01 Mar 2003
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Dick Franyo: From Banker to Barkeeper

Another in a series of occasional articles on HBS graduates who haveembarked on second careers
by Deborah Blagg

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With thirty years in the investment banking business under his belt, Richard L. Franyo (MBA ’72), then managing director of investment banking for Deutsche Bank, was ready for a change. But after a heady career that included playing a key role in building Alex. Brown & Son’s technology division and guiding the IPOs of giants such as America Online, Novell, Microsoft, Sun, and Oracle, Franyo, an avid sailor and fly-fisherman, knew he had to do something more than “just go home and organize my tackle box.”

“I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something I didn’t know anything about, but something that fit my personality and lifestyle,” explains the affable Franyo, who is now the proud proprietor of the Boatyard Bar & Grill, located in the Eastport section of Annapolis, Maryland.

Prior to retiring in March 2002, Franyo had acquired a down-and-out pub near his home. The old structure was leveled and in its place rose what his wife, Susan, refers to as the couple’s “dream bar.”

“Susan and I traveled from the Caribbean to New England, taking detailed pictures of the interiors of bars frequented by sailing people,” he notes. “We envisioned lots of beautiful woodwork, natural light, and pegs on the walls to hang foul weather gear.” Perhaps most of all, the Franyos wanted the Boatyard to fit in with the relaxed nature of the Eastport maritime community, to be a place where “the guy who owns a Hinckley can swap yarns with the guy who scrapes the barnacles off his hull.”

“And we wanted it to be casual and kid-friendly,” adds Franyo, the father of a one-year-old as well as a son and daughter who are now in their twenties.

The menu at the Boatyard (www.boatyardbarandgrill.com) is eclectic, with generous drinks sharing the bill with moderately priced Chesapeake Bay and Caribbean-inspired appetizers and entrées. Franyo meets daily with the Boatyard’s chef and general manager, Tammy Reece, to go over the menu and discuss management issues, then puts in his time “picking up cigarette butts and bottle caps” before the bar opens for lunch. He spends hours planning promotional and charitable events, which often are tied to the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay. (One percent of the bar’s revenues are donated to The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other conservancy causes.)

“At the Boatyard, what we’re really selling is a lifestyle,” says Franyo. “And it’s a lifestyle I’ve always wanted to follow.”

— Deborah Blagg

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Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1972, Section D

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