The Board of Commissioners of Charles County has named Paul and Lisa Bales, owners of The Crossing at Casey Jones Restaurant in La Plata “Soar Like an Eagle Entrepreneur of the Month” for January 2009.  A proclamation and plaque marking the designation were presented to Paul Bales during the Commissioners’ regular session.

The Crossing at Casey Jones has become a destination and a landmark in Charles County, having been named among the Washington DC region’s top restaurants for a number of years by Washingtonian magazine.  In the 28 years that the eatery has been in business, the Bales have earned a reputation for creative, American cuisine, an innovative menu, and excellent service.  Over the years, their success has allowed them to expand the dining room, add an outdoor seating area, and create the Rail Room for more casual dining.  The Crossing at Casey Jones employs over 50 people; most are full-time.

The Bales have focused on the community as their business has grown over the years.  The restaurant supports agriculture in Southern Maryland by featuring local meat, dairy, and produce.  Culinary education is provided for local youth through a certified apprenticeship program exclusive to The Crossing at Casey Jones, Maryland’s only such program in the culinary arts.  The restaurant staff also works with North Point High School in support of their culinary arts curriculum. Additionally, many non-profit organizations in the county have benefitted from the Bales’s on-going generosity in support of fund-raising activities and programs.

Paul Bales attributes their success to good business practices.  “We have an ethic that emphasizes teamwork and mutual support at every level from dishwasher and bus person to sous chef and executive chef. All for one and one for all! This helps with staff retention creating continuity which has armed us against competition from new establishments.”

Bales also says that they are constantly evaluating their business model to eliminate areas of waste, create opportunities for “green” conservation and increase productivity in order to avoid raising prices to our guests.

Said Charles County Commissioner President Wayne Cooper, “Over the years, Paul and Lisa Bales have dealt with all kinds of economic ups and downs, not to mention a tornado that could have brought business to a halt in La Plata.  But Paul and Lisa have led the charge to bring the best to our community and keep it going.  Their commitment to excellence never wavers.”