Proprietor, Ouzo Bay
Born in Fort Lauderdale and raised in Annapolis MD, Derek returned to South Florida just over two years ago to open restaurants with the Atlas Restaurant Group. His passion for hospitality covers all positions in the restaurant and vip service industries with over 20 year’s experience.
Derek’s move back close to the Ocean was no surprise as his passion for being on the water has always been a major part of his life and spirit. By 8 years old, he was cruising the Chesapeake Bay and racing sailboats. Over time, he honed his skills on yachts up to 70′, competing in local, national, and international sailing competitions.
After college at Miami University, he packed his bags and returned to Ft. Lauderdale to attend Maritime Professional Training where he earned numerous licenses, including the USCG 100 ton Masters. This training quickly propelled him into the yachting industry, ultimately leading to work on a 59m Lurssen owned by one of the wealthiest individuals in the world.
After years of working in the yachting industry, Derek wanted to once again have a home base on dry land. Working in the family restaurant business, and then in his own establishments, he gained valuable hospitality experience in the front and back of house. For the past 6 years, he has been fortunate to own two restaurants, one located in Boca Raton’s Mizner Park known as Ouzo Bay. In his spare-time, if any, Derek is also a licensed Yacht Broker with Stotler Yachts.
In addition to boating, his other joys in life include automobiles, diving, offshore fishing, cooking, and flying. Derek is very passionate about flying and holds his single and multi-engine instrument rating, and of course, a seaplane rating too!
Derek and his family have always been heavily involved in giving back to the community. His mother runs their family’s foundation, started numerous non-profits and has dedicated the last 25 years of her life to giving back. His younger sister is a full-time social worker at GW Hospital in Washington DC and works with the Morrell Foundation to give back primarily to children’s education and safety all over the world. The woman by his side for the last 10 years, Abbie, is also a social worker with Henderson’s Behavioral Health and dedicates her life to children of all ages with behavioral and mental issues. When presented the opportunity to dance in the Boca Ballroom Battle he immediately seized the chance as a great way to involve himself in the community.