About

Our Story

Born and raised in Rochester, Michigan Louis Carlisle Walker was an internationally known industrialist and well-known philanthropist emerging from our very own Muskegon, MI. L.C. Walker co-founded the Shaw-Walker Furniture Company, manufacturing office furniture. In 1902 L.C. Walker took on sole ownership thus resulting in a new direction of the company; the company began expanding its product line to better support its local educational entities and libraries. Providing products such as a new payroll system, office desks and fire-proof file cabinets.  More than a businessman, L.C. brought a key focus to Muskegon’s current economic and civic lifestyles.

L.C. was an active member on the Board of Education while providing avid support towards the Hackley Library and the Hackley Art Gallery. L.C. Walker was a member of several local civic organizations here in Muskegon, including the Greater Muskegon Chamber of Commerce; Muskegon’s Ware Chest campaigns; Walker Park in North Muskegon plus countless private benefactions. And of course, one of L.C. Walker’s many gifts given back his community; Walker donated the funds to build the L.C. Walker Arena. Through these, the community and its citizens have benefited and will continue to benefit from the benevolence of L.C. Walker.

L.C. Walker is one of Muskegon’s most well-known community activists, philanthropists and leaders. It is with his selflessness for others, drive for community growth and unrelentless passion for challenging the status quo that we as a community pay Homage to Louis Carlisle Walker.

“It is high time we awoke to the fact that leisure is an honest-to-goodness product. It is not mere idleness. Leisure forms the punctuation marks of an occupied existence. It is the sauce of life.”

It is with passion for our craft that we challenge the “Gold Standard” striving to build creative locally sourced culinary or “sauce” paired with crafted spirits available to our community. With leisure focus in mind, Walker’s is a place for our locals be at home, it is a place for our visitors to relax and rejoice. Walker’s is meant to be the best in all of us by setting the table for an experience and night to remember. 

We are proud to introduce to you “Walker’s – An American Brasserie” and “The Foundation”.

our Team

Jaime Knudsen

Executive Chef
Parkland Properties

Chef Jaime Knudsen draws his culinary inspiration from his mother, who was a Chef in New York City; food is in his DNA.  He began his culinary journey after he graduated from The Cooking & Hospitality Institute of Chicago; embracing his new career with passion and wide eyes.  Chef Jaime worked his way into one of the bigger restaurant groups of Chicago. Honing his skills, developing menus while standardizing kitchens with the Restaurant Partners and Fifty/50 Group.

Chef Jaime is a Muskegon native and returned to his hometown to make his culinary mark during the revitalization of downtown.  He is known for his culinary skills and his exceptionally high standards.  Chef offers unique flavors, sensational food pairing with fresh local grown ingredients. Jaime brings a fire into our Kitchen’s but more importantly pour culture at Parkland Properties. Jaime is always onto the next thing, pushing the status quo, developing members on his team into once in a lifetime leaders.  His expertise, attention to detail and masterful artistry is a powerful combination that gives us pleasure to announce Chef Jaime Knudsen as the Executive Chef of Parkland Properties.

Jonathan Smalley

General Manager
Walker’s
Jonathan was born locally here in Manistee, Michigan. In his teen years up to his mid-twenties he was fortunate enough to travel and live abroad. It is here where Jonathan earned his passion for culinary as he was exposed to all types of cuisines and service. He moved back to Michigan in 2011 where he attended the culinary institute of Michigan.  Jonathan took the route through his career as a Chef, working for establishments such as Boar’s Belly and The Holiday Inn Spring Lake. Jonathan is our General Manager of Walker’s and plays a large role in our Food and Beverage Operations at The Delta by Marriott. Jonathan loves supporting his community through philanthropy and volunteer work. Jonathan is all-in on Muskegon and is taking the “Watch Us Go” mentality into our new restaurant concepts.

Craig French

Chef de Cuisine Banquets
Parkland Properties
Chef Craig French born and raised in Bridgeport, Michigan. Chef first developed his passion for food and beverage as a result of spending time with his grandmother in the kitchen at home. Craig took that passion to Muskegon attending the Culinary Institute of Michigan earning his degree in Food and Beverage Management. Seeing the potential of a revitalized downtown, Craig decided to stay where he began his career with us at The Lake House Water Front Grille. Craig built his way up from the bottom, working for everything he has today, serving in roles such as Dishwasher, Prep Cook, Line Cook and Leadership. It is Craigs refusal over the past 10+ years to be outworked that has led him to where he is today. We are pleased to announce Craig French as our Executive Chef of Banquets for Parkland Properties. Chef Craig works closely with our Chef de Cuisines at each property as well as his mentor/leader Jaime Knudsen. When Craig is not working, he loves spending time at home with his husband, baking, gardening and crafting.