Gary Callicoat, President, Rusty Bucket Tavern and Restaurant
As President of Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern, Gary Callicoat has defined what gives a restaurant concept diverse appeal and a true sense of hospitality. Since opening its first unit, Rusty Bucket has enjoyed steady growth under Callicoat’s leadership as neighborhoods across the Midwest have embraced this fun, fast, familiar and friendly neighborhood establishment in their communities.
Gary Callicoat began his career in the hospitality industry at the age of 15 as a dishwasher at Geisenhaus in North Canton, Ohio. Furthering his career he found himself ascending to a number of managerial and operational roles in multiple restaurant companies, most notably with the 55 Restaurant Group and Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR), both based in Columbus, Ohio.
Callicoat’s experience with Cameron Mitchell as his mentor spurred his entrepreneurial spirit. While serving as general manager of Mitchell’s Martini Italian restaurant in downtown Columbus, the concept for “Rusty Bucket” was born. With Mitchell providing valuable guidance, Callicoat began to realize his goals, and the Rusty Bucket was on its way to success.
In May of 2002, the Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern debuted in the affluent Columbus suburb of Dublin. Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern delivered a menu of pub classics and familiar, yet updated, made-from-scratch diner favorites and a comprehensive list of over 80 beer selections. Giving the community a casual dining concept that is as appealing to families as it is to the sports leagues gathering after a game, the Rusty Bucket found its niche and began to seek out similarly situated locations and expand across central Ohio.
The Rusty Bucket has 24 locations in six states. Over the next three years Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern plans to harness the power of the brand and expand to over 30 Rusty Bucket locations across the Midwest and Florida.
Reflecting a long record of giving back to the hospitality industry, Callicoat serves on the board of the Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) and is equally committed to supporting charitable causes of the communities in which he does business. He is on also on the board of the ORA’s Education Foundation. Callicoat encourages and leads his team to give back in many ways with numerous activities throughout the year including raising funds and basic supplies for underprivileged school children, coat drives in the winter, and providing Thanksgiving meals to the Salvation Army. Callicoat is proud to have piloted the Ohio launch of Round It Up America® within all Rusty Bucket locations in September 2011. Rusty Bucket guests donated over $30,000 in 2013 through this program.