Bryan Gerrish of Arlington Heights has a yard full of Weber grills.
During the summer, you may see about a dozen or so. His favorite is the Performer with both gas and charcoal.
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"I always have a number of grills in the yard. It's grill envy," said Gerrish, 59.
He also happens to be CEO of Weber Grill Restaurants, owned by the family behind Palatine-based Weber-Stephen Products, maker of the Weber grill.
When not in his Rolling Meadows office, Gerrish has been firing up his grill a lot this summer, trying out different recipes as he and his colleagues enjoy tweaking the menu in the restaurants.
They've also been especially busy since the Weber Grill restaurants will mark its 25th anniversary during the week of Aug. 25. The chain established the first Weber Grill Restaurant in 1989 in Wheeling, Other locations are in Lombard, Schaumburg, River North in Chicago and Indianapolis. And it all started when George Stephen invented the kettle grill in 1952, modeled after a bouy, Gerrish said.
Gerrish, who has worked at Hyatt Hotels and Cornerstone Group, met Jim Stephen, son of the founder about 20 years ago while working on Michael Jordan's restaurant project in Chicago.
He said the family started serving food from a tailro about 30 years ago, and what concept returned last year as Weber on Wheels for catering for parties.
While the restaurant concept really started years before with a seasonal spot in Palatine, the company marks the 25th anniversary when it opened in Wheeling, he said.
Still, he enjoys his backyard BBQs with family, the casual atmosphere and the smokey smell, and the chance to create something different all the time, he said.
"We just did an hour-and-a-half session cooking different steaks with different rubs," he said.
Now, he's eyeing other locations to open restaurants, and his team has been looking at Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City and St. Louis.
"We may open another restaurant next year," he said.
Brook inks deal
Brook Furniture Rental CEO Bob Crawford III said Brook inked a deal for an undisclosed sum to be acquired by an affiliate of Agman Partners, an investment firm representing the Silverman family of Chicago and Omaha, The deal is expected to close later this year. Company founder Bob Crawford Jr. said after the acquisition is final, he'll retire after a 35 year career with Brook. Brook is headquartered in Lake Forest with a showroom, distribution center and clearance center in Elk Grove Village.
Music business expands
Kevin Kozol, founder, pianist and owner of House Call Music, said he's expanding to the West suburbs. He has been a professional pianist for more than 10 years and started this business about 5 years ago.
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