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John Perry Returns to the Student Prince & the Fort Restaurant

SPRINGFIELD — Do you remember John Perry? He was the guy in the vest who welcomed patrons to the Student Prince & the Fort restaurant for more than 20 years. Perry is back as assistant general manager, and he brings some nostalgia to the new management team, co-partnered by owners Andy Yee and Peter Picknelly.

“I’m the bridge between the old and new. I connect Rudi Scherff’s past with Peter and Andy’s future,” Perry said. “People know Rudi, and they remember his father, Rupprecht Scherff. They also know me. I was part of that regime. I am now the liaison between customers who’ve been coming here for 20 years and new customers who are just getting started.”

As assistant general manager, Perry will oversee day-to-day operations and do a little bit of everything, including interacting with customers. He returned briefly for three years from 2014 through 2017, but he left again to pursue other interests. During his leave, Perry said the Student Prince & the Fort stayed on his mind and in his heart, and he wanted to return.

“This restaurant is something I strongly believe in,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be part of something bigger than myself, and this is it. Anywhere I go, I run into people who know me from the Student Prince. I was in the water in South Carolina catching waves when a man looked at me and said ‘the Student Prince.’ I was at the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, and a guy recognized me there. We got into a big conversation about the Student Prince. It happens all the time.”

Yee is happy to have Perry back at the restaurant. “John Perry was an important fixture at the Student Prince for many years, and his name still comes up all the time. We think of John as family, and we’re excited he is joining us as we move into the future with this beautiful, historic restaurant. Welcome home, John.”

Added Perry, “I’ve always tried not to let the Student Prince define me, but it does. Yes, I’m a father, a husband, and a friend to many, but the Student Prince has become that other part of my life. I’m here to witness the birth of the next generation as parents share their Student Prince experience with their children.”

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