Mikel Rogers, Co-owner
Mikel Rogers is the co-owner of Pearl Bar and Dining. Mikel and Bradley worked together for many years in the restaurant industry before collaborating to open Pearl. Keep reading for the inside story on how Pearl came to be and a little inside peek into the personal life of Mikel:
“My vision for Pearl – urban, contemporary northwest, local, local, local – is pretty bang on and I think the most surprising piece is how the staff has embraced and embodies what Pearl needs to be – an independently owned and operated restaurant amongst a sea of chain restaurants. Bellevue is not what Bellevue was 5 years ago – we get it. The people get it – those that live and work here. There used to be a sense that if you wanted to eat you stayed in Bellevue to feed yourself, but if you wanted to dine you HAD to go to Seattle; I was probably the biggest advocate of that mentality seeing how BC (before children) I lived and worked almost exclusively downtown…not true anymore…
Finding a place where you can eat out with children can be difficult, even in Bellevue. Eating out is always a challenge. With families at Pearl we like to say ’we love kids, but we love kids to leave’. Let me explain. Based on personal experience, once you sit down at a table in restaurant with young kids, the clock is ticking! As a parent, I become very aware of what is happening around me and my family and how we are impacting other diners. The clock is ticking for us, not the kids – so let us slow the restaurant down – nothing worse than kids that are done and we are waiting for entrees or the check or to just get the hell out! My wife, Kelly, and I do enjoy a nice glass of wine and so we look to restaurants that can take care of our needs and the kids. That being said, my middle girl loves calamari, my oldest loves the stinky-est cheese that is on the menu, and my youngest is a fresh fruit fan with discerning taste for ‘fresh’ (the berries need to taste like fresh juice!) Since opening Pearl, we are very aware of the small guys and support them when we can. Restaurants my family likes to dine at include Matt’s Rotisserie in Redmond, Issaquah Brew House and Sip.
My free time is committed to spending as much time with my wife and kids as I can, usually Sunday afternoons. We like to do day trips/hikes to places like Cougar Mountain, Snoqualmie Falls, Snoqualmie Pass, and Marymoor Park and spend time in the neighborhood with friends. We live in South Cove which is a community on the south end of Lake Sammamish, near Lake Sammamish Park in Issaquah. My kids are relatively young, (eight, seven, and four), so we are always looking for things that are age appropriate. We also like to cook around the house. The kids are all developing cooking and knife skills. Again, age appropriate.
I think Pearl stands out because of the wine selection and great cocktails. At Pearl, I am a fan of the Crater Lake Vodka Martini and I keep the bartenders guessing (olives or twist, up or rocks…). I also enjoy white wine, O Chardonnay, I love the back story and the fact that it is a Washington wine with a hint of oak. Red wine favorites include: Kennedy Shah, Temparnillo, Dussek Syrah, Lachini Pinot Noir, and Efteste Final Final… I like red wine…”