Beverage Director for Simon Hospitality Group
Wisconsin native Matt Harwell learned the art of hospitality at a young age, having grown up in a family of wonderful cooks and generous hosts. He has an almost life-long experience in the restaurant industry, although a number of detours have certainly been present along the way. A teacher by degree, and an actor by trade, it was always the work of hospitality that held a truly special place in Harwell's life. From bussing tables as a kid in the Italian joint around the corner from his home to now working as the beverage director for Simon Hospitality Group based in Las Vegas, his restaurant experience has seen just about everything in between.
After graduating from York College in Nebraska with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education and History, Harwell relocated to Omaha, Nebraska to begin work on his first feature film. The next several years were spent as many actors spend them – working in restaurants when you’re not working on movies. It was in this give-and-take where he came to realize his true passion. His formative hospitality experience began in 2005 at the upscale steakhouse, Mahogany Prime. It was that restaurant which initially opened his eyes to the intricacies of the business, aroused his love for the art of hospitality as a potential career, and the extensive world of wine, beer, and spirits. From there, Harwell went on to work at various long-standing establishments in server and bartender positions such as M’s Pub, La Buvette, 801 Chophouse, and most recently worked as general manager of The Grey Plume – a James Beard-nominated farm-to-table fine dining establishment.
In 2014, Harwell made the move to Las Vegas to help open Carson Kitchen in the budding downtown community, where he has served as the general manager since opening. His appetite for providing great hospitality, and developing staff for which to facilitate it has only grown in that time, as Carson Kitchen continues to satisfy guests from around the corner and around the globe. Taking pride in the development of a healthy, happy, and hospitable environment in which to work and dine takes center stage in Harwell's philosophy toward this business. In 2016, he was promoted to beverage director for Simon Hospitality Group, where he oversees the beverage programs at various restaurant group venues including Carson Kitchen and Standard & Pour.
Outside of the restaurants Harwell enjoys spending time with his lovely wife Jordan, working on his golf game, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers.