James Modena prides himself in being the youngest employee ever hired by Dean Poll. In 1985, in his teen years, he started his restaurant career as a busboy at the family's restaurant, Pappas of Sheepshead Bay, in Williston Park, NY.
In 1989, Pappas closed for renovation and reopened as Riverbay Seafood Bar & Grill. James continued to work at the newly opened restaurant from its opening in '89 until it closed in 2013. Through the years, he worked as a busboy, waiter and eventually as Manager.
For a short time during his tenure at Riverbay, Mr. Modena pursued other professions as a car salesman and stockbroker. But the lure of the restaurant business pulled him back.
After Riverbay closed its doors, Dean Poll asked Mr. Modena to join him as Manager at his newly acquired Gallaghers Steakhouse in Manhattan.
James worked for Mr. Poll at the Loeb Central Park Boathouse during the seven month renovation of Gallaghers.
Mr. Modena holds the esteemed post of being the employee who has worked the most years for Mr. Poll.