About Us

A family owned restaurant group based out of Islip, New York.

Bohlsen Restaurant Group is first and foremost a family before it is a restaurant group. Inheriting the helm from previous generations, Michael and Kurt Bohlsen uphold the family traditions of mixing the essential ingredients to any successful restaurant enterprise: service, style, cuisine and a little fun along the way.

By focusing on quality, BRG hopes to inspire today’s discerning diners and future generations at Bohlsen Restaurants. We aim to enrich the lives of those who choose to dine with us, our valued and loyal staff and the communities in which we work.

We currently own nine of Long Island’s most well known dining establishments. These include Gold Coast harbor-front Prime – An American Kitchen and Bar in Huntington, New York and Stamford, Connecticut; Harbor Club at Prime in Huntington; the vibrant H2O – Seafood & Sushi in Smithtown and East Islip; Monsoon – Asian Kitchen and Lounge in Babylon Village; Tellers – An American Chophouse, Verace – True Italian and Pizza Parm in the heart of Islip.

We believe the greatest factor in the success of our business is the quality of our people. We are nothing better than our people. In each of our restaurants, we work hard to sustain our culture of excellence delivered with caring hospitality, which is consistently enriched by our many outstanding employees.

Hospitality is a team sport – it takes the whole team to make sure that everything is done to the highest standards of service and excellence. Hopefully when you dine with us, you will be able to see the difference that makes.

THE TEAM

Michael Bohlsen

Co-Founder

Kurt Bohlsen

Co-Founder

Michael and Kurt Bohlsen were born and raised on Long Island and are third generation restaurateurs and co-owners of the Bohlsen Restaurant Group. The Bohlsen family is far from new to the restaurant industry. Michael and Kurt’s grandparents opened a popular German restaurant in 1938, which remained open into the 1960’s. Michael and Kurt’s parents, John and Linda, went on to own more than fifty Arby’s on Long Island until the 1980’s when they sold the businesses. In 1983 the Bohlsen family entered the casual dining market, opening the first Beachtree Café, which was the family’s first casual dining endeavor.

In 1999, the family was ready for a new challenge and opened their first fine-dining restaurant, Tellers – An American Chophouse. In addition to Tellers, the Bohlsen Restaurant group now owns and operates eight other venues across Long Island and in Connecticut. The Bohlsen brothers credit their success to the hard working, talented, dedicated team of people with which they get the chance to work with every day.

Robert DiPierro

Director of Operations

Robert got involved in the hospitality industry at a very young age. Robert’s father was a chef and Robert would often go to work with him. Through his early teens, Robert worked in the kitchen where he started as a dishwasher and eventually learned to cook. He soon began picking up shifts in the front of house as a busser, then server, and eventually worked his way into management. Robert was the General Manager of Tellers from 2000–2006. Robert returned to BRG in 2012 and has been Director of Operations ever since.

James McDevitt

Corporate Executive Chef

James McDevitt, joined Bohlsen Restaurant Group in August 2013. His role is to enhance the high-quality dining experience that has become a Bohlsen family signature at their seven leading owned and operated Long Island restaurant concepts. Since joining Bohlsen Restaurant Group, McDevitt has helped in the openings of Monsoon, Prime in Stamford, Pizza Parm and most recently H2O in East Islip. Among his honors are “best new chef” by Food & Wine magazine in 1999, a “rising star” by the James Beard Foundation in 2001, and celebrity judge on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef”. McDevitt’s interest in food developed as a young boy helping his mother to cook and entertain military officials. The son of an Irish-American military father and Japanese mother, McDevitt spent most of his life traveling the globe. Living in Japan, the Philippines and Korea seriously influenced his culinary style.

Paulo Vilella

Beverage Director

Paulo Villela’s interest in wine started as a youth in southern Brazil. In 1983, his journey to sommelier began in the restaurant business as a bus boy. In 1996, he climbed the ranks, becoming wine captain and sommelier for Windows on the World Restaurant. Villela was the last person to grace the restaurant’s vast wine cellar on September 11, 2001. He joined the Bohlsen Restaurant Group in 2002. The 1998 class valedictorian from Sommelier Society of America, where he teaches in his spare time, is fluent in five languages and has a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

He attributes his deep knowledge about wine to mentors Kevin Zraly and Andrea Immer, friends and family, tasting 40–50 wines per week and visits to Napa Valley, Italy, Greece, Chile, Argentina, Germany and Spain. Bohlsen Restaurant Group co-owner Michael Bohlsen says: “Paulo brings a breath of fresh air to our wine program. His love and appreciation for wine has fueled a culture at the Bohlsen Restaurant Group where wine knowledge is cool. The members of our staff have intricate experience with wines ranging from local Sauvignon Blanc to Argentinian Malbec. This wine knowledge translates to a more well-rounded, seamless dining experience for our guests at the bar and in the dining room.”

Katie Canella

Corporate Director of Training and Hospitality

Katie grew up working in the restaurant industry. While at college in Rochester, Katie worked at a café called Cibon, now known as Roux, where she began to improve her knowledge of wine and food. Over the years Katie has worked many positions at Prime. She was originally hired as a hostess and eventually worked her way up to the Assistant General Manager position. After a few years, she became the General Manager of H2O in Smithtown, where she worked for almost two years before moving on to become the Corporate Director of Training and Hospitality. Katie has now been with Bohlsen Restaurant Group for ten years.

Karen Kelly

Controller

Karen has been Corporate Controller at BRG since March 2013 and has seen the company grow tremendously in that time. Karen manages all of the financial operations of the restaurants and other family properties. Karen has worked in the hospitality industry since 2002 and has worked in several restaurant groups in NYC as Controller including Fireman Hospitality, Rosa Mexicano and Union Square Hospitality Groups.