William Ames “Bill” Hall Folly Beach – A successful entrepreneur who breathed life into mountain-sized ideas. A visionary leader who until recently had a flip phone. And a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. All of this and more describes William Ames “Bill” Hall, Founder of Hall Management Group and its signature Halls Chophouse restaurants located throughout South Carolina. But the east coast is not where this hospitality legend got his start. Born November 2, 1946 in Seattle, Washington and raised in Sausalito, California, Bill Hall began his hospitality career on the west coast, as a teenager working in both a restaurant and in the family grocery store. His resilience training came early. Bill’s father fired him after Bill terminated the butcher who had been there for 25 years. But if you know Bill, that tough call was likely the right move. Bill’s determination was only matched by his deep love for his family and his affection for serving people well. From Napa Valley to Vail, from Pebble Beach to Palmetto Dunes, Bill Hall ran some of the most luxurious resorts in the United States. Along the way, he always invested his time and money in the community, frequently going above and beyond the call for help. If we tried to list all of the charities blessed by Bill Hall and his family, we’d likely fill the page and more. He served on some of South Carolina’s most prestigious boards including the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition and Patriots Point Development Authority where Governor Henry McMaster recently appointed Bill as Chairman. But he never sought the limelight. He put others above self and that graceful humility cultivated relationships beyond count. In 2008, Bill, his wife, Jeanne, and sons, Tommy and Billy, founded Hall Management Group in Charleston and opened their first steakhouse. In 2009, they cut the ribbon on the iconic Halls Chophouse Charleston. Opening night, Bill borrowed $100.00 from his longtime friend, Judge Sol Blatt, to have money in the cash register. They ended the evening making $58.00. But many of you know “the rest of the story.” Halls Chophouse Charleston, known for its food, welcoming atmosphere and attention to service detail, has won countless awards for dining excellence including a 2018 declaration from Trip Advisor as being one of the Top 10 Dining Destinations in the United States. And just last week, Trip Advisor listed Halls Chophouse Charleston as the third best fine dining restaurant in the United States. Bill was thrilled to learn of this news and proud of the phenomenal Halls Chophouse Charleston team and our guests who make these prestigious rankings possible. Halls Chophouse Charleston is one of 8 venues under the Hall Management Group umbrella. The other venues include Slightly North of Broad, Rita’s Seaside Grille, High Cotton, Halls Signature Events at 5 Faber, Halls Chophouse Greenville, Halls Chophouse Columbia, and Halls Chophouse Nexton. All of the restaurants and staff are known for serving everyone in a generous, hospitable way, regardless of fame or fortune. Family members are grateful for the outpouring of expressions of love and support throughout the community, the state and everywhere online. We received 600 condolences texts in one day. The theme of Bill making everyone feel welcome and “like family” was the essence of this gentleman and community giant. At the same time, Bill transcended the realms of old school business practices and being willing to “let’s try something new.” A delicious combination like salted caramel cake with bananas foster. Bill Hall never sacrificed quality for quantity and he never passed and opportunity to invest in future leaders. From speaking at local colleges to his support in the next generation of culinary talent by sponsoring 8 high school students through the apprenticeship program at Trident Technical College, Bill knew our future leaders needed mentoring and support. He also knew his current restaurant family was key to his success. In 2020, when COVID-19 hit and businesses in South Carolina were ordered to shut down, Bill’s first thought was of his employees. While the country waited for Congress to pass the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Bill vowed to keep every single employee on payroll, funding their pay, benefits and 401(k) out of his own pocket. All tips collected from curbside to-go orders were equally distributed to employees as an added bonus to their paychecks. Bill Hall was a pillar of strength. And the Hall family’s commitment to their employees, guests and each other is steadfast and strong. We could go on for days about what Bill Hall has created, cultivated, loved and supported, but that’s not what our Bill would want. Instead, we believe he would challenge us to be generous with kindness and gratitude, to be courageous with possibilities and opportunities, and above all to enjoy a glass of wine with a juicy, delicious steak. Bill is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jeanne Lamond Hall and the loving Lamond family, son, Billy Hall, daughter, Stacey Gibson, son, Tommy Hall (Catherine) and grandsons, Redford Gibson, Ryland Hall and a Hall granddaughter on the way. Cousin, Barbara Bradeson and her husband Brian of Huntington Beach, California have meant so much to us over the years. A celebration of life will be held in the future when we can all be together safely. In lieu of flowers, please join us in supporting two charities near and dear to Bill’s heart: MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children Hospital , MUSC Children’s Hospital Fund, 59 Bee Street, MSC Code: 201, Charleston, SC 29425 and The Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College, Bill Hall Culinary Entrepreneurship Endowed Scholarship, TTC Foundation , PO Box 61227, Charleston, SC, 29419-1227. A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at www.jhenrystuhr.com. Visit our guestbook at www.legacy.com/obituaries/ charleston
Published in Charleston Post & Courier from Aug. 22 to Aug. 23, 2020.