Special Profile Series: Nick Peluso
AR: Where is home for you? We know that it is not Atlanta, where you now have your home.
Peluso: That’s right. I am a native of northern California. I spent the first 35 years of my life living in the Bay Area…Oakland, Danville, and a lot of time spent up in Lake Tahoe as well.
AR: Were you an only child?
Peluso: No. I am the middle child, with a sister who is a year older and still lives in the Bay Area. I also have a brother who is also living in the same area, and he is a year younger.
AR: So you are the only one who moved away.
Peluso: You’re right…I don’t know if it was an original plan or not. It turned out good, but getting here was interesting. (laughter)
AR: Tell us a little about your home life…the kind of work your parents did.
Peluso: When I was very young, my Mom didn’t work. She was a homemaker, and my Dad was in the family restaurant business.
AR: What type of restaurant?
Peluso: You name it. We had all different kinds. We had Italian restaurants, Continental, seafood…there were about 16 different restaurants at different times throughout the family.
AR: Were all of these your father’s restaurants? Or, was this an extended family business?
Peluso: It was the entire family. My whole family…my aunts, uncles, and others…were all in the restaurant business. They were really entrepreneurs, the first business they started was a service station business up in Angel’s Camp, California. From there, I guess they thought it was easier serving drinks and making meals instead of working on cars!
But the entire family was more into the restaurant business. We had family restaurants up in Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, and the Bay Area.
AR: Did you also work in the restaurants as a child?
Peluso: I started working in one of the restaurants, on a full-time basis, when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I worked 40 hours per week even then…it was like it was in my blood.
AR: That was a lot of hours for a child.
Peluso: (laughter) That’s true, but the statement made to me was, “Don’t ever consider yourself full-time until you work all seven days!” (laughter) As I grew up in the business, my “day off” was eventually Monday afternoons. That was my weekend off!
AR: What type of work did you do?
Peluso: I did just about everything you can do in a restaurant…busboy, waiter, bartender, cook….
AR: Certainly you had a little time off from the restaurants to do some fun stuff. What did you like to do for fun?
Peluso: I typically entertained myself by getting into trouble! (laughter) I played a lot of sports…rode motorcycles at an early age. I had a typical childhood. I went to a lot of sporting events living in the Bay Area, and I was also fortunate enough to have relatives in Lake Tahoe so I spent a lot of time up there.
As far as sports go, I played whatever was in season…baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf…I played them all as a young kid. I got bored with some of them, but I enjoyed them all.