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Structure of ownership changes at the Glen Ellen Star

Married employees buy into the brand
Structure of ownership changes at the Glen Ellen Star
Ashley and Spencer Waite are minority owners of the Glen Ellen Star.Source: Spencer Waite

By Paul Goguen

Glen Ellen restaurateur and chef Ari Weiswasser has sold a minority stake in the award-winning Glen Ellen Star to restaurant employees and husband and wife, Spencer and Ashley Waite. Spencer has been general manager at the Star for the last three years and will remain in that role. Ashley will continue to handle private events and marketing duties, as well as acting as general manager on the days Spencer is off.

Spencer and I chatted inside one of the white tents in front of the restaurant, where he told me no changes are planned operationally or menu-wise.

“We have a minority stake in the restaurant,” he explained. “I’m here five days a week [as general manager]. My wife, Ashley, does all of our event bookings, marketing, and social media.”

Before joining the Star, the Waites lived on the East Coast, in the Boston area, and managed restaurants. “We really love it out here, and we’re certainly not going anywhere,” Spencer said. “We’re certainly not looking to change anything, just more of a move for us internally.”

We ended with Spencer giving a shout-out to the locals. “The winter is here and going away quickly, but you know we’d love to see all the locals come out during this time, rather than getting inundated with all the tourists during the summer. It’s a great time for those who live locally to come out.”

The Glen Ellen Star is located at 13648 Arnold Dr. in Glen Ellen. For information visit or call (707) 343-1384.