Who: Steve Birger, 56, Weston
From: After owning and operating Stevie B's Rib Cafe in Weston, Pembroke Pines and Boca Raton, for the past 28 years
To: Prakas & Co. as a licensed Real Estate sales associate and restaurant specialist
Start date: April of 2013
About: Prakas & Co, established in 2000 is a real estate brokerage firm that focuses on restaurant, nightclub and hospitality properties throughout Florida and other high-profile properties throughout the country.
Job duties: description: I joined as a sales associate specializing in selling, leasing, site selections and consulting for restaurants.
Experience: Worked as the general manager for Chicago 's "That Steak Joynt," steakhouse, located next door to the famous Second City comedy club. I was behind the development and expansion of the celebrated Planet Hollywood restaurant chain in South Florida and internationally. Other restaurant chain expansions include Stevie B's Rib Café (Chicago), Wish's Pub, The Official All Star Café in South Beach, Stevie B's Rib Café in Weston, Cooper City, Pembroke Pines and Boca Raton.
Education: Bachelor of Science in hospitality management from Florida International University.
Awards: Named one of Chicago's up and coming restaurateurs by Restaurant Hospitality Group Magazine for Stevie B's Rib Café and Wish's Pub concepts and Stevie B's went on to win "Best Ribs" in Chicago and garnered much acclaim; youngest member on the board of the Chicago Fine Dining Association;
Why the move: All the years of the physicality and emotional ups and downs of the restaurant business were enough - after 33 years it was time to try something different where I could use my wealth of knowledge. It was a natural transition. I moved into this area of the business because I love the "art of the deal." I'm able to understand the seller and buyer from so many years of being in both positions.
Top goal in your new position: To farm the Fort Lauderdale market and become the "go to" guy in area if you want to open a restaurant.
Industry wisdom: What I've learned so far is that this job requires great patience as opposed to what I've been doing where you have immediate feedback every night.
On the side: Married to Alena Birger and we have two children; in my free time I enjoy writing.
Ckent@tribune.com or 954-356-4662, Google+ and Twitter @mindingyourbiz