By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Feb 13, 2022 at 9:04 AM

Milwaukee is home to numerous family-owned businesses. Among them is the multifaceted Marcus Corporation, which was founded by Ben Marcus in 1935, and which now comprises a collection of movie theaters, restaurants and hotels across the country.

This week, we’re sitting down with David Marcus, CEO of Marcus Investment Group, the parent company of Benson’s Restaurant Group (operators of AJ Bombers, Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria, Onesto and Smoke Shack) and  to talk about his experience as a third generation operator.

During our conversation, we discuss the legacy of the Marcus restaurants, from the Marc’s Big Boy franchise and Kentucky Fried Chicken to cult favorite, Captain’s Steak Joint. But Marcus also shares what drew him to the family business, the story behind the rebranding of Hospitality Democracy to Benson’s Restaurant Group, and a few more details about the plans for Benson’s new restaurants the Harbor District R1ver Campus.


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Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.