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At Burke LaTour Dern, each partner brings independent insight to the development and management process in helping to realize the vision for your restaurant. Our multi-disciplinary capacity provides a unique and balanced perspective loyal only to your needs and objectives.




“We’re different from other consultants. We’ve built our own successful restaurant ventures, and along the way, have learned from the pain inherent to entrepreneurial risk. We’ve been in the trenches and have the experience and foresight to understand what is possible for a client’s vision.”


Bob Burke, a founding partner at Burke LaTour Dern, is a recognized food and hospitality industry leader. He has a comprehensive and considered understanding of a project’s operational needs, including strategic planning, marketing, and financial analysis. He has been behind award-winning, profit-generating restaurants and hospitality venues. Burke is a skilled recruiter, and has led talented teams in building operational collaboration and efficacy.

Burke is responsible for developing leading industry companies in the U.S. He was President & CEO of Pat Kuleto Restaurants, President of Piatti Restaurant Group, Real American Restaurants, and Gordon Biersch Brewing Company where he successfully engineered its sale to investors. He has partnered with numerous celebrity chefs, including the famed Chef Michael Chiarello, expanding thriving restaurant concepts into new markets. Burke has developed strategic growth programs, overseen operational leadership strategies for restaurant/brand expansion, and created the “5 P’s,” a measurement tool for effective management. Burke extended his range, and directed restaurant design and layout with Cork ‘n Cleaver, Scott’s Seafood, Piatti, Pat Kuleto and Forge, as well as build-outs and openings of innovative restaurant projects, including San Francisco’s highly anticipated Epic and Waterbar.

Burke is also an experienced financial advisor. He had a leadership role at Robertson Stephen Investment Banking where he increased the firm’s presence in the retail food and beverage sector. At Westminster Holdings, he managed a diverse portfolio of companies, including restaurants and hotels. Most recently, Burke was a Founder and Principal at Ovation Consulting, a restaurant and hospitality consulting firm.

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“We are committed to an authentic and passionate approach to building and transforming the client’s vision into the guest’s experience. We are in the business of creating enduring memories for guests.  They return to our restaurants for experiences that leave indelible marks.”


Tom LaTour is a founding partner of Burke LaTour Dern. For over forty years, LaTour has been an innovative leader in the travel and hospitality industry and as a result, has the insight and creative vision necessary for planning and executing the total guest experience, including project design, aesthetics, and management.

In addition to BLD, LaTour is a founding partner at LaTour Hotels and Resorts, a joint venture business with Resort Com International that provides superior management services to hotel owners throughout the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.   LaTour Hotels and Resorts delivers exceptional Four Star business and leisure ”lifestyle experiences” to select developers and owners of new and existing properties by managing all of the operational aspects of boutique hotels, resorts and condominium hotels.

LaTour is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group, where he helped pioneer the hospitality niche of boutique hotels. LaTour was instrumental in expanding Kimpton to include forty-three boutique hotels and restaurants throughout seventeen cities in the United States and Canada. Over his almost twenty-five years with Kimpton, his dedication and visionary leadership established the company as the forerunner in the boutique/lifestyle hotel segment. Most of the Kimpton hotels were adaptive reuse projects in unique historic structures. After almost twenty-five years, LaTour left Kimpton and became a developer, owner, and operator of LaTour Vineyards in Napa Valley.




“We are beholden to no one. Because we offer years of collective and varied experience, we are fierce, strategic, and independent which allows us to offer bold solutions.”


John Dern is a founding partner at Burke LaTour Dern. Dern provides financial leadership for the project team, formulating the financial analysis, the resultant plan, and its implementation for the project. Over the course of his career, Dern has developed sophisticated financing strategies for the hospitality industry that have successfully addressed the objectives of diverse stakeholders, including owners, landlords, tenants, lenders, borrowers, and investors. His expertise and insight led to the creation of profitable and lasting hospitality investments.

For almost thirty years, John Dern was President and Managing Director of Dern Greinetz, Inc. (DGI). DGI developed, managed, owned and/or invested in a number of iconic San Francisco Bay Area hospitality properties, and provided merchant and investment banking services to the Bay Area’s leading real estate developers and investors. In 2008, under Dern’s leadership, DGI expanded to provide consulting services for mixed-use/hospitality properties, most notably the owners of Broadway & Grand and Jack London Square, both located in Oakland, California. Properties in which DGI was intimately involved included Villa Florence Hotel and Kuleto’s Italian Restaurant, Prescott Hotel and Postrio Restaurant, Ozumo, Forge, Pican, and Town Hall. Dern helped forge partnerships with celebrity chefs such as Wolfgang Puck, as well as renowned boutique hotel developer, the Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group.

Previously, Dern served as Vice President in Daon Corporation’s Finance Group, where he structured over one-quarter billion dollars of project financing in the United States and Canada. He was a partner with Consolidated Capital, one of the nation’s leading real estate syndication companies and became one its leading producers of participating loans across the country. Dern provided strategic consulting services to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in connection with its public housing development program, as well as to the state of Michigan in connection with its Economic Development Grant program.

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“We know how to bind together the vision and execution for the purpose of creating legacy restaurants. We make ideas profitable.”


Carrie Dern is a founding partner at Burke LaTour Dern. She has wide and extensive experience in the retail and real estate sectors, with particular expertise in project and asset management, leasing, marketing, and internal operations.

Carrie Dern is the founder and principal of Dern Advisory Services, LLC, where she provides creative and effective real estate asset management services to clients that span a variety of industries, including retail, office, hotel, and the affordable housing sector for portfolios managed on behalf of large institutional clients, owners, and not-for-profit entities.

Previously, Dern was the Senior Vice President of Asset Management at The Yarmouth Group, responsible for regional and super-regional shopping center properties. Her collaborative abilities contributed to the creation and implementation of value-enhancement strategies for client investment objectives. Dern developed infrastructure programs for Hines Interests Limited Partnership which facilitated asset management of a Class A commercial office portfolio. She was the retail leasing consultant for Chartres Lodging Group, assisting in third-party retail/leasing initiatives for a newly acquired hotel portfolio. Dern was then the Project Manager for the development of the Fred Finch Youth Center/Rising Oaks apartment complex for youth aging out of the foster care system, where she was the liaison between the board of directors, senior management for the agency, the development team, the construction team, neighbors, and public stakeholders.