Like all great restaurateurs, Mark Maguire makes the difficult job of running a popular restaurant look effortless. He's able to do this because he's done every job in the place at one time or another in his busy 25-year career.
Maguire started in 1985 as a Manager with Entertainment Concepts, Inc out of Houston, Texas traveling the country opening up high-end nightclubs. After openings in Austin TX & Arlington, TX, , Maguire settled in as General Manager of the newest location in Indianapolis, Indiana where he remained for 3 years until he was recruited by the foremost entertainment company in the world, Walt Disney World Co.
One of Maguire's most rewarding career connections was his long relationship with Walt Disney World. His first opportunity with Disney came when he launched their Pleasure Island facility in Florida in 1989, a complex which included 5 nightclubs and 2 restaurants. Disney executives, noting his success, next tapped Maguire to lead a team for the Grand Opening of Euro Disney outside Paris. There Maguire was responsible for coordinating the openings of 7 restaurants, 2 bars and a 1000 seat Dinner show. After the Grand Opening, he remained in Paris as Operations Manager for Festival Disney, where he coordinated efforts to proliferate the Disney standards of hospitality and guest service.
Disney is known, of course, for impeccable service, gracious hospitality and exacting attention to detail. Working for them Maguire learned much about the attention to guest comfort that marks his establishments.
In 1994, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide hired Maguire to help launch their first Specialty concept, The Front Row Sports Grille, at the Ballpark In Arlington. "Opening a 22,000 square foot facility with a full game midway for kids and adults, over 70 television monitors, pool tables, darts, a gift /memorabilia shop and a 425-seat restaurant can be quite interesting," he says of the project. After that successful opening, Maguire moved back to Orlando to open the 2nd Front Row Sports Grille & Italianni’s casual Italian grill on International Drive.
After 2 years with Carlson, Maguire joined Unique Restaurant Concepts out of Boca Raton, FL as Managing Partner for Max's Grille, a 250-seat chef-driven restaurant located in the Disney community of Celebration, Florida. It was here that Maguire solidified his vision for the concept that would become his first solo venture.
After opening 27 restaurants, nightclubs and bars of every genre for other companies, Maguire was ready to take the plunge on his own, and in 1999 he opened Maguire's Regional Cuisine in Dallas.
Maguire's Regional Cuisine was his vision of a relaxed, inviting restaurant with an interesting menu—not fussy or snobbish, but “appealing to the adventurous with intimidating the traditional,” he says of Maguire’s menu philosophy. He had the concept in the back of his mind as he worked for other restaurants, noticing carefully what worked and what didn't, always believing there was a niche for the kind of food he envisioned.
Among the reviews Maguire is most proud of is his staff being recognized as “Best Service Staff in Dallas” in only their first year of operation. “You can hire the best Chef and build the most beautiful facility. But if your staff doesn’t buy-in to your culture and commit themselves as professionals, your chances of long-term success are minimized dramatically,” Maguire says of his staff.
In December 2002 Maguire launched his second Dallas eatery, M Grill and Tap, a more casual version of Maguire’s in the trendy Uptown district. With it came more critical acclaim as Maguire became one of very few Dallas restaurateurs with two 4-star restaurants in the city.
In 2006, Maguire was hired as the Foodservice consultant for a $700,000,000 Ultra high-end island resort development in the Bahamas. Royal Island is a 470 acre exclusive Resort and private homesite development by Cypress Equities in Dallas. It includes over 200 private homesites, a 5-star full service resort by the Montage Group out of L.A., an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Golf Club, a 220 slip deep water marina and a Marina Village with over 45,000sf of restaurant & retail space.
In 2007 Maguire joined Hedda Gioia Dowd and Cherif Brahmi as co-creator and Founding Partner of Dallas’ most unique new restaurant concept, Rise n⁰1 Salon de Souffle & Wine Bistro in the Shops at Inwood Village. This 2500sf, 50-seat restaurant continues to be one of the highest grossing per square foot foodservice establishments in the country.
In early 2009 the bug began biting again and Maguire joined with one of Dallas’ most accomplished Mexican Chefs, Amador Mora and one of Dallas’ most recognized and respected restaurant operators, David Knouse to create Maximo Cocina Mexicana & Margarita Lounge. Located in the Village on the Green lifestyle center across from the Galleria, this 8000sf, 250 seat Modern Mexican restaurant has quickly become recognized as one of the only places in North Texas to find authentic, Chef-driven Mexican fare.
Maguire takes seriously his role as a leader in the Dallas restaurant community. He has had a seat on the Board of Directors of the Texas Restaurant Association since 2001, served as President of the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association in 2004 – 2005 as well as President of the Texas Restaurant Association from 2009 - 2010.