Meet the Team

Patrick Whalen Owner – Operator

Patrick is a career hospitality professional. With a somewhat modest start as a busboy in a small neighborhood joint in his teens, Patrick has strategically moved up each step of the ladder over the last 15 years. By utilizing his expertise in brand management, sales, operations, and service, Patrick has established himself as one of the top people in his field.

Both 5Church and Nan and Byron’s were the result of a collaborative partnership between Patrick and his partners. Award winning service, great top and bottom line numbers, and consistent long term growth are the backbone of Patrick’s management style and strategy.

In 2013, Patrick was selected as one of the cities Top 40 under 40 by The Charlotte Business Journal. At the age of 32, he was the second youngest honoree chosen.

“Fundamentally my job is to take care of people, staff and customers alike. Whatever successes our businesses have been able to enjoy are a direct result of being populated by great people.”

Ayman Kamel Owner- Operator

Ayman Kamel is a Principal with MAP Management Hospitality Group having moved to Charlotte, NC to grow the successful New American Cuisine, 5Church and Nan and Byron’s restaurants into a national brand. Prior to joining MAP, Ayman was the Executive of the international entertainment group Big Bowl LLC, a firm focused on growth strategies, business improvement and systems optimization within the hospitality and retail industries. Ayman previously served as an Area Director Of Operations for the Cheesecake Factory. He was instrumental in positioning the North East Region to head all regions within The Cheesecake Factory, leading all strategic development for expansion and profits. Ayman is active as an advisory and/or Board role to several hospitality companies.

Alejandro Torio Owner – Marketing Director

Since moving to Charlotte, NC from New York City in January of 2010, Alejandro Torio has worked diligently to provide Charlotte's social scene with fresh entertainment concepts. From the late 1990s onward, Torio co-produced numerous events featuring nationally-recognized talent such as the Beastie Boys, DJ Mark Ronson and Moby. And, for years, he hosted weekly events at New York City hotspots including Lotus, Bed, Centro-Fly and Marquee. During his time in NYC, he was named “Best Promoter-NYC” by Paper Magazine and his “NYC Saturdays” were named “Best Party” by New York Magazine.

Torio may be the ultimate tastemaker in Charlotte. Utilizing an impressive database of contacts, he is able to market a brand in a way that guarantees attention. Combined with his past experiences as a NYC promoter, he is able to seamlessly transfer his skills to brand management. 5Church has already received more press from every reputable news source in Charlotte, the region, and the nation than most restaurants obtain during their entire existence. From the local Charlotte Observer to press giants including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune, 5Church continues to receive attention and accolades.

Torio has become a master of brand roll outs- partnering television, newspapers, radio, social media, and good old fashioned grassroots campaigns. Moving forward, he will continue his brand development with the same strategies used by 5Church and its sister restaurant, Nan and Byron's.

“Dining out should be an event experience,” says Torio. "For locals, 5Church is the place where Uptown meets Plaza Midwood and Myers Park. The restaurant boasts an environment where diners can enjoy the combined elements of sophisticated décor, unique food, and a hip staff all in one place.”  

Mills Howell Owner – Interior Designer

Aesthetically pleasing and high quality craftsmanship speaks for itself, which is why Reaching Quiet has become a leading design and build firm in Charlotte, NC. Mills Howell, in partnership with Reaching Quiet co-principal Eric Boyd, has developed a stunning interior design portfolio with their team of crafstmen, artists, and architects. Mills cutting edge commercial works can be experienced at Gallery Twenty-Two, Vida Cantina, Kazba, and other Charlotte area establishments. His upscale and stylish residential designs can be found throughout the metropolitan region, including The Trust in Uptown.

Mill remarks, "Patrick and Alejandro share my vision for creativity and customer service. I am excited to team up with professionals I trust and respect. They bring energy, enthusiasm, and a tremendous amount of experience to our project. We make a great team."

Kyle Rhodes Executive Chef

Chef Kyle submerged himself in the culinary scene over 13 years ago and began taking notes from multiple respected chefs, who he was fortunate enough to have at his disposal. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Rhodes started working in restaurants at the age of 17. His first kitchen experience was at Andria’s Country Side, where he worked with Executive Chef Antoine Moussalli, Chef/Owner of 1818 Chophouse Adam Washburn, and Sous Chef at Domaine Chandon Andre Moussalli, who are all graduates of the prestigious New England Culinary Institute.

Rhodes truly appreciates the time and effort each of these now established chefs devoted to him while he aspired to become a chef himself. His first place of work was where he established a knowledge of industry standards, a clear sense of attention to detail, and various culinary techniques. He later ventured on to work and learn in many of the best restaurants in St. Louis including Niche, Café E.A.U. in the affluent Central West End neighborhood and Araka in Clayton, MO.

While working full time as a chef, Rhodes was earning his bachelor's in business administration with a specialization in management from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Upon graduating, he moved to Charlotte to attend Johnson & Wales University and further his education in culinary arts. While attending JWU, Rhodes worked at Barrington’s for over three years. He has now lived in Charlotte for the past six years and has spent the last two as chef de cuisine at 5Church restaurant honing, creating, and reinforcing solid flavors and techniques under Chef Jamie Lynch. Rhodes has recently been honored with the executive chef position at Nan and Byron’s in historic South End Charlotte.