Client/Customer Testimonials

Mamma Mia Trattoria/Mother's Bistro & Bar

I worked with Dave Marlin for the sale of my Italian restaurant, Mama Mia Trattoria, four years ago. Through protracted and sometimes strained negotiations, the Marlin Group provided reliable, sound and steady guidance from start to finish. Dave continually offered a calm counterpoint to often frustrating situations and was able to see us through to the final sale. They are true pros at what they do and they made a difficult process bearable. I so thankful I chose the Marlin Group and would do it again if I ever sell my other restaurant!

The Peddler and Pen Tavern

After speaking with several Portland area commercial agents I was left underwhelmed and stressed. Not one of them was really listening to my needs. I contacted The Marlin Group because I saw how many second generation restaurant listings they had. After one conversation over the phone Catherine sent me the listing we ended up purchasing. She was communicative, available, professional and extremely knowledgeable. She made this deal happen as smoothly as possible, despite the majority of it happening while we were in another state. My interactions with David were equally great, too! We will definitely be using The Marlin Group for our next restaurant purchase. Thanks again!

TarBoush Lebanese Bistro & Bar

I have known Dave Marlin for about 5 ½ years… He helped me find my first restaurant in 2010 and was there for me when I wanted to sell my second restaurant in 2015. What I like about Dave is his professionalism, honesty, friendship and the care he demonstrates in ensuring that the relationship is not a one-transaction encounter but rather a life-long one of friendship and accomplishments. Anyone can sell and buy but not everyone cares, builds relationships and is honest in his dealings… Dave Marlin gets an +A on all counts…

Pix Pâtisserie / Bar Vivant

After a very frustrating attempt to sell my business in 2007, I was told I should have called Dave Marlin. So in 2012 when I was leaving my two locations to move to a single, larger building, that just what I did. The experience working with Dave was so less stressful then the first broker I worked with. Dave was organized, professional and his timing on the sale was impeccable. I can appreciate his honesty and could trust him to make the best decisions for my needs. The best part? He even suggested I sell the second lease which only had a couple months left on it. I just figured I would let it run out and walk away. Dave put it on the market and it sold a couple months later for $20K. Dave Marlin knows the business of buying and selling and, even better, he knows the local market and what’s happening at any given time. I’ll be calling him again when I’m ready to retire. Hopefully he won’t retire first!


For the past 23 years I have owned and operated restaurants/bars in Portland. During this time I have used the Marlin Groups services. The Marlin Group team are wonderful to work with. They are a touch stone for Restaurant/Bar acquisition and sales. Marlin understands the sensitive nature of business sales and present only strong, serious buyers. I had two very timely, successful sales that with the Marlin Group at work. David Marlin has also given me insightful counsel on the Restaurant/Bar business climate that have been essential in my decision making.

Former Owner, Serratto Restaurant

Our experience with the Marlin Group was excellent---they handled the sale of our restaurant with a high degree of professionalism and confidentiality. Dave Marlin took the time to understand our business and obviously vetted the potential buyers so that we didn't waste anyone's time. Dave provided clear-headed guidance to us all the way through the negotiation process with the buyer.

Laslows Restaurant

As a lifetime restaurateur, I seldom come upon a realty broker who has integrity, humor and a good work ethic. Each member of The Marlin Group was all of this and more in selling two of my three Portland restaurants, one being the famous "Laslow's Northwest" which won Oregonian's restaurant of the year" in 2002. They had approached the market with the much needed confidentiality and were tenacious in finding prospective buyers who were serious candidates and may offer the best price. Not only did they bring them to the table, but they executed all the formalities of the transactions to make the process easy and flawless. This enabled me to concentrate on my other businesses during the selling period.

Theo's Restaurant

When I first started looking at small businesses to purchase I ran into all sorts of interesting situations and people that made it very difficult to make a deal. I finally ran into the Marlin Group and we quickly formed a great line of communication discussing my needs and goals and matching me with a business that fit the bill. Not only did the Marlin Group help with every aspect of the purchase but they were knowledgeable about the hospitality industry. I'm glad I found and used the Marlin Group and would not hesitate to use them in the future or recommend them to others.

Serratto Restaurant

In 2005, we purchased a restaurant from a seller represented by the Marlin Group, and we were very pleased with how the transaction was completed. The Marlin Group provided excellent due diligence materials, a clear indication of where the process stood, and helpful suggestions as to how we might successfully complete the acquisition. Then, when a few obstacles arose along the way (as they so often do), Dave Marlin showed us that he was straight, fair and pragmatic. The way he handled things earned our trust, turning any potential mountains back into mole hills. All in all, I think it's fair to say that Dave personally made this deal happen. Not only was the seller successful, but so were we, as all of the representations regarding the business were true. We feel fortunate to have acquired the business, but if we ever seek to sell it, we will only make one call...to Dave Marlin.

Former Owner, Madrona Hill Cafe

It was a real pleasure to work with the Marlin Group in selling our Bakery/Café this year. My wife and I were very impressed with the constant personal attention you invested in the sales process. From buyer screening, meetings, and follow-ups, through inspections and closing, you were highly available, knowledgeable, and professional in your approach. We could not expect more from a representative and advocate. I am looking forward to referring you to friends, family, and clients.

Hoyt Street Properties, Landlord

Dave Marlin and the Marlin Group were instrumental in facilitating a very difficult restaurant transaction in one of our retail locations. Throughout the 3-way negotiation, Dave's involvement as a liaison kept the deal on track and the result was a mutually beneficial agreement. I found Dave to be both professional and ethical and I appreciated his candor and patience throughout the negotiations. I would not hesitate to recommend his firm for business brokerage services.

Former Owner, Ford's on 5th

I have worked with Dave Marlin while both selling my restaurant in Portland and looking for other locations. I found Dave to be very professional and meticulous all through the sales and negotiation processes; his knowledge and attention to detail were extremely impressive. It was clear that Dave was looking out for my best interest, not just making a sale. I have and will continue to recommended Dave and the Marlin Group to friends and other restaurateurs.

Pizzicato, Lovejoy Bakers

I had the pleasure of doing business with Dave Marlin this past summer while negotiating the purchase of the business assets and renegotiating the existing lease for the newly opened Lovejoy Bakers. This was a complicated transaction involving multiple parties and Dave performed brilliantly. Needless to say there were moments when frustration levels were at a peak and without David's calm and neutral demeanor, I doubt that the deal could have been concluded. Although David in effect represented the owner of the business and the landlord I never doubted for a moment that he was acting in the best interests of all concerned. David was under compensated relative to the value he brought to the transaction, given the many moving parts involved in this negotiation, but his attention to detail never failed. I will seek his expertise the next time I am looking for a business opportunity and need a true professional.

Former Owner, Genoa

The Marlin Group is our expert restaurant transaction advisor. We have used Dave's guidance in selling, acquiring, partnership resolution, refinancing and preparing our company for sale. Each time the Marlin Group was integral in our successful result. We have the utmost faith in them as results oriented, trust worthy and responsive to what is in the best interest of their clients.

Elliott, Ostrander & Preston, PC Business Law, Represented Mutual Client

Dave Marlin is a very savvy business advisor. He has an excellent grasp of the various deal dynamics and business issues that must be properly monitored and actively guided to a successful resolution, so that the transaction can get closed quickly and profitably for his clients. He is a good communicator, and he is easy to work with, even in the midst of the stress and uncertainty of the negotiation process. I would readily recommend him as a business broker.

Cafe Mingo/Bar Mingo

Dave Marlin is the person that you want to represent yourself when selling or buying a restaurant. He is detail oriented, objective in his analysis of your situation, honest, has the ability to keep business matters confidential, and has his finger on the pulse of the market. In short, he is the best at his business.