North Kingstown native Brian Casey has spent his entire restaurant career in North Kingstown. But his professional profile is considerably broader than the confines of our little town. Evidence? The Oak Hill Tavern owner was recently named Restaurateur of the Year by the Rhode Island Hospitality Association.
"It's a recognition for giving back to the industry and the community," said Casey. He's served as chairman of RIHA and is on the national hospitality organization's board.
Casey, NKHS Class of '87, started out at age 15 working for Stu Tucker at Tucker Seafood. He's owned Oak Hill Tavern for 14 years and still talks daily to Tucker, who owns Duffy's Tavern on Post Road.
He describes the Oak Hill Tavern as a neighborhood place, with lots of regulars. Families come to eat in the evening and there's live music Friday and Saturday nights (Sundays too in the summer).
The tavern has been around "for a long time," said Casey, noting it once served as a stage coach stop.