The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Features Bocktown’s Entrepreneurial Spirit

Scheduled for Mar 5, 2014 in Cheers

Passionate owner of two suburban Pittsburgh restaurants attuned to social media


By Kim Lyons / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

When she opened Bocktown Beer and Grill in 2006, Chris Dilla almost didn’t care if it closed the next day.

“I just wanted this to exist,” she said, sitting in a booth in the North Fayette eatery on a recent afternoon. “I just was so happy that it was finally three dimensional.”

She came to entrepreneurship at age 40. And after years in the food service industry, including serving, hosting, bartending and tossing pizzas, Ms. Dilla had a clear vision of what she wanted her business to be.

“I wanted a place where I could go out with my friends, that wasn’t in the city, where we could get some good craft beers,” she said. “I thought, ‘If I’m looking for this, other people will be, too.’ ”

So she read every book she could get her hands on; went to every class and workshop; learned about things like key metrics and how to write a business plan; and got used to hearing the word “no,” especially from banks.

But she received constant support from her husband, John, who had posed the key question: What’s stopping you?

“As an entrepreneur, you’re going to have an ‘aha’ moment, when you know what you want to do, where there is a need,” Ms. Dilla said. “But it was his kick in the pants that did it for me.”

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