CREATING CULINARY HISTORY

our STORY

With its rustic feel, hardwood floors and abundant photographs capturing historic Beloit, Merrill & Houston’s has branded itself to tell a great story, but most importantly, its focus is on the classic steakhouse with the highest quality steaks and seafood with down-to-earth and attentive service that makes you feel like you are at your best friend’s home. The interior décor represents Beloit in its entirety from the early days of Merrill & Houston to present time.

 

Orson Merrill and George Houston founded Merrill and Houston Iron Works in 1858, later named Beloit Ironworks in the 1890s and eventually renamed the Beloit Corporation. The walls of the restaurant are dressed with photographs and artifacts embracing legendary stories, people and places representing the city of Beloit and all the great people that built it.

The classic look, rustic theme and the uncompromised quality of the food and the service are the perfect recipe for an unforgettable night out.

MEET OUR TEAM

GENERAL MANAGER

Oscar Flores has more than 15 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industries. Before beginning his career with Geronimo in 2018, Oscar worked in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.

Oscar discovered his passion for the restaurant industry at the age of 14. He worked his way through the ranks from cook to server to bartender and earned a management position by the time he was 18. Hungry for more knowledge and experience, he spent the next few years managing multiple restaurants in the Delavan and Lake Geneva areas, including the Geneva ChopHouse and PIER 290.

The greatest lessons Oscar has learned in his professional career are to treat others as you want to be treated and to confide in your team. He also believes that his greatest successes have come from learning and growing with his team.

Oscar resides in Wisconsin, but he also enjoys new culinary experiences, traveling around the world and being exposed to new places, people and cultures. When he’s not working, you’ll find him spending time with his family and friends.

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OSCAR FLORES
Bobby Walker Jr.
EXECUTIVE CHEF

Oklahoma native Bobby Walker Jr. has been the executive chef at Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint in Beloit, Wisconsin, since it opened in 2012.

In 2001, Bobby was hired as a dishwasher at the now defunct Café Belwah in Beloit. By 2009, he had worked his way through the ranks and was hired as executive chef at Cafe Belwah, which transitioned to Merrill & Houston’s in 2012. In his 14 years at this property, Chef Bobby has held virtually every position in the kitchen, working under some of the most talented and influential chefs in the Stateline area. His experience with various styles of cooking and different types of cuisine has helped him develop an impressive culinary portfolio.  

Making memorable moments for diners is something Chef Bobby strives for every day. “Nothing in this business is more inspiring than hearing a customer say it’s the best meal they’ve ever had.”

Kaile has over a decade of experience working in this hospitality industry where she’s held roles from busser and server to supervisor and assistant general manager. 
 

Born in Beloit but raised in Lake Geneva, Kaile got her start in the service industry when she was just 16-years-old working at the Grand Geneva Resort as a busser. Over the years she was promoted to server then bartender. Throughout her time, she grew a passion for mixology and bartended for the Geneva Chophouse for 14 years where she was able to get creative and come up with new menus for the bar. 
 

Kaile came back to her birthplace when she was hired to begin her Geronimo journey with Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint as assistant general manager in August of 2021. She considers herself a veteran in fine dining and private events. Kaile enjoys hiking, kayaking, traveling and photography. She loves all things music, art and her two Blue Nose Pitbulls, Otis and Gus. 

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ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER
Kaile Kortner
Peter Kelly
RESTAURANT MANAGER

Peter began his Merrill & Houston’s career in 2017 when he was hired as a host. Early on, Peter proved how valuable he was in being able to serve wherever he was needed. Within his first month at the restaurant, he was trained to be a busser, a server and how to work banquet events. 

 

In April of 2021 he was promoted to restaurant supervisor and just a few months later was promoted again to restaurant manager. Peter’s goal is to be as useful as possible, so every event and everyone’s experience is a great and memorable one.

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Maria Salazar
EVENT MANAGER

Beloit native, Maria Salazar was our dining room manager since 2017. She went on to become our event manager in 2021. In 2011, Maria was hired as a breakfast server at the now defunct Café Belwah. In her six years at this property, Maria has held many positions in the restaurant. She began her work with the front-of-house staff as a busser, hostess and breakfast server.

During the transition from Café Belwah to Merrill & Houston’s in 2012, Maria decided to follow in the footsteps of her father, Merrill & Houston’s sous chef Valentin Hernandez, and began to work as a prep cook. She quickly gained the trust of the kitchen staff as she worked her way up to chef and supervisor.

Maria has a passion for Merrill and Houston’s and has always shown great interest in learning more in all areas of the business. She has performed many administrative duties on top of her daily responsibilities. She quickly was able to develop her leadership skills and enhance her knowledge of the service industry.

Maria looks forward to sharing her acquired knowledge in the years to come. “I love what I do and being able to give new hires the opportunity to learn and grow in the restaurant business is something that I look forward to with my position.”

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Amanda Mauerman
BANQUET MANAGER

Amanda serves as the banquet manager for Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint. She joined the team while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. While living in Milwaukee, Amanda worked as a server for a restaurant inside the Potawatomi Casino. 

 

When she moved back to the Beloit area she commuted to school while working as a server at Merrill & Houston’s. After just a couple of months, she began working banquets before being promoted to manager. 

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