Our Team

We believe Old School Hospitality’s ‘secret sauce’ is its people, beginning with its partners, who each contribute expertise to different aspects of the business. Our restaurants are fortunate to attract the industry's best talent, and we give them the training and professional opportunities to succeed. Respect and support of our employees is evident in everything we do; as a result, we enjoy a degree of staff loyalty and tenure that is rare in this high-turnover business.


Our Partners


James Flanigan, Partner & CEO

James has been in the restaurant industry since he was an early teenager, literally and figuratively working from the ground floor up to his current position as CEO. As a child, he shadowed and observed his father, Paul, build the business. He continued through high school, college, and law school and has worked in almost every position.

James graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in Accounting and from Florida State University College of Law. During college and law school, James worked in the federal trial court in Philadelphia and the state appellate and trial courts in Tallahassee. James practiced law for almost four years in Fort Lauderdale at Tripp Scott, focusing mainly on commercial litigation, bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings.

Serving as CFO and chief legal officer of Old School Hospitality for several years, James was named CEO in 2022 and is currently responsible for managing all of the company’s operations. He lives in downtown Fort Lauderdale and plans to plant his roots in the area even further. His love for the bar and restaurant business, along with his extensive law and accounting background, make him the perfect candidate to not just run the business, but to grow it to new heights.

James is happily married to Anne Flanigan and has one son, Luke.

Paul Flanigan, Partner & Chairman of the Board

The patriarch of the Old School family, Paul purchased Quarterdeck from Flanigan’s Enterprises, Inc. in 1986, and he partnered with Flanigan’s for close to a decade, opening and managing a number of Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill franchise and company units. He opened a second Quarterdeck Seafood Bar & Neighborhood Grill on Fort Lauderdale Beach in 1995 and then he soon partnered with Frank Zaffere to open six additional Quarterdecks in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties from 1997 through 2004. Paul and Frank teamed up to design, create, and open Dive Bar Restaurant in Jupiter, Florida in 2011 and Dania Beach Quarterdeck in 2012, first Whiskey Neat in 2020 and the second in 2023. There are currently plans for a contemporary tiki concept - The Hula Kai, and a beach food & drink container concept - The Shore.

Born in Texas, Paul has been in Florida for most of his life. He attended the University of Florida and then went on to graduate from the University of Notre Dame with a B.B.A. in Accounting, and later graduated from the University of Miami School of law. Prior to entering the restaurant business, Paul also worked as a staff accountant with Price Waterhouse in Tampa and later worked as an attorney with Morgan, Lewis, and Bockius in Miami. Paul is married with five children.

Frank Zaffere, Partner & COO

Frank is a long-time business partner and friend of his fellow Notre Dame alumni, Paul Flanigan. His introduction to the restaurant industry began in 1992 when, within five days of his arrival in South Florida, he was employed as a busboy at the first Quarterdeck. Less than 10 years later, he was named Director of Operations. Under his direction, Quarterdeck doubled units and sales, and established partnership relationships with three major sports franchises in South Florida: the Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers and Florida Marlins. Frank was the impetus behind the adoption of sushi, first as a limited menu item, and then as a staple menu item. Frank’s restaurant experience includes serving as managing partner of all Quarterdeck locations and Good Spirits.

Our Executive Chefs


Jonathan Jimenez, Executive Chef

Jonathan was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved at the age of 16 to Miami. Since he was a kid, he always found himself in the kitchen hungry and curious about how food was prepared. His first job in 1999 was at his aunt’s restaurant – a very busy Mexican restaurant in South Beach “El Rancho Grande”. While attending school, he worked there as a dishwasher and that's where his love and passion for Mexican cuisine began. Jonathan then decided to move to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where he worked in fine dining at Marriott Resort & Spa at Grand Dunes and at Michaels on 79. From there, he moved back to Miami and took a job at Barton G Restaurant in South Beach where he started as a line cook and then got promoted to Sous Chef and then to Executive Sous Chef. After four years, he took an offer as a Executive Sous Chef to work for a well-known area restaurant, “Nikki Beach.”

Jonathan has had the opportunity to travel and open two restaurants, one in Dominican Republic and one in Las Vegas. He has traveled the world, exploring food in the US, Thailand and Mexico. He got the opportunity to open a new Mexican Restaurant call “Lolos Surf Cantina” in South Beach. In 2018, he joined Old School Hospitality team. 

Our Management Team


Sophie Snyder, Director, Whiskey Neat

Sophie began her hospitality career in South Florida, but ‘cut her teeth’ in the Big Apple, New York City for 15 years where she developed a passion for spirits, food and wine. She was recruited back to South Florida to and now serves as Corporate Beverage Director for Old School Hospitality, directing operations and managing strategic collaborative partnerships. She has been a design consultant for the Hula Kai Tiki Bar opening in 2024.

Sophie is also responsible for continued development of the Whiskey Neat at both the Fort Lauderdale and the Plantation locations.

Alyssa Tibbetts, Operations Manager, Quarterdeck Restaurants

Alyssa is veteran of the Florida hospitality industry. Alyssa began as a hostess at the Davie Quarterdeck in 2006. Over the next several years, she progressed through various positions and levels of responsibility, ultimately becoming the General Manager in 2016. In 2017, Alyssa became General Manager of the original Quarterdeck, Project Manager for the new Quarterdeck along with an entirely new concept, Whiskey Neat, which opened in 2019.

In 2021, Alyssa was assigned additional responsibilities including serving as a design consultant for the new Hula Kai Tiki. Early in 2022, Alyssa became Old School Hospitality Operations Manager.

Maddie Kulig, Director of Marketing and Social Media


Daughter of Paul Flanigan and sister of James Flanigan, Maddie grew up watching her family build a budding restaurant business. At the age of 21, Maddie moved to Philadelphia and began her career at URBN, parent company for Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters, Terrain and BHLDN. She started as a technical designer, but transferred to communications and public relations two year later. When the company started an internal website, Maddie was asked if she was interested in the position. For 5 1/2 years, Maddie handled all internal and corporate communications for URBN, one of the largest fashion brands in the world, and was their resident photographer, in-house graphic designer and blogger.

In 2023, Maddie joined the Old School team as Social Media and Marketing Manager. She is responsible for creating and collaborating with marketing and sales professions to develop successful media campaigns across all print and digital platforms. Her duties include developing, communicating, and overseeing all aspects of media relations for Quarterdeck and Whiskey Neat.