By LAURA QUEZADA News Review Staff Writer
Tucked away at 901 N Heritage Drive in Ridgecrest is Decanter Lounge. This beautifully remodeled lounge adds a touch of elegance and soothing comfort for those who love good wine or beer, paired with charcuterie boards and cheese platters.
Owner George Saad was drawn to Ridgecrest two years ago, appreciating the quiet environment. It didn’t take him long to notice that there really wasn’t anywhere for the members of the community who prefer a calm and cozy atmosphere to get together. Now there is, thanks to his many years of world travel and restaurant/bar experience.
His introduction started as a teen. He tells us, “My first job was when I was 16. I worked in a place called Half Shell in Boston.” He began as a dishwasher and moved on up to prepping salads when he was 17. Eventually, he became a master at shucking oysters and clams and became the Oyster Manager. He loved the environment, the camaraderie with co-workers, and the chatting with customers. He shares, “I think my mistake was not pursuing it. I went to study administration.”
He loved and excelled in Administration and eventually spent 17 years with the United Nations with The World Food Programme. This took him all over the world. He lost his Boston accent and developed what can only be called a “worldly accent” since he understands multiple languages. The nature of his work required an indistinguishable accent.
While he worked with The World Food Programme, he also returned to his love of hospitality. He opened several places: Dragon Bar, The Core, and Italian restaurants in different countries of the world.
Fast forward to Ridgecrest, where he found watering holes. He describes, “It’s usually loud music. So a bar usually has sports and TVs.” He goes on, “As you can see, I don’t have all these things. This is a luxury for you to sit. You can get your thoughts together, reply to your emails, do some business, or relax by yourself, and nobody bothers you. So that was my idea of the whole thing. That’s why I put these couches. I made something fancy and elegant for people to sit there, let go and relax.”