Immediately after 5 decades in the company, a Maine restaurateur has a couple feelings on in which we’ve been and exactly where we’re going

Shutting down in the spring was painful—“I’ve never ever recognized not heading to work”

PORTLAND, Maine — In his initially job at the first restaurant the place he at any time worked, Steve DiMillo washed pots and pans. Then he designed a lateral shift and started washing dishes. Essentially, that may have qualified as a modest marketing, considering that plates and glasses are possible to be just a tad fewer nasty than pots and pans.

As the many years went by he moved up. Prep cook dinner. Fry cook dinner. Line cook. Broiler cook. Expeditor. It was an a must have education and learning in the cafe business enterprise, and it commenced when DiMillo was eight yrs outdated.

51 years immediately after going to get the job done at that very first restaurant, DiMillo is, remarkably, however there. The institution his dad, Tony DiMillo, commenced on the Portland waterfront—DiMillo’s Restaurant and Lounge–is the only employer Steve has at any time had. Now he operates the place.

When DiMillo’s experienced to shut down in the spring since of the pandemic, Steve discovered himself adrift. “I’ve by no means acknowledged not likely to work,” he suggests. “I was on unemployment. [Our employees] were all on unemployment. We have been closed for 8 months.”

The dude who experienced viewed it all in a fifty percent century in the restaurant business never envisioned what arrived to go in 2020. Then his luck took still an additional poor convert: he contracted Covid and formulated bilateral pneumonia. “I in fact wrote my spouse a goodbye note a person night,” he suggests. “I did not know if I was likely to wake up the subsequent working day.”


Recovered and sensation perfectly, DiMillo is back at function and back again in his purpose as chairman of the board of directors of Hospitality Maine, the trade team that represents that business in the point out. What is his take on how eating places and motels have fared in the pandemic? And what does he feel the future retains? View our job interview to come across out.