As a child growing up in Novato, Calif., some of Wade Nakamine’s favorite memories revolved around trying new foods and going out to restaurants with his family, so it should come as no surprise that he would grow up with the desire to run restaurants himself.
Throughout high school, Nakamine worked at Chili’s in San Rafael, a Mexican chain restaurant known for being extremely busy and a great place to learn the ropes of the service industry. It was a great jumping off point for Nakamine, who learned invaluable time management skills here, as well as how to multi-task while maintaining a high level of friendly service at all times. After graduating high school, Nakamine enrolled in Santa Rosa Junior College to study Business Administration, while simultaneously working as a server at BJ’s Brewhouse, another very busy restaurant that is known for its amazing craft beer selection and Chicago-style pizza.
At BJ’s, Nakamine decided that his people skills, problem-solving abilities, and Business Administration experience would be better suited to management, and his General Managers, Gary Ford Jr. and John Ryall agreed. They were happy to take Nakamine under their wings to show him the ropes, and quickly became his mentors. They had a passion for hospitality that was infectious, and had a unique way of making their team want to work hard and do their best for the customers. They also taught Nakamine that if the staff isn’t happy, the guest will feel it, so the most important job for a manager is to make sure each and every team-member feels respected and important. One of their lessons that Nakamine appreciated most was that they cross-trained every employee in every department to develop a cohesive team and make sure that everyone was on an upward path to where they really wanted to be long-term.
Over the course of seven years at BJ’s, Nakamine worked in many positions, from host to server to Assistant General Manager before taking the lead as General Manager at BJ’s. He credits much his management style to this experience, where he learned to treat all of his employees like family, the importance of having fun while working hard, and his dedication to providing stellar service to every person who walked through the door.
At Nick’s Cove, Nakamine plans to continue to hone his management style by leading by example, treating his employees with respect, and encouraging his front of house team to work together and have fun.
Wade lives in Windsor with his wife and two dogs. In his spare time he loves to explore the North Bay food and wine scene, golf, and spend quality time at home perfecting his barbecuing skills and relaxing.