Throughout the last 25 years, El Gaucho has been the scene for countless birthdays, anniversaries, business and sports deals, and memories with flourishes of tableside service and fire-dancing desserts. During that quarter of a century, the Pacific Northwest has evolved and endured while our family of restaurants has grown to include locations in Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Portland and a new destination in Vancouver, WA opening in 2022.
“The joy we feel when gathering to celebrate life is universal and timeless, and that feeling inspires our team and keeps our guests coming back to El Gaucho,” said Chad Mackay, CEO, Fire & Vine Hospitality. “We are grateful to our guests, team and industry partners for their loyalty and friendship. When my dad revived the spirit of El Gaucho in 1996, he established a legacy of hospitality that we continue to build on today, and for the next 25 years.”
From 1953–1985, the original El Gaucho set the standard for a fine dining steakhouse at 7th and Olive in downtown Seattle. Paul Mackay believed in the vision and brought it back in 1996 at First and Wall. Since then, other locations opened in Bellevue, Tacoma, Portland, Vancouver and AQUA by El Gaucho on Seattle’s Pier 70. In 2021, the flagship location moved to a new home in Seattle’s Union Stables building.
The Revelers Club loyalty program was established with these restaurants in 2011 and has grown to include sister properties Aerlume and Witness Tree, also opening in Vancouver in 2022, as well as other independently owned properties including Walla Walla Steak Co., Crossbuck Brewing and Yellowhawk Resort and Sparkling House.
- Every evening throughout January, the team at each El Gaucho location will select one table to have their tab reduced to $25 (plus tax and service charge.)
- Special 25th Anniversary Wine – an exceptional Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon made by renowned Washington winemaker, Gilles Nicoult.
- El Gaucho Iconic Experience Social Media Contest: Guests will be invited to share their best Gaucho memory. The contest runs from January 11-31. Winners will be awarded gift cards to redeem at any Revelers Club location.
A Single Purpose: Revel and Celebrate Life
The official company credo describes the purpose, values, and decision-making criteria, as well as specific actions that enable the exceptional experience for which the company is known, including the warmth of each greeting, personally escorting guests and empowering the team to do whatever it takes to create a night to remember. We believe that this heritage of hospitality is what keeps guests coming back over the course of generations.
The Rosellini family’s connection with El Gaucho reaches back decades when the original location was on 7th and Olive. Both Al and Vicki experienced El Gaucho as young children and enjoyed dining there with their families to celebrate special occasions. They continue that tradition with their children and grandchildren.
“Imagine having a flaming dinner and dessert served tableside as a child, and the piano was always playing in the background of this elegant restaurant where the lights twinkled with mystery and intrigue. That warm ambience feeds our souls, and the team is always inviting us in with unparalleled service and care. If we envision El Gaucho in another 25 years, we have every confidence that what matters most will never waver: that welcoming spirit and compassion for their guests. For us, El Gaucho is home, time and time again,” shared Al and Vicki Rosselini.
A Team with a Heart of Hospitality
El Gaucho is made up of a team of professionals who have made the hospitality industry their career, and we are committed to compensating all employees, both front and back of the house, as the professionals they are. Several employees celebrate more than 15 years with the company, including: Maik Tow and Rebecca Olsen at El Gaucho Seattle; Margarito Moreno, Manny Romero and Whitney Twede of El Gaucho Bellevue; Brendon Trautman, Emilio Garcia Matias, Ezequiel Pucbalan and Mark Joseph at El Gaucho Portland; Constantino Anzures of El Gaucho Tacoma; Paul O’Brien of AQUA by El Gaucho; and sales strategy director, Sivi Mennen and Cooper Mills of Fire & Vine Hospitality. Mills was recently promoted to president of Fire & Vine Hospitality after starting with the company in 2007.
“For 15 years, I have been fortunate to grow with this company as our business has grown. It all begins and ends with the cast of characters on this team. Each restaurant has its own unique culture and personality, but the overwhelming constant is the amazing people we get to work beside every day,” said Cooper Mills, president, Fire & Vine Hospitality. “I am proud that we put our people first so they can put the guest first. They are the cornerstone of our company – from the valet to the host, bartender, server, expo, busser, kitchen teams and management teams. They put on a show every night with our guests as the star.”
Mills says that training, teaching and promoting from within is an important part of El Gaucho’s success in retaining some of the industry’s top talent. He continues, “That is a theme throughout our organization. Dishwashers grow into line cooks, line cooks grow into sous chefs, sous chefs grow into chefs. Bussers become servers or bartenders and then become captains and general managers. Nothing makes me prouder than seeing our amazing people accomplish things they never thought they could and then start families, become homeowners and give back to their own team members and communities.”
Industry Partnership and Community Commitment
One of the company’s core values is to build a strong community by working with others to ensure a thriving hospitality industry, and to contribute in meaningful ways to charitable organizations. 2021 was a year of both challenges and resiliency for the restaurant industry and we recently announced that we were able to give back to the community by contributing to organizations with a variety of donations exceeding $172,000.
“In good and challenging times, the Washington State restaurant industry draws strength and inspiration from one another. Throughout their history, and particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, the El Gaucho team has generously shared their time, resources, and expertise to help others thrive. We are grateful for their partnership and raise a toast to their future as they begin the next 25 years,” said Anthony Anton, president and CEO, Washington Hospitality Association.
“25 years of El Gaucho means 25 years of quality and superior dining experiences and 25 years of families making memories. To be part of the hospitality industry in the Pacific Northwest with incredible brands like El Gaucho is an honor. Congratulations to a team of people I’m proud to call colleagues and friends. Cheers to 25 more,” said Elaina Morris, President and CEO, Ascend Hospitality Group.
The entire El Gaucho team wishes to express their profound gratitude to all the loyal guests, partners and the Pacific Northwest community and looks forward to another 25 years of reveling and celebrating life.