Hi! I’m Jay.
I do restaurants and other stuff. I care deeply about developing things, like small businesses and buildings and welcoming spaces, that help all of us build our best possible communities. Sometimes that leads me into unexpected places.
Along with my wife Katie, I own and operate a Fruitvale restaurant, 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 the sunniest neighborhood of Oakland.
You can read my 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.
The Linkery was, to the best of my knowledge, the nation’s first no-tipping table-service restaurant to establish itself in the modern era. I wrote about that experience in a series of blog posts, starting here.
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, all on a shoestring 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
SELECTED PUBLISHED WRITING
- A Small Business Owner’s Case For Raising The Minimum Wage, Slate, April 2014
- How small plates have conquered America’s menus, Quartz, April 2014
- What Happens When You Abolish Tipping, Slate, August 2013
- After I banned tipping at my restaurant, the service got better and we made more money, Quartz, August 2013
- Sustainable vs. Local: San Diego’s Grass-Fed Meat Dilemma, Edible San Diego, Summer 2012
- Just Down The Road: A Taste of History (on Caesar’s Restaurant in Tijuana), Edible San Diego, Winter 2010
- Liquid Assets: Brewing Brilliance (on San Diego’s craft brewers), Edible San Diego, Summer 2008
- “Tipped Out” Forum, The University of Guelph Sustainable Restaurant Project, Toronto Canada, 2013
- A Meeting of the Minds, presentation on art installations in Colonia Federal, Tijuana, presented in San Diego by Voice of San Diego, 2011
- USD “Food Fight” screening, 2011
- UCSD Greenhorns screening discussion panel, 2011
- San Diego Museum of Art “Summer Salon” discussion panel, 2011
- California Small Farms Conference, Farmers Markets: Social Media Marketing, 2010
- San Diego Cultivating Food Justice Conference, Sustainable Food in Restaurants, 2009 and 2010