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  • Janet Kurtz

FACES OF 2ND AVE - Demetrius Kelley

Updated: Mar 26


Ask anyone who has spent a significant part of their life in hospitality why they do what they do and they will tell you “hospitality gets into your blood. It becomes a part of who you are and it is hard to get rid of once it is there.” Just ask Demetrius Kelley, managing partner of The Melting Pot and Rodizio Grille. Demetrius is a Nashville native and has fond memories of spending time on 2nd Avenue when he was younger, before it became the place that would launch his career. “I remember when I was 16 coming to 2nd Avenue to play Laser Quest for the first time. That night we went to Hooters for dinner and I remember blushing because a server there smiled at me and called me cute.” Years later, Demetrius was a young mechanical engineering student when he took a job as a server at The Melting Pot. This would be where he would find his love for hospitality. While working for The Melting Pot, Demetrius helped countless couples celebrate their anniversary, served guests toasting milestone birthdays, and worked hard every day to positively impact every guest who walked in the door. “The excitement and joy I am able to bring to someone’s life, even for a moment, gives purpose to my day.”

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Demetrius worked his way through school at The Melting Pot and after graduation, he was not sure that engineering was the right fit for him. He sat down with The Melting Pot owner, Mark Rosenthal, to talk about management. Demetrius told Mark that he was not only the right fit for the job, but that he would be a GM in five years and in fifteen years Mark would be buying Demetrius a nice watch for his 15th anniversary. Mark agreed to take him up on that offer as long as Demetrius asked his mother. Mark knew Demetrius’s mother and wanted to be certain it was alright with her. It turned out that Demetrius made GM in three years and made Partner in five.

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Demetrius has been one of the faces of 2nd Avenue for nineteen and a half years now. For fifteen years he has gathered with other industry friends for a fantasy football draft. But Demetrius’s favorite memory might be celebrating his own rehearsal dinner at the Melting Pot. When asked if they will be returning to 2nd Avenue, Demetrius said “We are working hard everyday to make that happen.” We can’t wait to see them back on 2nd Avenue and we think Mark owes Demetrius another nice watch.

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