Sean Herron has made a career out of creating and opperating distinctive restaurants.
Born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, he began working in restaurants at the age of twelve. He spent the next fifteen years learning all aspects of the business while working as a dishwasher, line cook, busboy, waiter, bartender and manager. Drawn to the diverse culture of the big city, Sean moved to Chicago in 1987. He engulfed himself in the industry; managing a variety of fine dining restaurants from trend setters such as Rich Melman, Michael Foley and Jerry Kleiner. In 1995, he launched his first restaurant, Starfish Café and Raw Bar. It was an immediate hit. The following year, Sean followed suit with the opening of Meritage, a restaurant highlighting Pacific Coast cuisine and wine.
After five successful years, Sean completed a total renovation of Starfish and reopened it as Echo. Echo specialized in serving contemporary small-plate cuisine and boasted a 350 bottle wine list. In 2001, Food & Wine Magazine tabbed Echo as having one of America’s “Ten Best New Wine Lists.” Following each opening, Starfish, Meritage, and Echo all received 3 Stars in the Chicago Tribute as well as the Sun-Times, and each garnered Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence.” Additionally, all were named “Best New Restaurants” by Chicago Magazine.
Sean sold his restaurants at the end of 2002, and moved his family to Santa Rosa California. There he worked for James Beard Award Winner Cindy Pawlcyn at her Napa Valley institutions Mustards Grill & Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen. He later worked as hospitality and systems consultant for Viansa Winery and their signature restaurant Cucina Viansa. After becoming friends with acclaimed chef Randy Lewis they opened Seven-0-Seven, a restaurant and lounge focused on the bounty of ingredients from Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino Counties.
Having again felt the draw of a larger metropolitan area, Sean relocated to Portland in the fall of 2005. Shortly there after, he joined NW Hayden Group as a project manager/partner specializing in start up restaurants. In January of 2007 he founded Big Idea Group and has developed the concept, designed, project managed, purchased equipment, set up operations and consulted for stand out restaurants and bars such as (five-0-three), a Cena, Lucca,Teardrop Lounge, Highland Still House, The Painted Lady, The Blue Tangerine, Fonda Rosa, The View Point Inn, del Inti, The Riverbend Cafe and Hobnob Grille.
In an attempt to further service his clients and provide them with a simpler and more cost effective approach to opening a new restaurant or bar; Sean Herron’s Big Idea has become The Northwest’s only start to finish restaurant design and consulting group.