GREG ENGERT • Managing Partner & Beer Director
Greg Engert’s appreciation for craft beer began at a young age. The earliest influence was his father, who supported then little-known microbreweries such as Samuel Adams and Saranac, and made a lasting impression on his son. Following undergraduate work at Middlebury College, Trinity College Dublin and The Goethe Institut in Munich, as well as graduate work at Georgetown University, Engert made his first foray into the beer business at the Venerable Brickskeller in Washington, DC. In 2006, Neighborhood Restaurant Group tapped Engert as the Beer Director for their new beer-centric restaurant, Rustico. And by 2008, he had assumed his current role as Beer Director for the group. In October 2009, Engert and Neighborhood Restaurant Group opened Birch & Barley and Churchkey, where – in addition to his function as Beer Director – he is also the Managing Partner. A second Rustico opened in 2010 in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, where Engert also serves as Managing Partner and Beer Director. Together, Greg Engert and Neighborhood Restaurant Group opened their first brewery, Bluejacket, on October 29, 2013. Built to be a brewery without boundaries, Engert and his team of brewers create beers across the broadest range of styles and flavors possible. Engert was nominated in February 2012 by the James Beard Foundation for “Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional,” and in April 2010, Food & Wine named Engert one of its “Sommeliers of the Year,” the first time the publication recognized a beer professional for this honor. He was also selected to receive a Starchefs Rising Star Award in 2010, making him the first beer professional to receive their sommelier honor. Engert has also been featured in some of the most prestigious media outlets in the country including The New York Times, USA Today, Food & Wine, Food Arts, Washington Post, Washingtonian, Men’s Health, Slate, Beer Advocate, Imbibe, Draft and Mid-Atlantic Brewing News, and has appeared on national television.
Miles Vaden • Executive Chef
Miles Vaden joined Neighborhood Restaurant Group as Executive Chef at Columbia Firehouse in June 2017, the group’s historic Old Town American brasserie. Miles debuted his revamped menu in September to reflect both his culinary style as well as maintain the comfort fare and raw bar for which the neighborhood restaurant has become known. Vaden, a 16-year veteran of the DC dining scene, most recently served as Executive Chef of TenPehn in Tyson’s Corner. Originally from Camp Springs, MD, Miles attended Baltimore International College to pursue a degree in Culinary Arts. Upon graduation he moved to Chicago where he got his start at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Vong and was on the opening staff of James Beard award-winner Shawn McClain’s Spring. Homesick for the East Coast, he moved back to Washington, DC to join Todd Gray’s Equinox as Chef de Partie, where he was heavily influenced by Chef Gray’s focus on seasonality and use of local farmers. While working at Equinox, Miles met Anthony Chittum – who was then working as Sous Chef and now heads up the kitchen at NRG’s Iron Gate. When Chittum left Equinox to be the Executive Chef of Aria, he asked Miles to be his Sous Chef. A few months later, Chittum was given a unique opportunity to run two restaurants, Dish and Notti Bianche. Again he asked Miles to join him as his Sous Chef. Notti Bianche, known for its pasta and modern Italian cuisine, received great praise including three stars from the Washington Post. In 2011, Miles joined Fabio Trabocchi’s Fiola as Executive Chef before being tapped by Passion Foods Hospitality to oversee the kitchens at DC Coast, Passionfish and TenPenh. Miles brings his passion for showcasing the best of the Mid-Atlantic region to his post as Executive Chef at Columbia Firehouse, while introducing lighter fare with an expanded raw bar selection and maintaining the American brasserie’s focus on approachable comfort fare.
Jon Barry • Director of Operations
Jon oversees the operations for Iron Gate, Vermilion, Buzz Bakeshop, The Evening Star Café and Columbia Firehouse. He started his hospitality career in Virginia with Great American Restaurants, working in management positions at some of its highest grossing properties, including Costal flats in Tysons Corner and the Carlyle Grand in Shirlington. Jon moved back to his home state of Michigan once his daughter, Sonja, was born, to mentor and coach staff at California Pizza Kitchen. Upon returning to Washington, he served in management positions at several of the most influential restaurants in DC, including Jaleo, Volt, Range, Family Meal, and Boqueria. In 2014, he was tapped by Michael Babin to serve as General Manager of Iron Gate. Due in large part to his success in growing this new business, Jon was promoted to Director of Operations to apply industry best practices to NRG’s Legacy portfolio.