California, MD- This summer the residents of St. Mary’s County are finally going to be able to experience The Greene Turtle’s sports like atmosphere and local brews for themselves because a new location is set to open in California, MD.
Spearheaded by the former Chief Operations Officer (COO) of The Greene Turtle, Jamil Jamaldinian, the popular sports bar, and chain location will include several TVs for patrons to root for their favorite teams and outdoor seating.
The Three Notch Road location is Jamaldinian’s sixth franchise with the Greene Turtle and the second franchise for Southern Maryland.
“We thought the Southern Maryland market has been good for us, and the brand is well recognized in this market so we felt that the California-Lexington Park area [would be] a good next step for us,” Jamaldinian said.
However, one thing Jamaldinian couldn’t account for was the impact that Covid-19 would have on his existing franchises leading into the opening of the new location.
“We understand we’re probably going to open up 50% capacity so we’re talking about putting tents on the sides of the building where we can add more seating,” Jamaldinian said. “We’re continuing to make adjustments.”
With every new location that Jamaldinian opens comes a new opportunity to serve the community.
“Every Greene Turtle has its own characteristics and its own feel in being able to be a big part of the community,” Jamaldinian said looking forward to embracing the large military presence in the area.
As the owner of six Greene Turtle franchises, Jamaldinian credits his success to his decades of experience in the restaurant industry, including his time as COO, which gave him valuable insight on The Greene Turtle’s day to day operations.
“We knew he had the operational chops and he clearly had a passion for the brand. In many ways he’s the ideal franchisee candidate,” CEO of The Greene Turtle, Geovannie “Geo” Concepcion said.
Concepcion took the reins of leadership for the company back in 2019 and has since transformed its guest experience and menu.
“What I love to do is take something that has great DNA but has fallen sort of down the wrong path or hasn’t evolved, and to reinvigorate and revitalize it,” Concepcion said.
The next thing on Concepcion’s agenda is working on the atmosphere and the design of the brand’s 11 company-owned stores and 27 franchised locations.
“We want to focus on what is the actual look and feel and design of the restaurant,” Concepcion said. “I think the new unit that Jamil, our franchisee, is building is going to have a lot of those elements embedded in it.”
Similarly to Jamaldinian, Concepcion was thrown a curveball when not even a year into his role as CEO the country was thrown into an economic pitfall due to Covid-19.
“It was probably the scariest professional moment for the entire management team,” Concepcion said.
The 40-year business went from 700 employees down to 30 and was forced to shut down the majority of their restaurants.
With help from paycheck protection programs and being able to reopen at half capacity, the company has been able to recoup most of its losses due to Covid-19 and has rehired most of its staff members, Concepcion said.
With The Greene Turtle back on track, Jamaldinian is looking toward the future in hopes of extending his success in Southern Maryland to Waldorf, MD. But for now, Jamaldinian is busy preparing to bring The Turtle’s unique take on bar fare and fun sports-going atmosphere to the Lexington Park, and California, MD communities.