Born in Dallas, Texas, and raised, in part, in Arkansas, Chad began tending bar in college. After realizing his chosen degree and career path in Children’s Psychology might be too difficult to leave at the office, Chad continued to bartend in country clubs before discovering the nightclub scene.

Bartending led Chad to a number of restaurant bars, bar management, and then, ultimately, all facets of restaurant operations. Like most implants of South Walton County, Chad vacationed to this spot for many years before embracing the flexibility of his trade and becoming a permanent resident.  

Chad’s proudest career moment was his own bar design and cocktail program for Chef Johnny Earles’ renovation of his iconic Criolla’s location on 30A. To this day, the opening bar program has remained in place and has a strong reputation.

When not at the restaurant, Chad likes to stay at home or be on the water.

Learn more about Chef Jim Shirley