Like the histories of most entrepreneurial companies, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants begins in a very humble place — Cameron Mitchell’s mother’s dining room table. It was here where Cameron mapped out his career goals which would eventually set the course for his restaurant industry career.
After hitting the glass ceiling at the now defunct 55 Restaurant Group in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, Cameron was ready to go out on his own and pursue his dream of running his own restaurant company. He went fourteen months without a paycheck while putting together all the essential ingredients for his own restaurant.
In 1993, Cameron signed a lease for a small piece of storefront property, tucked in the northwest corner of Columbus. The space would be transformed into his first restaurant, “Cameron’s.” This contemporary American bistro wowed Columbus diners with its diverse flavors selected from across the American culinary landscape as well as its extraordinary attention to service. Cameron’s was a notable success, especially when considering Columbus’ highly competitive restaurant business climate. Among the raving fans were investors and developers, who were hungry for more.
It did not take long for Cameron to diversify and expand, discovering he had a gift for developing winning restaurant concepts in the process. The company that started from a proud mom’s dining room table began to run the table with a string of successes.
While remaining independent and privately held, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants has grown to 49 restaurants across the country from Beverly Hills to New York City, and 21 different concepts in 15 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to Cameron’s, the concepts are: Cap City Fine Diner & Bar, The Guild House, Hudson 29 Kitchen + Drink, Martini Modern Italian, Marcella’s, Ocean Prime, Molly Woo’s Asian Bistro, The Pearl Restaurant, Tavern & Oyster Room, The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek, The Avenue Steak Tavern, Del Mar SoCal Kitchen, Lincoln Social Rooftop, El Segundo Mexican Kitchen, Prime Social Rooftop, Del Mar Naples, Valentina’s, Cento, Butcher & Rose, Big Rock Italian Chophouse, and a still to be named Mediterranean concept (all opening in 2024). The company also operates a separate, highly successful catering division, Cameron Mitchell Premier Events, and a dynamic food hall hosting 10 kitchens, 3 bars and a rooftop, Budd Dairy Food Hall.
After the sale of two of its most popular concepts – Mitchell’s/Columbus Fish Market and Mitchell’s/Cameron’s Steakhouse – to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Inc. in early 2008, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants is focusing on developing new restaurant concepts as well as expanding concepts currently in the company’s portfolio.
Founded in 2002, the Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern, a sister company of CMR, currently operates 21 locations in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Florida and North Carolina.
If you ask Cameron, the spark for such growth and success is the “people first” culture and philosophy that’s deeply embedded in every level of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. The company doesn’t just hire great people, it also treats them great. This inspires Cameron Mitchell associates to radiate genuine hospitality that guests, vendors and the community at large can feel and appreciate.