We met while working at another Chicago restaurant. We live and breathe hospitality. We believe there’s no more difficult or rewarding an industry than this one. And we couldn’t think of better partners in this restaurant we’re proud to call our own than each other. 

A word on the century-old building we’re in: It was at one time a holography museum, a casket factory (!) and the Free Methodist Publishing House—not at all once.

Imagine the stories. We do all the time. 

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Jeff Williams

Jeff is from Cape Cod, the son of a fisherman. He didn’t go to culinary school, opting instead for real-world experience on the line and in pastry. Starting in 2011 as a line cook at a country club in his hometown, he went on to stage in the Michelin-starred kitchens of some of the world’s best chefs. Among them: Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Washington with chef Blaine Wetzel; Luksus in New York City, where he met his mentor, former Noma pastry chef Daniel Burns; and the renowned Fäviken in Sweden with chef Magnus Nilsson. Jeff was executive sous chef at Sable Kitchen + Bar in Chicago’s River North neighborhood before opening The Press Room in 2017.

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Anton Valkov

A native of Bulgaria, Anton earned a hospitality degree from the University of Sofia and moved to the States to cook at a seafood restaurant in North Carolina. Front-of-house experience and a burgeoning passion for wine and spirits followed at restaurants in Park City, Utah and Chicago. Anton started at Sable Kitchen + Bar in 2010 as a server, transitioning to bartender as a key member of the award-winning beverage team. A certified sommelier, he was the bar manager at Vol. 39 in the Kimpton Gray Hotel before joining The Press Room. He spends his downtime with his wife and their two daughters.

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Cristian Mendoza Jarquin

Though Cristian has worked in restaurants since high school, nutrition has been the focus of his career. A registered dietitian with experience in the clinical setting, he has a nutrition science degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master’s in dietetics from Loyola University. He was most recently general manager of school foodservice provider HandCut Foods. Waiting tables at Devon Seafood Grill and Sable Kitchen + Bar was how Cristian paid the bills during school; providing heartfelt service was what he became known for. Eager to reunite with his Sable colleagues and make good on their collective dream—their own restaurant—he joined them at The Press Room just a few months after his honeymoon.

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Petros Papatheofanis

Hospitality and hustle are in Petros’ DNA. His late father, Dimitrios, owned two Greek diners in Chicago. Fresh out of college in 2012, with a degree in hospitality administration, Petros joined Sable Kitchen + Bar as floor manager, rising through the ranks at the high-energy River North spot to general manager. He moved to River Roast before joining the opening team at Proxi in the West Loop as general manager, where he built the service staff alongside Michelin-starred chef Andrew Zimmerman. When not at The Press Room, Petros enjoys trying new restaurants around town with his wife.