A new leadership team at the Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton is working to continue the hotel’s track record of success and it being an integral part of the city’s economic resurgence.
General Manager Matthew Nash and Executive Chef Rachel Givens started their new roles in February, while Director of Sales Stephanie Rose was promoted after nearly six years at the Concord Hospitality property.
The staffing changes, made following the exit of former general manager Shawn Stidham, come with changes to the menu of the hotel’s restaurant, Plaza One Grille.
“I wanted people to think of Plaza One Grille as that neighborhood place where you can come and eat,” she said. “That’s what Stephanie and I are working on together to kind of rebuild the community aspect of Plaza One Grille.”
That means introducingfood items that have their own unique chef twists to them, Givens said.
Included in that mix is a Bar Bites menu that includes beef empanadas that are made inside fresh biscuit dough, something she said is “a little bit different than your pie dough” but still with the flavors that guests want.
A potato skin dish has a Cincinnati chili-type dip on it. “Just fun, playful food, but also delicious,” Givens said.
A meatloaf special will be offered every Thursday night and a breakfast burger will feature a patty made with goetta and ground beef and topped with a fried egg. The classic French dish chicken cassoulet also will be added to the menu.
The hotel also will hire a server to bring appetizers and other menu items over to Municipal Brew Works and out the front door to drive-up guests looking for a new take-out dining option.
The new menu should roll out sometime next week, said Givens, formerly of Alexander’s Market & Deli.
While the hotel’s menu aims to impress, Nash, a 19-year veteran of the hospitality industry, said Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton’s strongest feature is its staff, something he said is the “foundation” of the property.
“We’ve got people who’ve been here for years, so we’re just bringing in a couple of new people to fill in some key positions,” he said.
Although no large-scale plans are on the books for this year, the hotel is scheduled to be renovated “probably within the next couple of years.”
Working to promote Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton’s is Rose, whose director of sales position is the latest in a string of job titles she’s worked at achieving since being hired at the hotel in June 2013. That includes catering sales manager and her previous role as director of catering.
“I’ve seen Hamilton itself do a lot,” she said. “Been here to see the city grow as well as the hotel grow. I’ve worked in different areas of the sales office, so it kind of helps my role in sales. I’ve done the event side as well, so I kind of get it all.”
Rose, who earned a degree in tourism, convention and event management, said she knew she wanted to be in the hospitality industry, starting off her career at a hotel in Indianapolis before coming to Hamilton.
The hotel handles a wide array of catering and lodging requests, whether it’s for a wedding, baby shower, retirement party, celebration of life or other event.
“Whatever the customers need is what we do,” Rose said.
The trio told The Journal-News they’re excited to be a part of Hamilton’s future.
“The momentum of what’s happening in Hamilton, just to see what’s happened in the six years that I’ve been here, it’s a lot,” Rose said. “You can only imagine what’s going to happen in another six years, 12 years, 18 years. Who knows? With everything going on in the city, it’s nice to be at the heart of it.”
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