Thriving cities depend on the adventurous among us, who alter the urban landscape when they forge their own successful paths.

Each month, we ask an influential San Diegan: What was it like for you in the beginning?

Ken Irvine

Principal at Irvine Hospitality Group, Owner and Executive Chef at Bleu Boheme ,
Live: Coronado
Work: Kensington
How Long: 38 years

What was the moment that propelled you to open Bleu Boheme?

I was inspired because it’s a great neighborhood location within an awesome community.

What struggles did you face when starting your own business? 

Not too much really; you need to understand what the community that you serve needs and wants. I have owned restaurants since I was 29, and have learned that you tend to get out of a project what you put into it. You cannot be successful as an absentee owner…

What was the riskiest business move you ever made? 

I have never been a big risk taker…

If you could change the past, is there anything in your career you’d have done differently? 


Could you ever go back to working a ‘normal’ job for someone else?

I wouldn’t know what a “normal” job is!

 What personality traits must a successful restaurateur possess?

A great sense of humor, sincerity, passion, integrity and the love of throwing a party every night!

 In the beginning, if you could have had a glimpse into where you work is today, what 3 words describe how you might have felt? 

Blessed, fortunate and humbled.