Dennis, MA 02638
How it all began...
The Scargo Cafe originally opened in Late February of 1987 by two brothers, David and Peter Troutman. Starting slowly, the two founding partners worked side by side as dishwashers, cooks, waiters and janitors during the early years. Since that time the restaurant has thrived and built a reputation for friendly service and great food. Scargo cafe has grown today to employ over 50 year round employees and another 20 during peak season. It may be helpful to know something about Peter and David Troutman, and how they got started in the business of Hospitality and Foodservice.
Peter and David have worked together almost all of their professional lives. They started their careers in the restaurant industry during their teens right here on Cape Cod. David’s first job was at McDonald’s – that’s right, the familiar fast food burger joint – where he learned the basics of running a highly profitable and fast-paced foodservice operation firsthand. Enthusiasm and determination after four months of work, had him supervising staff members three times his age as he became a shift manager at the tender age of 15. Peter began his foodservice career that same year at the age of 16. He worked at a popular hotel and restaurant in downtown Hyannis. He became familiar with the hotel business subsequently working as a busperson, server, cook, housekeeper and desk clerk.
A few years later Peter and David worked together for the first time at Mildred’s Chowder House, an extremely busy, seafood restaurant. They each met their wives while working along side them at Mildred’s for over six years as bussers and servers. While continuing their college educations and starting their families they both began work as servers, bartenders, and subsequently managers at Dorsie’s Steak House in neighboring West Yarmouth. Dorsie’s was a very popular, year round, high profile entertainment and dining spot featuring local performers and providing services to tour operators. Peter and David each became instrumental in the daily operations of the facility during a year and a half that the proprietor was absent.
Peter and David went on to start the Scargo Cafe in February of 1987 with the assistance of their wives, modest savings, good friends and a very high risk mortgage from their father and his wife. They set out to create a pleasant work environment where they could make a decent living. Their desire was to create a place to work that was fun as well as profitable. Restaurateurs have a reputation for being unusually passionate and high strung – they had each experienced enough turmoil and hostility in the workplace to know exactly the kind of restaurant they didn’t want to create as well as the type that they did. They continually strive to create and maintain that atmosphere at the Scargo Cafe. The restaurant has seen steady growth over the years and they derive deep satisfaction as well as a living from this popular growing year round Cape restaurant.
Before starting the Scargo Cafe, David received a degree from Cape Cod Community College, and subsequently attended Suffolk University, and University of Massachusetts. He is married to Pamela Troutman and has a daughter named Kate.
Outside of foodservice, Peter was with a media consulting and publishing firm that specialized in direct mail on the South Shore. He studied home renovation while supporting his two young children, Jennifer and Jonathan who currently work summers at the restaurant. His wife Martha as well as David’s wife Pam have assisted in various positions over the years and they provide a constant source of support and inspiration.
The Scargo Cafe has developed an innovative reputation. It has pioneered and prospered during the early marketing use of two for one dining coupons in the Cape Cod area. It was the first Cape Cod table service restaurant to become smoke-free in 1995 and in subsequent years was the only major year round restaurant with a smoke-free bar and lounge. It has been a leader in introducing new and eclectic cuisine to the general dining public by offering a broad mix of innovative menu items. From Cajun to Asian, New England to Italian, the Scargo mix tends to be bold and unique.
The Scargo Cafe is a member of the Dennis Chamber of Commerce, The Massachusetts Restaurant Association, and The National Restaurant Association. They remain dedicated to their local community by donating in excess of $10,000 dollars in cash and gifts annually to groups and organizations that directly benefit the Children of the Dennis / Yarmouth Area.
Last updated: April 25, 2008