|Proprietor, Chairman & CEO
After opening El Gaucho Seattle in 1996, Mackay founded the parent company, Mackay Restaurants, in 2000. Since then, Mackay has been actively involved in every aspect of the company. Under his leadership, Mackay Restaurants launched seven more properties: El Gaucho Portland (2000); El Gaucho Tacoma (2002); the former Waterfront Seafood Grill now known as AQUA by El Gaucho (2000); The Inn at El Gaucho, Seattle’s first urban luxury inn (2005); El Gaucho Bellevue (2008) and the former Troiani Ristorante Italiano (2003) in Seattle and Sea Grill in Tacoma (2005) which closed their doors in 2009. As chairman, Mackay ensures that each of his properties offers guests a unique, unparalleled service encounter—one in which every single detail is considered an essential element to the overall experience.
Mackay has been involved in the restaurant industry for more than 40 years, creating and managing a number of fine dining establishments throughout the Pacific Northwest, including El Gaucho (the original), 13 Coins, Lafitte’s, Elliott’s Oyster House, Metropolitan Grill, and Yarrow Bay Grill & Beach Café. Mackay partnered with Christine Keff in 1995 to create the Flying Fish, which has been recognized nationally as one of the top restaurants in the country by numerous publications.
A member of the National Restaurant Association, Mackay also devotes his attention to philanthropic interests and giving back to the community. He has spearheaded fundraising for a multitude of charities including the Seattle Union Gospel Mission’s women and children’s center “Hope Place,” and singlehandedly raised over $100,000 for Pacific Northwest foundations/non-profits through a series of opening parties for El Gaucho Bellevue. He is also an active member and elder at West Side Presbyterian Church in West Seattle.