MILWAUKEE – The Bartolotta Restaurants, the premier restaurant and catering group serving the Greater Milwaukee region, has appointed three exceptional leaders to new roles in its restaurant operations. Denise Ploof has been named General Manager of Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro; Bahtiyar Dursun has been named General Manager of Bacchus – A Bartolotta Restaurant; and John Halvorson has been named Restaurant Operations Tournant Manager for The Bartolotta Restaurants.

“Throughout our history, we have sought to identify and recruit leaders with not just experience but a passion for exceptional guest service and a desire to develop and mentor emerging talent within our restaurants,” explains The Bartolotta Restaurants Co-Founder, Chef and Owner Paul Bartolotta. “Denise, Bahtiyar, and John check all of the boxes.

“The Bartolotta Restaurants prides itself on recruiting and elevating exceptional talent and individuals with proven experience and a passion for hospitality. We are confident that Denise, Bahtiyar, and John will bring the same steady leadership that they’ve demonstrated throughout their careers.”

Ms. Ploof first joined The Bartolotta Restaurants in May 2015 as a General Manager and brings more than 20 years of leadership and managerial experience to the organization, having most recently served as General Manager of Taverne on Woodlake at the five-star Destination Kohler in the Sheboygan County village of Kohler. She has also served as General Manager for White Lodging’s Stella Van Buren restaurant in Milwaukee.

Mr. Dursun is new to The Bartolotta Restaurants family but has worked in the hospitality and food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. He most recently served as General Manager of SMASHotels-owned Viper Alley in suburban Chicago; Food and Beverage Manager at the acclaimed Deer Path Inn in Lake Forest; and has held leadership roles with the Four Seasons and Hilton Hotels in Chicago’s North Shore region.

Both Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro and Bacchus – A Bartolotta Restaurant are recognized as some of Milwaukee’s most celebrated venues; both have received four stars from the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal and are annual recipients of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence.

Mr. Halvorson’s appointment to Restaurant Operations Tournant Manager is the latest achievement in a 27-year career serving in various leadership roles – including restaurant, special events, and catering – within The Bartolotta Restaurants. He has held Manager and General Manager positions with Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993, Mr. B’s – A Bartolotta Steakhouse, and Bacchus – A Bartolotta Restaurant and served as Assistant General Manager and Operations Manager for Bartolotta’s catering and events space The Grain Exchange. In his new role, he will support operations in various capacities, including a focus on elevating the steps of service and choreography to deliver on the promise of Bartolotta's hospitality.

More information about The Bartolotta Restaurants portfolio and its menus can be found at


About The Bartolotta Restaurants

The Bartolotta Restaurants is a nationally recognized restaurant and catering organization co-founded by four-time nominated and two-time James Beard Award-winning Chef Paul Bartolotta and his late brother, Joe Bartolotta. Since the opening of its flagship restaurant, Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993, The Bartolotta Restaurants group has grown to become the premier culinary brand in the Greater Milwaukee region, offering first-class service and cuisine across a portfolio of 17 one-of-a-kind restaurants and catering facilities, including fine dining, upscale casual, upscale food hall, and quick-casual concepts. More information can be found at