Hi! I’m Jay.

I’ve been doing restaurants and other related stuff since 2005. In 2006, our flagship restaurant became, as far as we can tell, the nation’s first no-tipping table-service restaurant to establish itself in the modern era. I wrote about that experience, and about tipping in general, in a series of pieces you can read here.

Nowadays I, along with my wife Katie, own and operate The Half Orange, specializing in fresh beer and tasty food, along with other treats like local cider and natural wine. Come check out our friendly beer garden in Fruitvale, the sunniest neighborhood of Oakland.

You can read more blog posts here.

Before moving to the Bay Area, I founded and operated The Linkery and El Take It Easy, two San Diego restaurants emphasizing farm-to-table fare, craft beverages, and hospitality.

Other paths I’ve followed include working in marketing and advertising; software engineering, architecture and project management; sports technology and analytics; and writing, public speaking and activism.


I’ve started several independent restaurants from scratch including planning, permitting, construction, and opening, on a bare-bones budget. (I’ve done it the expensive way too, which I don’t recommend.)  As a result, I’m often approached by independent restaurant operators and those just getting started, looking for help with the process.  I enjoy helping people build great spaces and great restaurants, and can provide any or all of the following services at an hourly rate.

  • Pre-lease evaluation
  • Kitchen and restaurant design
  • Drafting plans and preparing submittals for permitting
  • Equipment specification and purchase
  • Assistance obtaining permits
  • Project management and co-ordination of buildout
  • Assistance with pro formas, business plan development, marketing plans, and operational plans.

If you are interested in contacting me regarding these services, please email me at jay -at- jayporter -dot- com