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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


Daniel Wheeler

Chef De Cuisine

Daniel Wheeler joined The Stanley as Chef De Cuisine in May of 2021 with a strong passion for local sustainable food systems, as well as an impressive resume filled with extensive experience.

Prior to The Stanley, Wheeler held positions at Fine & Fettle and DotDotDot, both in Charlotte; Highland Avenue Restaurant in Hickory, NC; Wisteria Southern Gastropub in Morganton, NC; as well as McCrady’s Tasting Room and Husk under Sean Brock in Charleston, SC. He has many years of menu development, whole animal butchery, leadership, and adaptability under his belt, but it’s his love for relationships food and the hospitality industry inspires that sets him apart.

Outside of the kitchen, Wheeler can be found spending time with his wife and daughter, as well as planning charity events for organizations including but not limited to: The Foothills Conservancy of NC, The American Heart Association, and March of Dimes. Wheeler can also be found supporting the Piedmont Culinary Guild as an active member.


Ben Sullivan

General Manager

Ben Sullivan was raised in Charlotte and is happy to return to the neighborhood he grew up in.

Graduating Summa Cum Laude from Johnson & Wales University, Ben has over 20 years experience in the restaurant industry. He has worked extensively throughout the Southeast including owning his own award winning restaurant, Vintage 301, and was the Executive Chef at Highland Avenue in Hickory, North Carolina.

Ben currently resides in Hickory where he spends time with his wife and animals. Ben is an active member in his community working with the Hickory Farmer’s Market, the Greater Hickory Christian Cooperative Ministries, and his own community kitchen, The Underground Table, to strengthen his community and the local food chain.