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Our Team

Paul Verica

Owner / Executive Chef 

Paul Verica is a native of Philadelphia. He received Associate’s degrees in Hotel & Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts from Delaware County Community College and The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College respectively. Paul staged for two Michelin Three Star chefs: Alain Passard of L’Arpege (in Paris) and the late Bernard Louisseau of La Cote D’Or (in Saulieu). Both stages bear heavy influences on Paul’s cooking today.

In 1998 Paul moved with his family to Charlotte in order to open The Duke Mansion, located in the Myers Park neighborhood. Paul then took the helm at Providence Bistro Restaurants’, three locations as Executive Chef, following that, he became Executive Chef & Food & Beverage Director of The Historic Dunhill Hotel, in Uptown Charlotte, before accepting the position of Executive Chef at The Club at Longview, near Waxhaw, NC. Paul left Longview (with the additional title of Director of Food and Beverage) in 2012, and in 2013 opened his first restaurant, Heritage Food & Drink, in Waxhaw. Paul’s close relationships with many local farms and farmers, cultivated during his years at Longview (where he had his own kitchen garden), became a driving force behind his meticulously sourced menus. Heritage garnered many awards under Paul’s ownership, amongst them are:

Best New Restaurant 2014 Creative Loafing Staff Pick
Best Farm to Fork Restaurant 2014 Creative Loafing Staff Pick
Best Restaurant 2016 Charlotte Magazine
Best Chef 2016 Charlotte Magazine
The South’s Best Desserts 2018 Southern Living Magazine
In 2016 Paul was a semi finalist for the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef – Southeast.

The decision to close Heritage Food & Drink in the fall of 2017 was a difficult one, but the restaurant’s small size and distance from many Charlotte neighborhoods necessitated a change. Construction began on The Stanley (housed in a 1937 building in the heart of Charlotte’s Elizabeth neighborhood, formerly known as “Stanleyville”) in early 2018. With custom millwork and original pressed tin ceilings, along with the etched glass featured in the restored storefront, the restaurant’s décor reflects the modern, sophisticated, yet approachable cuisine that is Chef Paul’s signature.

Paul is an avid golfer & a Panthers fan (as long as they aren’t playing his beloved Eagles!). He enjoys eating at colleagues’ restaurants as often as his schedule permits and enjoys collaborating with fellow chefs on fundraisers that benefit charities such as:

The Levine Children’s Hospital
The Piedmont Culinary Guild
The Matthews Farmers Market
Feed The Children
Girls On The Run

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Christopher Brown

Chef De Cuisine

Born and raised in Winston-Salem, NC, Christopher Brown returned to North Carolina in 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, after three years in Washington, DC working with an impressive roster of restaurants.

Prior to The Stanley, Brown held positions at Union Square Hospitality Group (specifically sous chef for the opening of Maialino Mare), Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in the DC area, Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant in the DC area, Good Vibes Hospitality in Winston-Salem, Mission Pizza in Winston-Salem, Mozelle’s Southern Bistro in Winston-Salem, Table 16 in Greensboro, and E2 Emeril’s Eatery in Charlotte.

His day-to-day at The Stanley includes leading back-of-house operations including ordering, scheduling, menu execution, and menu development with Chef Paul.

In his free time, Brown enjoys spending time with his son Kyan Christopher, watching Anime or anything food related, making fresh pasta, and traveling.

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Alison Adkins

Bar Manager/Apothecary

Originally from Huntington, West Virginia, Alison Adkins moved to Charlotte in 2004. Prior to joining The Stanley in 2018, Adkins was the bar manager at Rocksalt in Charlotte for two years, imagining and creating their cocktail offerings.

Ensuring the cocktail program complements the ever-evolving culinary experience at The Stanley, Alison is constantly studying new trends; experimenting how to make them her own, often incorporating local produce and herbs to use in her forward-thinking, seasonal cocktail menus.

Outside of the restaurant, Adkins spends as much time with her dog, Zimmerman, as possible, going on walks, hiking, and taking car rides. She also frequents other great restaurants in Charlotte to support the local hospitality community and check out what all of the ever so talented mixologists around town have to offer.

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Stephen Johnson

General Manager

Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Stephen Johnson initially joined the service staff at Heritage Food & Drink, leaving in 2016 to become General Manager at Rush Espresso Café and Wine Bar in Ballantyne. He came back to the family when The Stanley opened its doors. Stephen values an approachable style to service that is rooted in excellence and a culture that supports both accountability and empowerment for his staff. Stephen encourages his staff to listen carefully to guests and to make thoughtful, informed recommendations, especially when they are those that steer guests a little out of their comfort zones.

He is passionate about wine and loves continuing to learn with the support of his family, and valued friends within the industry. In 2017 Stephen received an Intro Sommelier certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas.

He is an avid UNC-Chapel Hill sports fan.