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Man-Up Monday: Men of Style: Eli Boyer, General Manager of DMK

Eli & Me jpg.jpg

course we all know that fashion and food often overlap. You dress your
table and your plates the way you dress your body, hopefully with style
and your own signature. I had fun interviewing the General Manger, Eli
Boyer, of the latest hamburger restaurant/bar, DMK (DMK‘s
name is a combination of the owners David Morton and the highly
respected chef/owner of MK, Michael Kornick.) While the restaurant is
only three months old, it is one of the hottest places to eat, with
lines of people waiting anytime after 5:00 PM. I sat down with Eli as
he revealed some of his own personal style to me.

Every restaurant is designed with a particular look. What is unique about the style of DMK?
Whenever David and Michael spoke about the design of the restaurant,
one key concept couldn’t be denied -  it had to be timeless.  Not
what’s hot today, not what might be hot in the next year, but a design
that would age well and allow us to grow this business over the next 25
years.  When you come to DMK, you’ll see a unique mix of raw materials
and design elements that have allowed us to achieve that original
concept, whether it’s the reclaimed barn wood on the walls, menu board
behind the wall, or antique chandeliers above our community table.   
How would you describe your own personal style and how is it reflected in the personality of the restaurant?
To be honest, I’ve never thought of myself as having a unique style. 
However, I want the vibe and energy of the restaurant to be reflected
in what I might wear or the language I might use when speaking with
guests.  Every night, it’s my and the other Manager’s job to set the
tone at the restaurant, and the way we choose to present ourselves can
go a long way.  On a Saturday night, I might choose to break out a
crushed velvet blazer, but on a Tuesday afternoon, it may be more
appropriate to lace up my converse sneakers.
All the waitresses and bartenders seem to dress with a unique look of their own. Do you give them any guidelines or limitations?
Eli: We ask our team to dress as if they’re going on a 2nd date,
if that makes sense.  In the restaurant industry, people are usually
restricted to a strict uniform, so our staff has responded very
positively, as you would imagine.  You should have seen the look on
their faces when we first told them – shock, surprise, and smiles all
around.  We spent a great amount of time interviewing and choosing the
right staff for DMK, so we want them to able to flex their own
individuality and unique style, which gives us a different look.
are 13 burgers on your menu with the newest addition and launch of
 ”Big DMK” on March 6th. What’s your own personal favorite?
My personal favorite is the #4, which is what most of Chicago’s foodie
nation chooses when they check out DMK.  It has roasted hatch green
chiles, smoked bacon, Sonoma jack cheese and it’s topped with a fried
egg.  It’s a spicy burger, but it packs a unique (and tasty) flavor
profile.  It’s our version of the cheeseburgers you can find in the
Southwest U.S., specifically New Mexico.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t be afraid to make hard choices when it comes to your happiness -
plain and simple.  I’m originally from Metro-Detroit and lived there
for my entire existence prior to moving to Chicago in March 2009.  I
was comfortable in Michigan and my entire family was there – It was all
that I knew.  I just couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work with a
Chef like Michael and a Businessman like David.  I knew that they could
help me achieve my professional goals and I knew that I could help them
realize their vision in DMK Burger Bar.
What is your favorite junk food?
I’m loyal to many junk foods. It’s always difficult for me to turn down
a slice of New York-style pizza, or some late night Mexican food at one
of Chicago’s fine taco joints.  The closest to my heart, however, is
one of Detroit’s famous Coney dogs.  It’s a hot dog that’s topped with
Greek-style chili, yellow mustard and onions.
Tell me something about you that would surprise my readers.
Maybe that I’m only 24 years old.  Don’t ever think that your age can
hold you back from doing what you really want to do.  Age has nothing
on hard work, passion, and a willingness to try.



Eli is my brother and I must say that every question he answered, he answered with complete honesty. I have been to DMK and broke my vegetarianism on a burger there and it was absolutely delicious! I suggest everyone head out to Chicago and try out DMK!

Barbara Glass

You certainly help to prove the support & loyalty of family. Eli is very lucky to have a brother like you. It was fun to interview him and I, too love the hamburgers.
Thanks for your comments.