Boathouse proprietor Dean J. Poll is a native Long Islander who grew up in the restaurant industry. Traveling to Brooklyn on weekends with his father to work at the family owned Pappas Restaurant, Dean learned the business from the ground up… literally. From sweeping floors to cleaning shrimp; no job was too menial for this 8 year old.
At the age of 11 he was promoted to water boy on the dining room floor. The thrill of long lines on summer weekends was a tremendous influence on Dean’s decision to pursue the hospitality industry.
In the mid 70’s, while working full-time with his father and brothers in a midtown Manhattan restaurant, Dean recognized the influence purchasing had on the quality and profitability in any fine restaurant. This learning experience has helped grow his businesses throughout his career. In 1980 Dean and his brothers came back to Long Island and purchased a defunct property, renaming it Pappas after his father’s restaurant in Brooklyn. In the mid 80’s Dean and his brothers purchased Manero’s in Roslyn, turning it into a prime steakhouse and adjacent butcher shop that is now known as Bryant & Cooper. These were the first of what was to become many Long Island restaurants owned by the Poll brothers.
In 2000 Mr. Poll sought out the contract for the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. After seeing it for the very first time, he recognized the potential that this somewhat decrepit venue had to offer. Having been awarded the property by the NYC Parks Department, he became the proprietor of the Boathouse and painstakingly converted it into a beloved and respected icon in the heart of Central Park; the only lakeside restaurant in all of New York City.
The vendor relationships that Dean developed early on in his career are still very important to him and ensure the quality of the Boathouse. He is still known to wake at 2AM and visit the market to touch base with his suppliers and keep current with their offerings. Dean is proud of his strong management team and is grateful for the dedication of his entire staff. Together they have enabled the restaurant to achieve the success it enjoys today. The Boathouse truly represents the very best of NY.
Dean currently resides on Long Island with his wife and 2 sons and enjoys a round of golf in his free time.