After years in restaurant business, former Toad’s owner hands over keys

Many may not know the man behind the Toad of Toad’s Bar and Grill, but former owner Dan Layton was not always who he is now. Once, he was nothing more than a worker at Burger King. Only through hard work did he grow up through the ranks and become the former owner of Toad’s Bar and Grill.

Starting in 1980, Dan worked at Burger King. Slowly he climbed up from working behind the grill, to the assistant manager. Days went on and on, and he kept working.

Then around the winter of 1991, Dan and his boss had an idea. After a lot of planning, they put their plan into action, allowing Toad’s Bar and Grill to be born.

On June 7, 1991, Toad’s opened for business. The name comes from the original owner, Don Tode,and his old nickname was toad.

In November of 1998, only seven years after the restaurant opened, Toad passed away, leaving the restaurant in Layton’s care. Layton was already the majority owner after this event, and with his partner, Ivan Wieland, he continued on Toads’ legacy.

Layton worked at this restaurant for about seven years before coming to own it, and in 2016, his ownership of Toad’s ended. For 25 1/2 years, Layton owned/worked at Toad’s; however, eight years prior to his restaurant retirement, he had a horrible accident in a motorcycle race, breaking his legs. While he has recovered, his declining health forced him to sell Toad’s.

Now in his post-restaurant life, Layton enjoys a nice retirement, but not without work. He works at Caribbean Tan and Spa part-time.

On top of this, he plans to help the new owner of Toad’s with doing payroll. Due to his declining health, Layton had little choice but to sell Toad’s. “You need passion to run a business, after my accident, which involved 14 surgeries, my gas tank was empty. After 36 1/2 years in the restaurant business, it was time for me to get out. Great customers, great workers and great memories.”

With the restaurant business behind him, Layton looks back with a smile at the memories, and moves forward to the future.

The past makes the present, and the present makes the future. This is a belief worldwide, and Layton is no exception. With 36 1/2 years in the restaurant business as his past, his present is a nice life of retirement.

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