in the University of Denver neighborhood, the upscale pair of dining experiences that are the two Hodsons (downtown and SouthGlenn) and myriad mountain destinations such as the Kickapoo Tavern in Keystone, as well as four Dusty Boot Steakhouse & Saloons in the metro area and the mountains.

“We could not be more excited to add Wazee Supper Club to the mix,” said Dan Shipp. “It fits in perfectly with our mission, and we can see the potential for bringing it back to its former glory.”
The Shipp brothers plan renovations for Wazee that will revisit its past while retaining the significant features that the beloved and now-famous restaurant – President Barack Obama ate pizza there in 2014 during a Denver stop – lost over the years through ownership changes and remodels. Otherwise, the Shipps intend to keep the look and feel of the eatery as true to the original as possible.

“Our hope is to change as little as we can and bring it back to what it was,” Dan Shipp said. “People loved the old Wazee and so did we, and that’s what we want to see it return to.”