Meet Durham, NC’s Basan Team
James Woods, Manager
An Atlanta native, James Woods got his start in the service industry mowing lawns at the age of 14 before cutting his teeth in the food and beverage business via fast-food stints in high school. Woods climbed the restaurant ladder — from his first post as busboy at 17 to a myriad of front of the house positions at a variety of establishments in Atlanta, and then Raleigh, where he relocated to in January 2002.
A natural people person, Woods began working with Eschelon Experiences as a lunch server at Mura in 2007 (before moving to bartender and, recently, bar manager). His mastery at Mura has not gone unnoticed, or unnoted — from receiving the company’s first Employee of the Month award in January 2012 to his January 2014 claim of Eschelon Experiences’ inaugural Front-of-House Person of the Year. The award is no doubt a result of his attitude and his innate love of the business and the people he serves: “I like staying busy and dealing with people,” he says. “I like making sure people actually enjoy themselves while dining with me. I like to think I’m good at anticipating what people want before they know they want it.” James is excited to join the management team here at Basan and is looking forward to learning more about the foodie culture here in Durham.
When Woods isn’t serving some of the Triangle’s finest sips and bites, he can be found cooking up his own delish dishes, dining out and playing cards with his boys. When he can break away, he enjoys hitting the beach, vacationing and heading back to Atlanta to visit family and friends.
Jon Licud, Manager
Born and raised in Raleigh, NC, Jon began his career at the age of 17 as a host at Kanki. He moved up to serving at 18 years old, and then bartending at 21. He is highly passionate about bartending, and enjoys making craft cocktails and tasting different types of wine, sake, beer, and liquor. After four years at Kanki, Jon felt he needed a change.
At 23 years old, Jon began working at Basan as a bartender. As Employee of the Month and FOH Employee of the Year in 2015, his work in the hospitality industry has not gone unnoticed. His favorite roll, coincidentally, is the Basan roll.
When Jon isn’t spending his time at Basan, he enjoys badminton and going to the gym. Jon is also a pet lover and owns an 11 month old German Shepherd named Luna.
Sarah Ryan, Manager
Sarah is originally from Florida, but was raised in Person County, North Carolina. She has worked in the hospitality industry since she was 16 years old. She used to co-own a café in Belize with her parents, where she worked during the summer.
In February of 2015, Sarah joined the Basan team as Banquet Captain. She likes working in the hospitality industry because she likes getting a chance to be a part of an important event in someone’s life, whether it’s as simple as a birthday dinner, or something bigger. Her favorite thing to eat at Basan is the Tropical Salmon Roll.
When she’s not at Basan, you may find Sarah at puppy school with her dog, Lana, or spending time with her cat, Daisy. One day, Sarah hopes to open a wedding planning business.
The team at Basan is proud to serve our customers with fresh sushi & sake in Durham, NC and across the Triangle area.