A premier dining destination on the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa, River, celebrated its seventh year of serving the community this past week while naming a familiar face as new managing partner.

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Lauren Jones, apart of River's opening team in 2016, has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry and was excited for the new prospect.

"I am thrilled about this opportunity," Jones said. "The owners have been incredibly supportive, and I am grateful for their confidence in me. I look forward to continuing our success and further establishing River as the epitome of Tuscaloosa's finest dining experience."

She's and Alabama grad and served the restaurant as Front of the House manager and general manager prior to her newest promotion.

Her bosses couldn't be more proud.

"Lauren's dedication, hard work, and loyalty have earned her the opportunity to become a partner," River's co-founder Tim Harrison said. "Her exceptional ability to handle customer demands, her attention to detail, and her commitment to excellence make her the ideal choice. Having an owner present in the restaurant at all times will enhance our service and ensure the continued success of River."

Fellow co-founder David Hudson added, "We have complete confidence in Lauren's ability to lead and maintain the high standards we have set. Her exceptional leadership skills have earned her the respect and admiration of the entire team. Lauren successfully navigated us through the challenges posed by COVID-19 and has assembled a staff comprising both experienced associates and talented newcomers."

Jones was born and raised in Northport and continues to serve her community outside of the restaurant as apart of the Tuscaloosa Merchant Alliance, the Tuscaloosa chapter of the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association, and the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.

But, ultimately, she cherishes her time at River.

"At River, our strong crew is the backbone of our success," she said. "We have cultivated an employee culture that values collaboration, teamwork, and mutual support. Our accomplishments are a testament to their unwavering commitment and passion."

River is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday starting at 5 p.m., as well as for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Walk-ins are welcome and formal attire is not required.

"We strive to create an approachable and inclusive dining experience," Jones said. "Our goal is for guests to feel at ease and enjoy exceptional cuisine without any unnecessary barriers. We welcome everyone, whether they have a reservation or simply walk in."

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