As the founding partner of Bacchus Management Group, Tim Stannard oversees a collection of thriving Bay Area- and Southern California-based restaurants, including Michelin-starred restaurants, Spruce in San Francisco and The Village Pub in Woodside; Mayfield Bakery & Cafe in Palo Alto; and four Pizza Antica locations (Lafayette, Mill Valley, San Jose, Santa Monica).
Stannard’s recipe for success—four star food, wine and service—is gleaned from years of hard work and a deep passion for the business. He attracts and retains the best and the brightest culinary, wine, service and management professionals and gives them the opportunity to maximize their potential. Stannard’s dedication to exceptional table service is a trademark of his restaurants, as his staff understands that the spirit with which guests are engaged is just as important as the technical aspects of the service itself.
Stannard is a San Francisco native who spent the better part of his youth traveling the world and eating out with his father, an academic, and his mother, a restaurant industry executive. He often accompanied his mom to the workplace and from a young age found nothing more glamorous or exciting than a restaurant dining room. He followed his mother’s footsteps into the business, working as a line cook throughout his teens. A year later, he decided to try his hand at the front of the house working for Il Fornaio in San Francisco. At 20, Stannard was asked to manage Il Fornaio’s flagship retail bakery. With no previous management experience to speak of, it was a baptism of fire, and he spent the next year working 18 hours a day.
Burned out from running the bakery and vowing never to return to the food business, Stannard enrolled in UC Berkeley’s American Studies program. He lived near Chez Panisse and dined at the famed restaurant several times a week, which ate up his savings in a matter of months. In order to feed his pricey palate, and pay his college tuition, Stannard took a job in San Francisco at Bix restaurant under the tutelage of Doug Biederbeck. Working a number of different positions in the house, from food runner to bartender, Bix is where Stannard learned how to run a restaurant, and where he fell back in love with the industry.
After college and several years of managing Bix, Stannard began working as the director of operations for the PlumpJack Management Group. During his tenure he helped turn the PlumpJack Cafe, the Balboa Café, and the PlumpJack wine store into prosperous and acclaimed businesses. He also oversaw operations of PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn and Restaurant and the opening of the PlumpJack Winery in the Napa Valley.
Eventually Stannard found himself ready to start his own venture, and when the opportunity to build a restaurant in Woodside arose, he created The Village Pub, a fine-dining establishment that has been a success since the day it opened in 2001. The Village Pub was awarded its first Michelin star in 2009 and has held it since. A couple years later he added Pizza Antica, a collection of upscale pizzerias; Spruce in San Francisco, a stylish and sophisticated neighborhood restaurant, which was recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the “Best New Restaurants” in 2008, and also received its first Michelin star in 2011; and Mayfield Bakery & Cafe in Palo Alto. Both Spruce and The Village Pub have been recognized by Wine Spectator magazine, awarding each a Grand Award.
In addition to his restaurant ventures, Stannard works with some of the world’s finest distillers and winemakers to produce a selection of proprietary spirits and wines for Bacchus, including a single-barrel Kentucky bourbon with Julian Van Winkle (“Woodside Partners’ Reserve”), a single-malt scotch with the Grant family of Glenfarclas fame (“Bacchus Partners’ Reserve”), “Thibaud’s Cuvee” an annually produced pinot noir from WillaKenzie Estate in Oregon, a German Riesling made in partnership with Josef Rosch, and a line of seasonal gins distilled by the artisanal distillery Spirits Works in Sebastapol, CA.