OUR STAFF ARE AS UNMATCHED AS OUR MENUS
At Walton Street we take pride in an experience that lives both on and off the plate. Our team is composed of hospitality-focused people who are all experts in their fields, granting you nothing but the best in cuisine, beverage, service and ambiance.
Ryan O’Donnell | Anna O’Donnell
Founders, Ballyhoo Hospitality
With their combined 35 years in the hospitality business, husband-and-wife partners Ryan and Anna O’Donnell created Ballyhoo Hospitality, which champions the qualities that make a neighborhood restaurant great. The heart-felt greeting when you walk in the door, service that makes you feel cared for and a warm ambiance that encourages you to relax. Whether it’s the refined nostalgic American at Walton Street, the southern Italian favorites at Coda di Volpe or the American-inspired cuisine at Gemini, Ballyhoo restaurants offer thoughtful, inspired food and drinks that satisfy in memorable ways again and again.
Managing Partner | G.M.
Native Californian Jonathan Farrer’s entrepreneurial spirit was influenced at an early age by the ever-changing landscape of the restaurant industry. For the last decade he has guided operations for five restaurant groups between his home city of L.A. and Chicago.
Chef Jon Keeley thrives in an environment that pushes his culinary creativity and allows room to experiment. But at the forefront is his ability to understand the needs and desires of his patrons. At Walton Street, Keeley will build on his skills for crafting neighborhood American cuisine from his time at Gemini, to create dishes that reflect the restaurant’s Gold Coast setting.
AGM / Private Events
From top hotels and restaurants in San Francisco, Denver and Chicago with titles ranging from private dining coordinator and director of operations to assistant general manager, Kate Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her position at Walton Street Bar + Kitchen.
After studying at The French Pastry School, Yoon went on to creates desserts at some of Chicago’s top restaurants, including Henri, Acadia and GreenRiver. Yoon’s seasonally driven desserts offer a balance between sweet and savory flavors and strive to tap into childhood memories.
Stephanie Brauer’s passion for wine and experience as a wine consultant has taken her to vineyards all over the world. For Walton Street’s offerings, Brauer features international wines from small producers that are focused on quality and integrity from bud to bottling.
Chef de Cuisine
Early on in his culinary career, chef Thomas Leonard honed his interest in seafood at restaurants in South Florida and Wash., DC, including BlackSalt Fish Market. His Chicago experience includes The Girl and the Goat and Acanto, where soon after he began working with Ballyhoo Hospitality. At Walton Street, Leonard continues that relationship and taps into his passion for creative, approachable cuisine with refined flavors.