Las Vegas restaurateur’s businesses hitting the high notes

Bryce Krausman is co-owner of DW Bistro and House Seats.

Opening a restaurant, Bryce Krausman says, was “totally spontaneous.” His friend Dalton Wilson saw the space open one day, and before they knew it, they had a “coming soon” sign up. “Opening a restaurant, even at the time we did, was a terrible idea,” Krausman said, “and as that line in ‘Under The Tuscan Sun’ goes: ‘A terrible idea, don’t you just love those?’ ” Krausman and Wilson’s DW Bistro has become one of the most influential and popular dining spots in Las Vegas, and Krausman also owns House Seats, which offers members complimentary tickets and offers in Nevada and parts of California, Arizona and Texas.

How much of your time and attention get allocated to each of your businesses?

It changes on a daily basis, depending on the needs of my businesses. In any business, you must make time for new ideas, work on any funding you might need to obtain, then act. DW Bistro requires more of my physical time, as you see me working brunch every week, running my door and greeting my guests. And, House Seats is an ongoing joy, whether virtually or motivating the awesome small team I have who run the day-to-day operations.

Describe your management style.

I’m a big fan of personal responsibility. You can develop processes for any business, but you have to have the right people to take responsibility, and it’s my job as a manager to find those people. Then, it’s a daily task to motivate and challenge your teams to be successful.

How do you define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Creative expression and innovation? Influence or something else?

Success is doing what you love, whether it pays or not. Money is a great vehicle that gets you where you want to go, but you also need the freedom to find joy in the work you do. I’m lucky to have businesses that allow instant gratification through happy guests, but they don’t always allow for freedom; it’s always a balance.

What is the best business advice you’ve received?

Ride a horse in the direction it’s going. If you’re good at something, do that. Hire out your weakness and play to your strength.

If you could change one thing about Southern Nevada, what would it be?

I’d like to change how we are physically building the city. I’d like to see more agricultural and agrihood (housing developments centered around farming) development and a bigger emphasis on that. We have farms here in the desert; we need to embrace the possibilities with that and how that development changes the sustainability of our community.

What’s the biggest issue facing Southern Nevada?

Water. It’s always a scary thought, but I’m happy to see that we have great minds and great developers who are working to make our community more sustainable. Public transportation is another one for me. I know change is difficult but it’s a movement we can’t continue to ignore in the valley.

How will growth and development in the coming year affect your business?

We’re excited to see the growth of entertainment here in Las Vegas. With new shows coming online every day, we’re able to offer even more value to our House Seats guests. With tastes continuing to expand in our town, culinary creativity will grow with it. We’re happy to be a part of that as we continue to innovate.

Where is your favorite place to people watch in the valley?

The airport. Having grown up under a flight path each day, I always wondered where people were coming from, and where everyone was going. I’ve always been fascinated with the airport, and it’s about one of the only places that I can sit down in for a long time.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself building on the brands we’ve developed in dining and entertainment. The reality is that people will always need to eat and enjoy dining out; we want more of that.

With House Seats, we’ve been built by entertainment in this city; people will always want to have fun and we’re so happy to be able to provide that.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

Ireland or Seattle. Ireland for the water, and the green, and their appreciation of life. I got a chance to live there for eight months when I was 21 and I have adored that land ever since. Seattle for the food and culture. I’ve always loved the living environment of Seattle. I spent three years there and consider it a second home; it helped further my love of food and cooking.

Who is your role model?

I have three. My mom is always reinventing herself and doing different things. She has the energy and tenacity to get things done. Bob Hope has an amazing, charismatic way of entertaining; I just love that he’s still the longest-running Oscar host. Richard Branson is my business man-crush. I appreciate his ability to create and run multiple successful businesses.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Repeating myself on the same subject. Anyone who’s worked for me knows that. If someone has questions, they should ask, but the core message shouldn’t need to be repeated.

What is something that people might not know about you?

I sang with Barbra Streisand. I sang in a choir that backed up Streisand’s 2000 Millennium Concert at the MGM Grand — it’s what brought be back from Ireland.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Never take advice from someone who’s not where you want to be.

At the end of your life, what would you wish you could have done more of today? What’s stopping you?

I’d like to spend more time with my family out of town, getting everyone away from the daily interruptions. We’re all so busy fulfilling the lives we’ve created and cultivated, but we should spend more time present and together.