4411 main street philadelphia 215 483 9400
Derek Davis, Executive Chef & Proprietor

Derek Davis, Philadelphia born and bred has made his celebrity and success in a field of creativity, individuality and business acumen - a necessary combination, which not many have - accounting for the many casualties in the restaurant business.

Derek Davis grew up in Northeast Philadelphia and prepared his first meal when he was nine years old - broiled hot dogs seasoned with garlic and Accent. He then set out to make his breakfasts interesting by creating exotic omelets. And when Derek asked his grandmother to teach him her recipe for chopped liver, his family realized that there was something different about him. They were right.

At age twelve Derek got his first job in the business - cutting hoagie rolls on Saturdays at Hoagie City at 13th and Market Streets. After high school he was accepted into the culinary program at Bucks County Community College, graduating in 1983 on his twenty-first birthday, making him the youngest certified chef ever. After accruing over 7,000 hours in local restaurants as part of his degree, Derek became sous chef at DiLullo's in Fox Chase and chef de cuisine at Apropos. Wanting to learn from the best in the country, Derek created his own journeyman's apprenticeship and traveled the country working for the stars - the Rattlesnake Club in Denver, Routh Street Café in Dallas, Le Bernardin and Le Cirque in New York, and Jean Louis at the Watergate in Washington, D.C. Returning home to Philadelphia, Derek worked as executive chef and partner at 1701 Café at the Warwick Hotel. And then a friend suggested he start his own place in Manayunk.

Derek is the president and founder of several restaurants managed by Main Street Restaurants Management, Corp. consisting of Sonoma, 1992; Kansas City Prime, 1993; Arroyo Grille, 1996; and Fish on Main, July 1999; Carmella's, 2003 formerly Arroyo Grille. Each had its own special brand of uniqueness!

Derek is a chef who saw the potential for innovation in the rejuvenation of Manayunk when he envisioned the birth of his California/Italian creation - Sonoma in 1992. He was fortunate to associate himself with two individuals who shared his visions and he has expanded his variety of cuisine's and has created an independent bakery that prepares all breads and desserts for all of the restaurants and other businesses as well.

Derek was able to accomplish this by recruiting people with a passion for the food business and mentoring all of the people in his employ, sharing his knowledge and experience with his managers, taking the time to instruct and lead all of his employees by example, thus creating an extremely effective family team that began at Sonoma and were then transferred to opening each of the new restaurants, in each case rising to executive positions.

The main theme to Derek's success is his ability to maintain a family atmosphere, or a small business atmosphere, even as his company has grown. He is able to accomplish this with his innovative approach to managing success. For example, on any given night, one is able to spot Derek at any of the restaurants. He is constantly moving back and forth between them to meet with the employees, chat with the customers, and generally just be on hand to deal with any situation that may arise. He calls this "Management by walking around".

Derek plays an active role in supporting our community. He participates in all the festivals that are key to the success of Manayunk as a whole, employing large numbers of the community, purchasing goods from locals when possible. He also makes countless contributions to local charities, participating in S.O.S., Philabundance, Thanksgiving Day Food Project, FitzSimons Junior High School Restaurant Project, and the North Light Community Center.

In a larger sense, Derek is involved in employment opportunities for people with special needs. He is involved with Interact, which is a local group that helps "special" people with learning disabilities find housing and employment. We have one woman working for us through Interact who has been employed by us for 23 years!

Derek's work is receiving accolades from customers, press, and the culinary community. He was chosen to participate in Madeleine Kamman's School for American Chefs, was named the Best Restaurant Entrepreneur by Philadelphia Magazine, and Kansas City Prime was named the hottest spot in Philadelphia. Philadelphia Magazine elected Sonoma as the best place to go on a first date. Restaurant and Institutions named him one of the top concept creators in America.
Derek's is Non-SmokingDerek's Drizzle
rollover to open
SUNDAY FUNDAY brunch with bloody mary's and mimosas for $3.00, the entire wine list is half price all day!

MONDAY MARGARITA & MOJITO MADNESS margaritas and mojitos are just $5; $7 perfect burgers & fries.

INFUSION CONFUSION TUESDAY candy cocktails are all just $5, enjoy them up or on the rocks; $7 "duroc" baby back ribs and shoestring fries.

WHITE GRAPE WEDNESDAY ciroc white grape martinis are $6;
$6 crab and shrimp spring rolls

MARTINI THURSDAY cosmos, appletinis, pomegranate martinis, blue raspberry martinis and mangotinis are $5; $6 traditional pizzas.

FULL MOON FRIDAY $5 blue moon bottles $3 coors light bottles all day, $5 bacardi mojitos from 11pm to 1am at the vodka bar

SATURDAY 1/2 PRICE WINE same deal as sunday special until 3 p.m.




Join the mailing list
Keep up to date on what’s going on at Derek’s,
from wine tasting, to specials, events and promotions

Derek's respects your privacy, and we won't share your email address with anyone. We'll only send you occasional email announcements about specials, events and other happenings related to the restaurant or things we're involved with. At anytime, you may unsubscribe from our email list.