Our Story

The Way Back started as a passion project, created by community focused Deverites that wanted to change the way we think about our food systems. We focused on sourcing our ingredients locally, supporting craft industries, and building a community around responsible food. From there we built a dining experience that everyone can enjoy, whether you’re here to celebrate a big day, or you just want to enjoy a tasty meal.

the team


Kade Gianinetti

Graduated from the University of Colorado in 2011 and found his passion for food and beverage soon after working for Justin Cucci. Kade is a partner of Method Roasters, The Way Back, Wendell’s, American Grind, Western Daughters Butcher, and Raw Creative. His goal with this network of businesses is to create a regional food system that supports local communities and pushes the boundaries on what sustainable business can look like.


jared schwartz

Jared worked in restaurants from age 15, which led him to choose Michigan State University to pursue a education in Hospitality Business. After graduating, Jared moved to Fort Collins, CO where he quickly rose in the ranks of a local culinary group before making the move to Denver. Growing up in Akron, Ohio, Jared was fond of a old school drive-in called Swensons, a group of drive-ins that had been around for over 75 years. Throughout Jared’s advancement in his restaurant career he always considered spinning the concept into more of a modern version. It wasn’t long after he met Kade Gianinetti while working at Linger for a brief stint that the two decided to break away and move forward on the dream of a sustainable, locally-sourced, burger joint. From there they jumped into the food truck game, hustling for two years before finding a landing spot in Avanti F&B.


chad Michael George

Chad Michael George is a partner and Beverage Director at The Way Back. He is also the former President and current Treasurer of the Colorado Bartenders Guild and the current President of EatDenver. Born and raised in St. Louis, he moved to Denver in 2012 and has no plans to leave. Chad is a Certified Sommelier and a graduate of the prestigious B.A.R. 5 Day program. When not behind the bar, Chad spends his time training and educating restaurant staffs, both new and existing, hoping to further elevate the level of knowledge and service of the Denver hospitality scene. He also enjoys golfing, snow skiing, SCUBA diving and driving too fast.


jon Lavelle

Jon began his culinary career while also attending the University of Florida. Upon graduation, Jon moved to Denver to attend Johnson & Wales University for culinary school. Jon worked at Duo and Olivea as an extern and quickly fell in love with both restaurants’ take on “farm to table” food and how the restaurants developed and depended on relationships with farmers. He stayed on at Duo for the rest of his time in Denver before moving to New York to where he became part of the team at Maialino. A quick walk from the Union Square Greenmarket with an emphasis on whole animal cookery, Maialino was the perfect place to build on the base of knowledge he brought with him from Denver. Jon quickly rose through the ranks to chef de cuisine, where he helped to deepen relationships with local farms and elevate the traditional Roman Trattoria cuisine. Jon always intended to move back to Denver and after seven years, when the opportunity came to helm the kitchen at The Way Back 2.0, he jumped at it.