LARKIN LAWSON HAMMOND
Chief Creative Officer
“I am inspired everyday with what I see in the world. The opportunity to learn from others is priceless and my imagination, endless”
Larkin Lawson Hammond is founder and Chief Creative Officer of the Larkin's Brand including Larkin's on the River, Larkin's on the Lake, Larkin's Carolina Grill, Bayfront Bar and Grill, Larkin’s Catering & Events and Grill Marks. She designs, consults and creates a restaurant atmosphere that exudes warm southern charm with unique style and flair.
Born and raised in the south, Larkin worked in her Grandmother’s roadside restaurant, giving her a taste for good food at an early age. She always knew she wanted to work for herself and create exciting ways to earn a living. After college, her first career was building and racing off-shore powerboats. Larkin then moved on to buying neglected homes to remodel and sell. Expanding her horizons, she moved to California and took on a career in real estate. Going all in, as Larkin does, she became the president of the Board of Realtors of South Orange County and one of the top producers in the area.
In 1998 she moved to NC and bought her first restaurant. She took a shabby old bar and turned it into a great place to sit on the lake and enjoy a great burger and margarita. Needing that occasional “big city fix,” she traveled to Greenville, SC and walked into an old, smoky steakhouse. Larkin fell in love with the bones of the place. It was not for sale, but after two years of persuasive discussions, she convinced the owner to retire. That was 2005 and now Larkin’s on the River has the enviable reputation as the best restaurant in Greenville.
In the back of her mind, Larkin still held on to the dream she carried from those days working in her grandmother’s restaurant— to open a hamburger stand. Larkin came up with the concept and design of a sophisticated burger joint that serves the best burgers. Grill Marks, in the heart of Greenville, SC was born. Since then, Grill Marks has expanded, opening a second location in Columbia (2015) and a third location in the Haywood Mall of Greenville (2017).
Larkin is the first one to give back to those in need. She started Rhythm on the River, a weekly concert series, which contributed over $700,000 to local Greenville charities. She makes sure that each local charity is on her radar and she drives a “give-back” culture in the company and her staff forwards this in many ways. “ What is money if you can’t give it away?” says Larkin. “That’s how it brings you happiness.”
Larkin is constantly designing and creating new ideas to make the business grow and keep her team around for the long run.