Mr Michael “Buzzy” O’Keeffe

Owner, The Water Club Restaurant

Michael (Buzzy) O’Keeffe was born and raised in New York City. After graduating college and serving in the United States Army, he built a restaurant which would combine three of his avocations: building, food and being by the water. After twelve years of negotiations with the City of New York, he was given approval to create the City’s first waterfront restaurant. The River Café, located on the Brooklyn side of the East River by the Brooklyn Bridge, opened in June 1977 and was an immediate success. The restaurant received the Parks Council Award in 1978, The Municipal Arts Society Award in 1979, and was selected by Gault Millau, the French culinary guide as one of the five best restaurants in New York, in 1982. In 2006 the River Café was awarded with the prestigious ‘Ivy Award of Distinction’ from Restaurants & Institutions magazine. Mr. O’Keeffe is an active member of the Futures in Education Foundation. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Fire Safety Foundation, the Harbor Foundation of New York and New Jersey and Fordham Preparatory School, and is a member of the Cardinal’s Committee of The Laity and a Director of the New York State Restaurant Association.