Proximo (Latin meaning "Next") is the next new concept within our restaurant family we could not be more excited to share with you! We are happy to bring this new cuisine to downtown Fort Wayne; all while keeping our attentive service you receive within our sister restaurants, The Hoppy Gnome & BakerStreet Steakhouse. Whether you live close to downtown, or you live a little further away, join us for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Yes, you read it correctly we are open for breakfast! Thank you Fort Wayne for continuing to support us and take on this next chapter.
Ben Jones, our General Manager, was born and raised in Fort Wayne, IN. He has worked within the restaurant world for about 20 years and has gained a large amount of experience within each company he has worked for. Six of those years he spent at our sister restaurant, BakerStreet Steakhouse, where he started as a server to then move up and spend four and a half years as a manager. He loves the culture we provide within this company and couldn't imagine being anywhere else. Even though he will miss his time at BakerStreet, he is excited to be a part of this next journey with Proximo. Coming from a large Italian family, he enjoys spending time with his wife and four beautiful children outside of work.
Johnny Perez, our Executive Chef, was born in Los Angeles, CA, but raised most of his life in Fort Wayne. After attending South Side High School, he went to Johnson & Wales to study cooking in Providence, RI. While living here in Fort Wayne, Johnny has been happy to see the richness of culture this town has to offer. When he isn’t cooking, he loves to read anything related to food and watching Chopped with his wife on Food Network. Here at Proximo, he is excited to share and highlight traditional flavors and ingredients of regional Latin cooking.
Natalie Siegrist, our Service Manager, moved to Fort Wayne from Cleveland, OH where the majority of her restaurant career has taken place. She is extremely grateful to be a part of the restaurant community here, especially with this exciting time for the city and it expanding. After moving to Fort Wayne, she was happy to start working at The Hoppy Gnome where she furthered her bartending skills. She will always cherish her time there “Gnome is where the heart is”, but was happy to be given the opportunity to join the Proximo team and is looking forward to what the future holds. As the Server Training Manager, she helps develop the Training Material for the restaurant while incorporating the standards our restaurant company is known for. She enjoys teaching our staff how to provide the best service possible for our guests in an environment where they can be your tour guide.
Anthony Saunders, our Beverage Manager, was a server and bartender at The Hoppy Gnome and the Deck at the Gas House before coming to Proximo. He moved to Fort Wayne in 2012 and attended IPFW for hospitality and tourism and obtained a serving position at a couple of corporate restaurants. Even though he learned a lot, he soon realized he wanted more local opportunities. His roommate at the time was working at the Deck and helped get his foot in the door. This is when he fell in love with the downtown atmosphere, and has since enjoyed seeing where this city is headed and is excited to be a part of its history. When working at The Hoppy Gnome, he worked alongside Pete Shuey and Johnny Perez who showed him what it truly meant to be hospitable and how to take care of our guests. This is when he knew he found the right group of people to circle with – positive attitudes, always striving to try out the new and adapt to change, and just truly wanting to take care of the people within this city. When he isn’t here at Proximo, he enjoys traveling as well as watching and talking about any sport possible (specifically football).