Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Some say it takes a leap of faith to get into the restaurant industry. The two award recipients at the upcoming Memphis Restaurant Association Annual Banquet have not only jumped feet first into the risky industry, but both have also jumped off skyscrapers in support of local charity.

Patrick’s Neighborhood Bar & Patio owner, Mike Miller, and Gem Restaurant Supply owner, Hale Barclay, who have both participated in (Miller twice) the Special Olympics ‘Over the Edge’ event where participants rappel down White Station Tower to raise money for the charity, are this year’s Restaurateur and Associate Members of the Year respectively.

Miller, a Past MRA President, is a 30-year veteran of the Memphis restaurant scene. Today, in addition to running his popular East Memphis restaurant, Miller heads up the MRAPAC where he spearheads legislative initiatives for the local hospitality industry. He has served on the TnHTA Board since 2008, and sits on the Board of Serving Memphis. When not jumping off buildings or jumping in the freezing Mississippi River at the Annual Polar Bear plunge, Mike can be found helping to educate Memphis youth about the culinary arts through local non-profit Knowledge Quest.

Fellow daredevil, Barclay has loyally served the Memphis restaurant community through his supply business since 1980. He has been an ardent supporter of the MRA, as both a member since 1990 and representing his fellow vendors on the board since 2011. Barclay also extends his service to the hospitality industry to local charities such as the Mid-South Food Bank, Haiti Medical Missions of Memphis and Children’s Heart Foundation.

The Banquet on Sunday, March 29th was held for the first time at the Memphis Cook Convention Center where the Association welcomed newcomers and honored guests, Bass Pro, to the Memphis hospitality family.

‘Bass Pro adds a new, game changing element to the hospitality offerings in Memphis,’ says Banquet Chair Kate Pera. “Most people don’t realize the extent of their hospitality expertise. We’re very excited to welcome them into the Memphis restaurant and hotel community.”

The money generated from the banquet helps cover general operating expenses that allows the Association to continue their educational programming and governmental services for their membership and the Memphis restaurant community as a whole.

The Memphis Restaurant Association is the premier support organization dedicated to the success of the restaurant industry and community.