General Manager and Wine Director
“Hospitality is caring for your guests with no thought of reward,” says David Murphy, General Manager and Wine Director at San Francisco’s iconic North Beach classic, Rose Pistola. “I like to keep it simple; my job is to take great care of people. From my staff to every guest who walks through the door. If you treat your staff with a sense of belonging and value it will reflect in the way they take care of your guests, your guests will feel welcomed and valued and they will return, simple as that.”
David’s passion for the restaurant industry began at a young age working summers in his grandmother’s small cafes and diners. “I would put orders away; help do dishes, sweep floors, take out the trash, whatever they needed me to do.” Wisely the money he earned was tucked away by his grandmother to be used for college. “I always enjoyed the summers at Grandma’s restaurants. It always felt so much like family, everybody loved each other and enjoyed one another. I attribute these experiences to my approach today. If it feels like home and family then you’re doing something right.”
David worked his way through college serving and bartending at various restaurants around the country but never really caught the bug until he returned to San Francisco in 2000. “I developed a serious love for restaurants when I began working as a manager at Tonno Rosso, and subsequently, Scala’s Bistro in 2003.” Up until that point restaurants paid the bills. It was The City and wine that really got David hooked. “I began reading and learning everything I could about wine, specifically Italian wines as both restaurants’ wine lists were primarily Italian. Wine gave me a creative outlet that typically only a Chef can enjoy. It allowed me the ability to create something for the guests that I was never able to do before. If you are not glowing and genuinely having fun while talking about wine, then you’re doing it wrong!”
David brings over 20 years of restaurant experience to Rose Pistola. His experience includes Italian, Japanese, Greek and French cuisines, allowing him to see things from a unique perspective. “The common thread for all cultures is the immense pride that they all take in the history and symbolism of their respective cuisines. Food has always been a source of pride and self expression for all cultures. Food is interwoven in the history of practically every culture and they express and honor that through their food.”
David has enjoyed working at such established San Francisco restaurants as Scala’s Bistro and Ozumo as well as some critically acclaimed restaurants in Arizona before he returned to San Francisco in 2011 to join the team as a Manager at Farallon, and then moving to Kokkari in 2014 as the Assistant General Manager and Sommelier.
Picture of David Murphy, GM and Wine Director, coming soon.
What started as a love of food and a restaurant investment turned into a full career change for Laurie Thomas, now owner of Nice Ventures, which includes three successful restaurants in San Francisco: Rose Pistola, Rose’s Café, and Terzo. Prior to becoming a restaurateur, she earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and held senior management positions at several enterprise software companies in Silicon Valley.
In 1996 Thomas invested in Rose Pistola, which subsequently won the prestigious James Beard award for the Best New Restaurant in America. The following year she made an additional investment in Rose’s Café, which has developed into a neighborhood café and a second dining room for many locals. In 2001 Thomas joined Nice Ventures full time, and in March 2002 became CEO.
In April 2006 Thomas opened Terzo, where Chef/Co-owner Mark Gordon creates seasonal, Mediterranean cuisine with origins in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, France, and the Middle East.
Thomas lives in San Francisco with her husband, Tony. Together they enjoy skiing, traveling, food and wine.